FHOLDEN: Plenty going on in the off season

The sound of a squabbling pack of 350 horsepower Formula Holden's may have ceased after Mallala's final HADC round in August, but behind the scenes there's plenty going on in the world of Formula Holden. A number of drivers from this year's ...

The sound of a squabbling pack of 350 horsepower Formula Holden's may have ceased after Mallala's final HADC round in August, but behind the scenes there's plenty going on in the world of Formula Holden.

A number of drivers from this year's championship have found themselves busy behind the wheel of a V8Supercar in recent times, with two-time champ Simon Wills joined by race winners Tim Leahey and Christian Murchison for the Queensland 500 three weeks ago. A fourth FH driver will join this group for November's Bathurst event, when Paul Dumbrell adds to the list of FH drivers contesting the mountain classic. With 1997 champion Jason Bright returning to join Lowndes, Skaife, Murphy, Larkham, Crompton and company, a record number of more than 20 current and ex FH drivers will line up on the grid for Australia's greatest race.

With the New Zealand Tasman Cup series rapidly approaching, there is an enormous amount of interest in who will line up where. In one of the most intriguing silly seasons on record the line-up for the twin race Tasman Cup may well be impacted by a number of competitors currently competing in the United States. After a recent visit to Laguna Seca by four FH representatives, it is fair to say that a number of drivers currently contesting the Indy Lights, Formula Atlantic and Barber Dodge series are giving serious thought to competing. Driving the machines that have helped Jason Bright and Scott Dixon to such good affect this year, and during what is effectively their 'off-season' these drivers may well bring a truly international flavour to the burgeoning NZ series.

What's more, there are a number of Formula Ford graduates looking to make the jump into Australia's fastest racing cars, some of them having already tested. K Mart Racing's Stuart McColl recently drove Paul Dumbrell's hybrid Reynard 93D at Winton and looks set to make the jump. The Kmart team is not the only one who has been active, with Murphy Motorsport also hitting the track with international driver Emerson Newton John at the wheel. Newton John recorded some impressive times at Calder recently and may well contest the NZ series.

Before then though, a number of FH stars will contest the Gold Coast Indy Young Guns Challenge. An event that will see ten of Australia's and New Zealand's fastest young pilots driving the wheels off a batch of Honda Integra Type Rs. Among those drivers representing FH will be Simon Wills, Tim Leahey, Christian Murchison (just back from a second F3000 test) and Indy Lights points leader Scott Dixon. The race is sure to be a blinder, providing they all make it through qualifying, and with a Dorricott Racing Indy Lights test up for grabs it will be a no holds barred encounter. Once these fine young drivers have cooled their heels they will no doubt head for a good vantage point to watch 1997 FH champ Jason Bright make his Champ Car debut in the Honda Indy 300.

Throw in the official testing and evaluation of next year's new Yokohama control tyre and you can see there's plenty going on behind the scenes!

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Scott Dixon , Jason Bright , Tim Leahey , Simon Wills , Paul Dumbrell , Christian Murchison