Hidden Valley: Stone Brothers Racing drive tanks

Ambrose and Besanrd have "firepower" for Hidden Valley. Ambrose and Besnard ready to mow down oppositon. Ford drivers Marcos Ambrose and David Besnard got in all the preparation they needed to mow down the opposition in this weekend's fourth...

Ambrose and Besanrd have "firepower" for Hidden Valley.
Ambrose and Besnard ready to mow down oppositon.

Ford drivers Marcos Ambrose and David Besnard got in all the preparation they needed to mow down the opposition in this weekend's fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway when they took a couple of Leopard tanks for a drive today.

The Stone Brothers Racing drivers were guests of the First Armoured Regiment at Robertson Barracks at Palmerston, just outside of Darwin.

The pair was given a quick theory lesson and then let loose on the barrack's training and practice facility for about half an hour.

"What a great experience, we could have stayed out there all day," said Ambrose, who heads into this weekend as Darwin's defending champion.

"Amazingly it's just like driving an automatic car, but there is a little more skill involved when it comes to going up and down ridges.

"All the army guys are really big race fans and they had no problem showing us around.

"Hopefully we can return the favour at the weekend, although my Pirtek Falcon is a little more fragile than these tanks."

The Australian Government first purchased the Leopard tanks in the late 70s and there are currently 54 tanks based in Darwin.

They weigh 42 tonne and have a top speed of around 62kph about 200kph slower than Ambrose and Besnard will be traveling at Hidden Valley at the weekend.

The machines have a crew of four and can engage targets up to four kilometres away.

"That was pretty cool," said Besnard.

"It's not every day you get to drive a leopard tank and the boys at Robertson Barracks made us feel very welcome and were enthusiastic with their driving lessons.

"My Caltex Havoline Ford is a bit quicker, but you would not have too many cars getting in your way if we could start this in the weekend's races.

"The fire power might also come in handy."

Warrant Officer Class 2, Greg Reardon, of the 1st Armoured Regiment helped put today's promotional activity together and was more than impressed with the skills of both drivers.

"Obviously guys like this are pretty natural drivers in anything," said Reardon.

"With a bit more work I would not mind having them around full-time. They might have other thoughts though."

Ambrose and Besnard will be on track for the first time tomorrow afternoon for a 20-minute practice session before a 20-lap race on Saturday afternoon and two 35-lappers on Sunday.

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Marcos Ambrose