DECINA DEVELOPING MOTORSPORT IN SYDNEY If 23 year-old Michael Caruso's driving performance last weekend during round six of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, coupled with a solid Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 debut are anything to go by, it...
DECINA DEVELOPING MOTORSPORT IN SYDNEY
If 23 year-old Michael Caruso's driving performance last weekend during round six of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, coupled with a solid Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 debut are anything to go by, it appears the Mona Vale based workshop of Speed FX/Decina Racing is directing a positive future for some of Australia's most aspiring drivers.
Caruso's eighth placing in the development series was enough for him to remain in contention to secure a Championship podium during his debut season when the Decina team lines up for the Grand Finale at Phillip Island on December 8-10.
Decina Racing team manager Jim Morton believes his young charge will be further buoyed by the experience of completing 33 laps of the Mount Panorama circuit when asked to assist the Team BOC team and co-drive with Dale Brede in the Super Cheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
"Michael was flawless and did a fantastic job in his first ever stint behind the wheel of a main series V8 Supercar. The extra laps he did on the tough Bathurst circuit will hold him well when we travel to Victoria for the final round of the Fujitsu Series," said Morton.
"Unfortunately, Michael's team mate failed to pump the brakes after a pad change and crashed into the wall which prematurely ended their campaign.
"But the feedback from Team BOC was most complimentary and it's these sorts of experiences which can only benefit Michael's development towards a future full-time drive in the main game of V8 Supercars."
Competing in the pinnacle event on the Australian V8 Supercar calendar, up against the likes of eventual winners Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup plus reigning series champion Russell Ingall, was a huge thrill for the Collaroy driver.
"My season goal was to be as competitive as possible and prove to the Decina team that I have the ability to be a major player in the Fujitsu V8's," said Caruso.
"Like any driver, Bathurst is always on the radar and competing in the main event has always been one of my lifelong dreams.
"Although the circumstances weren't ideal I just wanted to do the job for the team and I feel comfortable with what I was able to put together out on the track.
"I'd love to have the opportunity to do it all again next year but my main priority now is to focus all my attention towards a solid result at Phillip Island.
"Hopefully we can shoot ourselves towards a podium which would be a great milestone during my first season in V8 Supercars."
Motor racing stars past, present and future abounded at Bathurst with Morton's Speed FX/Decina Racing Team also taking on board Australia's top junior karter, Grant Smith as the team's cadet for the weekend.
Grant has won the Australian Championships the past two years for the top junior class and will soon move into the senior ranks.
At just 16, the second generation karter has already eclipsed his father's sole Australian Karting Championship and seems to have a strong career ahead of him, not unlike many who have transcended a path in motor sport under the watchful eye of Decina Racing team boss Jim Morton.