KNIGHT TO MAKE V8 SUPERCAR DEBUT THIS WEEKEND Christchurch driver Andy Knight makes his Australian V8 Supercar debut this weekend when he competes in Round 4 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Queensland Raceway, Willowbank, 55 kilometres ...
KNIGHT TO MAKE V8 SUPERCAR DEBUT THIS WEEKEND
Christchurch driver Andy Knight makes his Australian V8 Supercar debut this weekend when he competes in Round 4 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Queensland Raceway, Willowbank, 55 kilometres south-west of Brisbane.
Knight has taken the opportunity to compete in this round of what is essentially the V8 Supercar Development Series thanks to the $30,000 Chris Amon International Scholarship that was part of his prize for winning the 2007/2008 Toyota Racing Series Championship in New Zealand. "It shows how valuable the Toyota Racing Series is to young New Zealand drivers," said Knight recently as he prepared for his V8 Supercar debut. "The series provides kiwi driver's with unparallelled opportunities to gain international exposure." Knight, one of New Zealand's leading race drivers, had a stellar season on his way to the Toyota Racing Series title also winning the New Zealand Grand Prix and the NZ Motor Cup. Additional support for his Queensland outing comes from his loyal New Zealand sponsors, Milwaukee Power Tools, Mitre 10 Mega and Silencer Batts.
Knight will be at the wheel of an MW Motorsport BA Falcon for his first V8 Supercar appearance alongside team mate and recent series race winner, Australian TV personality Grant Denyer. Knight describes the Falcon as "quite different" to anything else he has driven. "It's good but it is totally different. I have had a run in it in testing but haven't had a lot of time at the wheel. We will see how it goes on Friday."
While the young Cantabrian faces a steep learning curve this weekend at least he has had some experience on the 3.12 kilometre circuit. "I raced a Formula 3 car there and I have also done some testing on it so I know which way the track goes," he say's. Knight's Formula 3 appearance, his first visit to Queensland Raceway in 2006, actually saw him score a podium finish. While the circuit looks quite straightforward Knight is cautious, saying that "like a lot of circuits in New Zealand the ones that look easy are often the most difficult due to little things that make a difference to lap times."
While he is faced with the task of getting to grips with the V8 Supercar this weekend Knight will also be up against some tough competition, many of whom have been in the series for some time. Lining up on the grid with the kiwi will be drivers such as championship leader Steve Owen, along with Dean Canto and Jack Perkins - all of whom have raced in the V8 Supercar Series main game. Canto has in fact also won the Development Series twice before. Other top names in the ultra-competitive series are David Reynolds, a past Formula Ford and Carrera Cup Champion in Australia, plus Stone Brothers Racing's Jonathon Webb. Other prominent names include past Australian Formula 3 Champion Karl Reindler and several of Australia's most highly rated, up and coming drivers.
Knight will take part in two 45 minute practice sessions on Friday before a 40 minute qualifying session at 10.00am (Australian time) on Saturday morning. The opening race of the round over 14 laps takes place on Saturday afternoon at 2.10pm. On Sunday, two more races both over 14 laps take place, the first at 9.30am and the third and final race at 4.15pm.
Knight's appearance at Round 4 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series has been made possible thanks to the Chris Amon International Scholarship, part of the prize package for winning the 2007/2008 Toyota Racing Series. Additional support comes from Milwaukee Power Tools, one of the world's premium power tool brands, Mitre 10 Mega and Silencer Batts.