V8SDS: Decina Racing Bathurst preview

DECINA RACING'S DATE WITH DESTINY It'll be one half of a boyhood dream realised for Speed FX/Decina Racing's Michael Caruso when he lines up for round six of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, during the prestigious Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000...

DECINA RACING'S DATE WITH DESTINY

It'll be one half of a boyhood dream realised for Speed FX/Decina Racing's Michael Caruso when he lines up for round six of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, during the prestigious Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on October 5-8.

Of course the other half of the equation is for the Sydney heavyweight campaigner to claim a podium finish on debut at the famous Mt Panorama circuit.

The actual likelihood of that occurring has been strengthened by recent performances, when the 23 year-old produced one of the performances of the series to start eighteenth and finish eight after suffering a broken gearbox during his last start at Mallala in South Australia.

"This season we started off with all guns blazing and secured a first up podium in Adelaide but since then we just haven't enjoyed much luck at all," said Caruso.

"There'd be no better place to turn things around than in Bathurst.

"Mt Panorama is one of the greatest race tracks in the World and it's this particular week that I've been waiting for all season.

Having collected numerous accolades as a junior racer in the elite ranks of International karting and a one-time Australian F3 champion, Caruso is no stranger to success on the race track.

But the Mona Vale based driver treats Bathurst in a class of its own and feels privileged to be a part of the action in 2007 driving the Decina Falcon.

"Decina Team Manager Jim Morton and I enjoyed great success in karting, claiming the Australian and North American championships in 1997 among numerous titles during my formative years.

"I couldn't think of anyone else better for me to enjoy my first Bathurst driving experience with.

"I'm extremely keen to repay the faith Jim has had in me and ultimately we need the points to finish in the top three for the season.

Similarly Morton is excited at the prospect of seeing yet another of his young charges progress through and compete on what is considered one of the biggest stages in International motorsport.

The Sydney mentor has already seen drivers such as Jason Bright, James Courtney, Mark Winterbottom, Allan Gurr and Warren Luff progress through to top level V8 Supercar competition and he has absolute faith in his current campaigner to get the job done at Mt Panorama.

"Of course Michael has never raced at Bathurst before but I've always felt the better drivers don't take that long to learn a circuit. After we travelled up there last weekend to get a good feel for the track my confidence in him is maintained," said Morton.

"In karting, we took Michael all around Australia and North America and as one of the more elite drivers you adapt and learn quickly.

"Next weekend we'll have two solid 35-minute practice sessions and I expect us to be enjoying a good front running position by qualifying, just like we've been able to do for the bulk of this year.

"Michael has proven during his debut season in V8 Supercars that he is no flash in the pan. We've gained a pole position, four seconds and a third already this year and I personally think the best may be yet to come."

Speed FX/Decina Racing's Bathurst campaign begins on Thursday October 5 during a double of practice sessions. Qualifying takes place the very next morning before the first of two 14-lap feature races around the 6.213 kilometre Mt Panorama circuit.

-credit: www.decina.com.au

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Series CAMS
Drivers James Courtney , Mark Winterbottom , Michael Caruso , Warren Luff