Triple Eight injects Australian endurance events with International flavour Today Triple Eight Race Engineering announced that Team Betta Electrical's 2006 endurance line-up would include European drivers Richard Lyons and Allan ...
Triple Eight injects Australian endurance events with International flavour
Today Triple Eight Race Engineering announced that Team Betta Electrical's 2006 endurance line-up would include European drivers Richard Lyons and Allan Simonsen.
Twenty-six year old Ulsterman, Lyons and 27 year old Dane, Simonsen were signed up by the 2005 Betta Electrical Sandown 500 winners after impressing the Brisbane based V8 Supercar team at a recent driver evaluation day at Queensland Raceway.
Team Principal Roland Dane was pleased with the outcome.
"Richard and Allan were both impressive during evaluation with both drivers getting up to pace very quickly," Dane said. "In particular, we were impressed by Richard's commitment to adapting to the gearbox of our car given that he has only raced with paddle shifters for many years.
"I am confident that Richards skills may surprise many of the other well know names in the championship," Dane said.
"Allan was very comfortable in the car straight away and showed consistent speed which made him an easy choice for us.
"Both drivers will return to Australia to test throughout the year and we fully expect them to capitalise on the opportunity to race the #88 Car together," added Dane.
For Lyons, who was the 2004 Formula Nippon and Japanese GT Champion, this will be his first attempt at Australia's two notorious endurance events, while Simonsen, in his fourth endeavour, will be looking to better his tenth place at Bathurst in 2004.
Simonsen is no stranger to racing in Australia having raced and won the 2003 Class B Nations Cup Championship in 2003 and 2004.
In 2005 Simonsen continued his Australian assault adding the Australian V8 Ute Championship, Australian GT Championship and the endurance rounds of the V8 Supercar Championship Series to his busy schedule which already included the British GT Championship and Le Mans Endurance Series.
With wins in the Australian V8 Ute Championship, Australian GT Championship and British GT Championship Simonsen catapulted his name onto Triple Eight's short list of endurance drivers for 2006.
Triple Eight Race Engineering recently conducted the teams first test session of 2006 with drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup completing near 1000 kilometres around Queensland Raceway.
While the 3.12km circuit was very slow after the recent rain and proved difficult to record a decent lap time, Triple Eight Race Engineering had a successful day ensuring team systems were working well and new components were bedded in prior to the opening round of the championship.
Both Team Betta Electrical drivers spent a considerable amount of time working with the team on pit stop practice and brushing up on their starts.
Jamie Whincup impressed team bosses by matching Lowndes best time of the day and later in the session completed a 20 lap run where he consistently lapped in the mid 1.11 bracket.
All systems tests proved successful as well as the continuation of the development program of many Triple Eight Race Engineering designed and manufactured parts so the team will now prepare both BA Falcon race chassis's for the Clipsal 500, Adelaide March 23 - 26.