Winton: Nathan Pretty preview

NEW BABY ONE DAY - ENDURANCE DRIVE THE NEXT FOR NATHAN PRETTY V8 Supercar endurance specialist Nathan Pretty has had an unforgettable couple of days. Pretty and wife Amanda welcomed new son Cooper William Pretty into the world on Friday...

NEW BABY ONE DAY - ENDURANCE DRIVE THE NEXT FOR NATHAN PRETTY

V8 Supercar endurance specialist Nathan Pretty has had an unforgettable couple of days.

Pretty and wife Amanda welcomed new son Cooper William Pretty into the world on Friday morning, the couple's second child.

Just a few days later, Pretty has today been confirmed as an endurance driver for Kelly Racing's 2009 assault on the V8 Supercar Championship Series' two endurance events, the L&H 500 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.

Pretty will form part of an eight-driver line-up for Kelly Racing in what will be the team's first campaign in the V8 Supercar season of endurance. What entry Pretty drives at Phillip Island and Bathurst will be confirmed at a later date.

This weekend at Winton Motor Raceway, Pretty will drive one of the Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodores in the Co-Driver Practice Session on Friday.

Jack Perkins will drive his own #11 Dodo Holden Commodore and Dale Wood will be behind the wheel of his #16 Hi-Tec Oils Holden Commodore in that 30-minute session, as both are outside the top 15 in the V8 Supercar Championship Series Driver's Standings.

Pretty has an enviable record at Bathurst with the Victorian boasting six top 10 finishes from 11 starts in Australia's Great Race. All 11 of his starts have come in a Holden Commodore.

The 35-year-old also claimed victory in the 2002 Bathurst 24 Hour aboard a Holden Monaro and was runner-up the following year in the same event.

Pretty works at the Kelly Racing's Braeside headquarters and has driven with Todd and Rick Kelly as well as Jack Perkins in the past.

Pretty's best Bathurst result to date came in 2002, partnering Rick Kelly to fourth place.

Pretty, who also partnered Rick Kelly in 2001, finished in fifth place when partnered with Todd Kelly in 2000 and eighth alongside Jack Perkins in a Jack Daniel's Commodore last season.

KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD

Nathan Pretty - Kelly Racing Endurance Driver:

"It's definitely been a big couple of days," said Pretty.

"It's good to have a deal sorted so early in the season.

"It gives you time to get miles in the team's cars and build on that ahead of the endurance races.

"I've had a long association with the Kelly boys and I understand their work ethic and the effort they have put in over the off-season.

"I've driven with both Todd and Rick in the past and have a good idea of what they like to do to get the most out of their cars.

"The whole team has been putting in an incredible effort and there is a great feeling around the place.

"The guys have shown some great pace and after only two events as a new team that's really encouraging.

"As a young team you're always going to get stronger as things develop so I'm really excited about the endurance races later in the year."

Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:

"Firstly, my congratulations, on behalf of everyone at Kelly Racing, to Nathan and Amanda on the birth of Cooper William on Friday," said Todd Kelly.

"Kelly Racing is a close knit team and Nathan has been a big part of the work that has gone into establishing this operation over the last few months.

"It's great to confirm Nathan as a part of our endurance line-up for our debut season. We've both been working together a fair bit in the workshop, building things and doing a lot of welding to get things together.

"Nathan is a good friend and both Rick and I have driven with him in the past.

"His record at Bathurst speaks for itself. In Nathan we've got one of the best endurance drivers out there. Whatever Commodore he ends up driving at Phillip Island and Bathurst later this year, Nathan has a wealth of experience and I'm extremely confident that he will do an outstanding job.

"Not only that, but he will be an important part of our team this weekend at Winton, driving one of the Jack Daniel's Commodores in the Co-Driver session and giving us some early information to start the weekend."

-credit: kellyracing.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Nathan Pretty , Rick Kelly , Todd Kelly , Jack Perkins , Dale Wood , Phillip Island