JASON BARGWANNA AIMS FOR BEST V8 SEASON YET WITH ROCK RACING
Jason Bargwanna says that driving the Rock Commodore for Kelly Racing will give him the ability to achieve his best results yet in V8 Supercar competition.
Bargwanna unveiled the new-look #11 Rock Racing Holden Commodore at the team's headquarters in Braeside, Melbourne today, where it was announced that Rock Energy Drink would be the major sponsor of Bargwanna's effort in a multi-year deal with Kelly Racing.
Bargwanna is adamant that joining Kelly Racing gives him his best opportunity yet in V8 Supercars.
"Realistically this team has all the ingredients that you need," said Bargwanna.
"The one thing that you want as a driver is to know that you've got equipment good enough to do the job and I've definitely got that in the #11 Rock Commodore.
"I'm excited about working with Rick and Todd (Kelly). Between us we've got a few trophies on the shelf, so if you put all that experience together, then there is no reason why we can't be a very successful race team.
"It's going to take that united front to take on the likes of Triple 8 and Walkinshaw. They are very strong operations so to knock them off we need to all put our heads together to make it work."
The 144-event veteran and 2000 Bathurst winner scored seventh in the championship standings in both 1998 and 2000 with Garry Rogers Motorsport.
Having raced for under-funded teams in recent years, Bargwanna now has his sights set on a career-best performance in 2010 as part of a formidable driver line-up alongside fellow Bathurst champions Todd and Rick Kelly.
"The last three teams I've been with have closed their doors and that's been the reason I've departed the team, so this is completely different for me," said Bargwanna.
"This team is focused on winning car races. Everything you do from the moment you open the front door is all about winning car races.
"That is what every driver dreams of, to be part of a championship-contending team.
"There is no compromise in this operation. The last few seasons have been character building years and now it's my time to put it all together and make the most of this genuinely great opportunity."
Bargwanna will use the chassis raced by Todd Kelly in 2009 this season, with that chassis (PE049) completely rebuilt over the off-season and now virtually a brand new V8 Supercar.
Bargwanna will has also been given the privilege of using the number 11 made famous by six-time Bathurst winner and V8 Supercar legend Larry Perkins.
In terms of V8 Supercar event starts, Kelly Racing now boasts the most experienced driver line-up in the field with 388 combined starts between Bargwanna and the Kelly brothers.
Rock Energy Drink is making its first foray into V8 Supercar racing as a major sponsor in 2010, with Tim Xenos, Managing Director of parent company Beverage Holdings saying that the new deal is a big part of plans to continue Rock's growth both in the Australian market and globally.
"We are very excited to have the Rock brand in V8 Supercars in a big way with Jason Bargwanna and the Rock Racing Commodore," said Xenos.
"Our relationship with Kelly Racing is about raising the profile of Rock Energy Drink in the Australian market as we continue to grow both here and globally.
"Rock is Australian made and owned, so it's very exciting for us to be backing an Australian driver and team.
"We sell Rock Energy Drink in nine countries and our distribution continues to expand. We currently have a presence in Kmart and Costco stores and the exposure and opportunities that we expect to derive from this new deal is a big part of growing that further."
Jason Bargwanna said that he was proud to be representing the emerging brand both on and off the race track.
"It's very exciting to have a brand new Australian sponsor on the car," said Bargwanna.
"We all have high hopes for Rock Racing in terms of what we want to achieve and this is the exciting beginning of this new relationship."