Daryl Beattie keen to race V8 Supercars after testing Sirromet Wines WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18: Former 500cc grand prix motorcycle racer Daryl Beattie today declared his desire to carve out a new motorsport career racing V8 Supercars in ...
Daryl Beattie keen to race V8 Supercars after testing Sirromet Wines
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18: Former 500cc grand prix motorcycle racer Daryl Beattie today declared his desire to carve out a new motorsport career racing V8 Supercars in Australia.
Beattie, runner-up to Mick Doohan in the 1995 world championship, expressed his intentions after an impressive V8 Supercar debut over 12 laps behind the wheel of a Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore at Queensland Raceway near Ipswich.
The 31-year-old clocked a best lap time of 1-min 14.26-secs around the 3.1km V8 Supercar Championship venue.
Beattie's time was just 2.67-secs slower than the quickest race lap of the 2001 V.I.P. Petfoods Queensland 500, set by the Holden Racing Team Commodore driven by Mark Skaife and Jason Bright.
"This was the most fun I've had since I stopped racing bikes," said Beattie. "I'd love to race these V8s regularly, so as from today I'm on the lookout for a drive."
Beattie, who retired from 500cc racing in 1997 and is now a Network 10 television commentator, drove the Commodore as part of the Cover Story for the national motorsport program 'RPM' to be shown on Sunday week (June 30).
Sirromet Wines Racing team owner and driver Paul Morris, also on the track at Queensland Raceway today testing another 600-horsepower Commodore, and said he was impressed with Beattie's performance.
"Daryl (Beattie) showed plenty of speed and natural talent considering it was the first time he's ever driven one of these cars," said Morris.
"He did three stints and went quicker every time, and you can see he would improve in leaps and bounds with more time in the car. The laps he did were quicker than you'd expect from someone with no previous experience."
Beattie, who won three grands prix and had 14 podium finishes in 500cc racing, said the most difficult aspect of driving the V8 Supercar was with gear changes.
"In the first few laps I was struggling, especially backshifting and I missed a few gears which made me feel a bit of a 'learner' driver," said Beattie. "Then they adjusted the gearshift and it felt much better."
"The main difference from racing bikes was with braking. On a 500 you grab the brakes and run the bike into the corner, but with the V8 you have to wash off speed much earlier."
"I spun the car once, but we came out of it pointing in the right direction and fortunately it was on one of the slow hairpins."
Beattie said his next step would be to attempt to secure more testing opportunities, and then possibly progress to a drive in the Konica V8 Supercar Series.
"I'm serious about wanting to make this happen," said Beattie. "The V8s are the biggest show in Australia right now and after today I'm hooked. Watching them is one thing, but when drive one of these cars and feel all that horsepower it's awesome!"
Morris' testing commitments at Queensland Raceway were to assist his preparation for the sixth round of the championship at Barbagallo Raceway near Perth on June 29-30.