The final preparations for the V8 Supercars Season of Endurance have kicked off, with five teams testing at Winton today.
Nissan Motorsport, Prodrive Racing Australia, Volvo GRM, Brad Jones Racing, and Novocastrian Motor Sport are all in action at the Victorian circuit. with drivers and co-drivers on hand to bank valuable laps ahead of next month’s Sandown 500.
For Nissan, the test gives British driver Alex Buncombe his first taste of a V8 Supercar for the year. The Briton will race alongside Todd Kelly at Sandown, Bathurst, and on the Gold Coast this season – as he did last year – but hasn’t had a chance to take part in any of the co-driver sessions or free practice sessions given that he’s based overseas.
The same goes for Alex Premat, who is behind the wheel of the #33 Volvo for the first time in 2015. The Frenchman returns to partner Scott McLaughlin at the long-distance races, while Kiwi Chris Pither will share the #34 entry with regular driver David Wall.
The firsts continue over at the Novocastrian garage, with Drew and Aaren Russell testing the Garry Rogers Motorsport-built Car of the Future-spec Commodore that they will race at Bathurst for the first time.
PRA, meanwhile, is running its four regular entries, with the #5 (Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen), #6 (Chaz Mostert/Cam Waters), #55 (David Reynolds/Dean Canto), and #111 (Andre Heimgartner/Ant Pedersen) all in action.
Prodrive’s fifth car, the all-female Bathurst wildcard entry for Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, didn’t run at Winton today. That car will utilise its allocated test days closer to the Bathurst 1000.