Mark McNally to make V8 Supercar debut in Townsville

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MARK MCNALLY TO MAKE V8 SUPERCAR DEBUT IN TOWNSVILLE West Australian rising star Mark McNally will make his V8 Supercar Championship Series debut next month when he suits up for Hi-Tec Oils Racing at the Dunlop Townsville 400. As part of...

MARK MCNALLY TO MAKE V8 SUPERCAR DEBUT IN TOWNSVILLE

West Australian rising star Mark McNally will make his V8 Supercar Championship Series debut next month when he suits up for Hi-Tec Oils Racing at the Dunlop Townsville 400.

As part of Kelly Racing's commitment to developing new drivers, McNally will take over the #16 Hi-Tec Oils Holden Commodore for the rest of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series, after Dale Wood completed driving duties in that entry for the first five events of the season as well as the non-points event at Albert Park.

McNally will be one of Kelly Racing's endurance drivers at the events at Phillip Island and Bathurst later this year, with this decision giving McNally vital experience at the top level of V8 Supercar competition in the lead-up to the all-important long distance races.

McNally, 27, hails from Perth in Western Australia and has made 21 starts in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series since his debut in the V8 development series at Queensland Raceway in 2006.

McNally will withdraw his #74 Holden Commodore VZ from Round 3 of the 2009 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series in Townsville to concentrate his full efforts on his main series debut in the #16 Hi-Tec Oils Holden Commodore.

Coincidentally, McNally's Fujitsu Series entry is the same car used by Todd Kelly and Mark Skaife to win the 2005 Bathurst 1000.

Dale Wood, who has driven the #16 Hi-Tec Oils Holden Commodore at the first five events of this year's championship, remains in contention for one of Kelly Racing's two remaining endurance event seats.

Todd Kelly, Rick Kelly, Jack Perkins, Nathan Pretty, Tony Ricciardello and Mark McNally are Kelly Racing's six confirmed endurance drivers to date, with complete driver line-ups to be confirmed at a later date.

KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD:

Mark McNally - #16 Hi-Tec Oils Holden Commodore:

"Right from the start of my motorsport career, it has been my goal to get a seat in the main game," said McNally

"Driving the Hi-Tec Oils Commodore from Townsville is a realisation of that dream, and importantly, will mean that I am a lot better prepared for Phillip Island and Bathurst.

"The Townsville event is brand new and it promises to be a big weekend. For me it will be extra special as I will be making my main game debut in what is a sensational opportunity for me.

"It will be an incredibly tough event given how long the races are and the demands of a street circuit are always huge.

"The step up from the Fujitsu Series to the main game is a massive one and I'm well aware of the challenge that lies ahead.

"I know that I have a lot to learn but working with Todd and Rick Kelly, Jack Perkins and all the guys at Kelly Racing is a fantastic opportunity for any guy making the step up to the top level of the sport."

Patrick Ricci -- Operations Manager, Kelly Racing:

"Mark will be an important part of our endurance line-up in 2009 and this decision allows him to begin learning our cars and team," said Ricci.

"We are pleased to give him the opportunity to make his V8 Supercar debut up in Townsville, at what we are certain will be a sensational inaugural event.

"Allowing Mark the chance to race at the top level of V8 Supercars in one of our cars prior to the endurance races gives him the best possible preparation for Phillip Island and Bathurst.

"We look forward to working with Mark and also thank Dale for his commitment and dedication to our team during our first five events.

"Dale will remain an important part of the team for the remainder of the season."

-credit: h-tor

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Series V8SUPERCARS