Optima Sport joins series

OPTIMA SPORT JOINS THE FUJITSU SERIES For the first time in the history of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series there will be a team owned by a Western Australian on the grid at next month's opening round in Adelaide. Optima Sport, led by Western...

OPTIMA SPORT JOINS THE FUJITSU SERIES

For the first time in the history of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series there will be a team owned by a Western Australian on the grid at next month's opening round in Adelaide.

Optima Sport, led by Western Australian businessman David Macdougall, has purchased the ex-Mark Porter Steve Ellery Racing-prepared BA Falcon to contest the seven-round championship with former Australian karting champion David Clark behind the wheel.

The venture is Optima Sport's first foray into the V8 Supercar Championship and Macdougall admits it is the commercial side of the business which he will focus on while employing the "right" people around him to look after the operations of the team.

Macdougall's passion for motor racing began as a teenager through go-karting before his business interests become his main focus in his early 20's. In 2002 Macdougall made a return to the motor racing scene by supporting Clark in a British Formula Three campaign.

"The deal has all come together in a very short period of time, but it is a project which excites me enormously," said Macdougall.

"For the past couple of years I have been watching the sport closely and have waited for the right opportunity to come along. I think this opportunity is perfect for the direction I want to head.

"I have known David (Clark) for many years and he is a perfect fit for the team and its future. He had an exceptional career in karting before showing some impressive speed in open wheelers. I am confident he will put in some consistent performances throughout the year and be an integral part of the development process of the team."

Clark, 27, began his karting career in Western Australia at the age of 11. Throughout his distinguished karting career he finished ninth in the World Junior Karting Championships and was one of the outstanding karters throughout the 1990's winning four Australian championships and 14 state titles. He also contested the World Senior Karting Championship on two occasions in 1995 and 1996.

Throughout his karting career Clark also made several appearances behind the wheel of a Formula Ford in Western Australia including a victory in a support race at the 1994 running of the Wanneroo 300.

Clark made the transition from karts into open wheelers on a full-time basis in 2001 contesting a limited campaign in the National Formula Ford Championship before heading overseas to compete in the British Scholarship Formula Three Championship the following year. During his time in England he was also an instructor at Palmer Motorsport.

For the past three years Clark has focused on other commitments in his life and is excited about the prospect of getting behind the wheel of the Optima Sport Falcon in 2006.

"To be a part of Optima is an opportunity which I honestly thought may never have happened after being out of the spotlight for a couple of years," said Clark.

"Dave (Macdougall) has supported me through a lot of my career and I am delighted to know he has chosen me to be a part of his V8 team. It has always been a dream of mine to compete in a V8 Supercar and now it is finally happening.

"I will be grabbing this opportunity with both hands and I am determined to do my part to ensure the team's success."

Optima Sport will take to the circuit for the first time in the opening round of the 2006 Fujistu V8 Supercar Series on the streets of Adelaide in the Clipsal 500 on March 23-26.

-os-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Porter