V8SDS: Holden Motorsports Queensland preview

HOLDEN YOUNG LION GURR JOINS RECOR FUJITSU SERIES FIELD FOR QUEENSLAN D The record field of 41 cars for the third round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Queensland Raceway this weekend has been boosted by the late addition of an entry for...

HOLDEN YOUNG LION GURR JOINS RECOR FUJITSU SERIES FIELD FOR QUEENSLAN D

The record field of 41 cars for the third round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Queensland Raceway this weekend has been boosted by the late addition of an entry for Holden Young Lion Alan Gurr.

Gurr, 24, will drive a Racer Industries-entered Commodore VY this weekend, which will be his third appearance in a V8 Supercar this year.

He competed in a Team Sirromet Wines car at the Clipsal 500 and Barbagallo main series events and works full-time at the team's Gold Coast workshops during the week.

The car he drove in those two rounds will be driven this weekend at Queensland Raceway in the main series by Team Sirromet Wines endurance signing, Steve Ellery.

"This is just a one-off drive because I really wanted to compete at Queensland and Steve (Ellery) is driving the car I've been driving," Gurr said.

"So we've put together a deal and assembled a crew for the weekend. The Sirromet team is happy for me to go and do the race to get more experience and, given it's the test track we use, is a good opportunity to put into play what I've learnt."

Gurr's #28 Commodore will be sponsored by Japanese brake company Project-Mu and will run in a teal-like colour scheme.

His entry brings the number of Holden Young Lions competing in this weekend's Fujitsu Series round to four, with Shane Price, Jack Perkins and Tony D'Alberto also racing. The only one on the sidelines is Kiwi Fabian Coulthard.

The car Gurr will drive this weekend is in fact one with which he is familiar.

He drove it as a VX Commodore in the Development Series in 2004 under the Holden Young Lions banner and it has since been upgraded to VY specification by Racer Industries, who have developed a kit for converting the VX model to VY.

Gurr competed in the V8 Development Series in 2004 for both the Smiths Trucks and HYL outfits and his victory in that year's opening round at Wakefield Park was the last time a Holden Commodore has won a round of the V8 feeder championship.

While Gurr isn't competing in the full championship, Holden's leading light in the series, Nathan Pretty in the Mack/Smiths Trucks Commodore, expects a busy weekend that could change the face of the championship.

Currently second in the championship and 72 points behind leader Adam Macrow, Pretty has proven to be in solid form at the opening rounds with a fighting recovery to finish fourth in Adelaide and third at the last round at Wakefield Park.

But with such a large field of cars and the regular reverse grid event on the 3.1-kilometre circuit outside Ipswich, Pretty says it's still too early for a championship to be made or broken.

"It's still a bit early in the championship to be thinking that, so my approach to the weekend is the same for every other race," Pretty said.

"We're there to accumulate points and that will be tough against the guys who test there. They'll have an edge in that regard, one that we don't get unfortunately because the series doesn't race where we test at Winton.

"The team qualified on the front row for the same round last year so we'll start with the setup a little different to look for more speed and if that doesn't work we can go back to what worked for them last year because clearly it was effective.

"At Queensland Raceway there are definitely some more defined passing places, particularly under brakes. We've got a good braking package on the Mack/Smiths Trucks Commodore so hopefully we can capitalise on that."

Of the 41 entries this weekend, one unlucky driver will miss out as the grid capacity for Queensland Raceway is capped at 40.

Making their V8 Supercar debuts this weekend are former open wheeler drivers Chris Alajajian and Mark McNally.

Alajajian will drive an ex-Simon Wills Commodore for Protecnica Racing based in Sydney, while McNally will drive the second GMAC Racing Commodore as team-mate to Tony D'Alberto.

The car was driven by D'Alberto last year and was the same car used by Greg Murphy and Rick Kelly to win Bathurst in 2004.

HOLDEN MOTORSPORT QUOTEBOOK

Shane Price (#77 Perkins Motorsport Commodore VZ - 5thin points)
"Unlike the first two tracks of this year, Queensland Raceway is somewhere I've done some driving in a V8 Supercar on a test day with Paul Morris' team last year. It's as much of a home track as I'll get because I've also raced the Formula Ford there. We've had a look at the data the Perkins team has from previous years, which is a help. It's given both Jack and I the opportunity to analyse the lines that Steven (Richards) and Paul (Dumbrell) take in the two slower corners so we can jump straight into it come opening practice."

Tony D'Alberto (#99 GMAC Commodore VZ - 17thin points) #"We've had the engine freshened up and had a test day at Winton at the start of last week. We were fairly close to the pace of the main series cars that were running on the day, which was nice. For Queensland I need to try and get some points and stay out of trouble. Qualifying has been my weakness this year so I need to start with the front guys and stay there."

-holden-

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Series CAMS
Drivers Nathan Pretty , Rick Kelly , Paul Morris , Simon Wills , Alan Gurr , Tony D'Alberto , Jack Perkins , Shane Price , Chris Alajajian , Mark McNally