PROTECNICA RACING AND CHRIS ALAJAJIAN TO EMBARK ON NEW CHALLENGE A new challenge beckons on the motorsport horizon for Protecnica Racing and rising star Chris Alajajian; the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series. The Sydney-based team have purchased an...
PROTECNICA RACING AND CHRIS ALAJAJIAN TO EMBARK ON NEW CHALLENGE
A new challenge beckons on the motorsport horizon for Protecnica Racing and rising star Chris Alajajian; the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series.
The Sydney-based team have purchased an ex-Team Dynamik VZ Holden Commodore and will make their debut in the competitive V8 Supercar feeder category at Queensland Raceway on July 21-23.
It continues the progression of one of the most versatile teams in Australian motorsport, who have tasted success in Production-based categories and open-wheelers since their formation in 2000.
"Running a car in the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series is a massive undertaking, we're not under any illusions that it will be a walk in the park," says Protecnica Racing team owner Scott Anderson.
"But by the same token, we won't be out there to just make up the numbers. It's a challenge we're getting stuck into, and we're not doing anything by halves.
"We've worked with Chris for a number of years, and feel this is a natural progression of that relationship and our evolution as a team. The guys who work on the car, we're all mates, we all do it because we enjoy it, and I'm sure we'll put in a good account of ourselves."
19 year-old Alajajian has been behind the wheel for much of Protecnica Racing's recent success. In 2004, his first year with the team, Alajajian won the Australian Production Car Championship at the helm of a Subaru Liberty GT, becoming the youngest driver to win an Australian National Championship.
The same year, Protecnica Racing also won the Australian Performance Car Championship, with Justin Hemmes in a Subaru WRX STi, having narrowly missed the crown in 2003 with Wayne Boatwright.
In 2005, Alajajian added to the team's success, winning numerous GTP and Australian Formula 3 races for the team, eventually finishing third in the open-wheel class.
"I'm fortunate enough to have a great team behind me in Protecnica Racing as we enter the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series," said Alajajian. "They've been supporting me a lot in recent years and are great to work with.
"It's going to be a whole new challenge for us, but if you throw anything at the Protecnica guys, they'll achieve good things. They're a group of smart, enthusiastic and dedicated guys. They're mates off and on the track which helps them communicate with each other and prepare the car on a more understanding basis."
To date, Alajajian has completed a pair of test days in the Jack Hillermans / Elf Lubricants Commodore at Sydney's Oran Park. While the second was cut short with a gearbox problem, both were extremely beneficial.
"The tests we've had so far have been very productive, we're pleased with what we achieved across the two days," Alajajian explains.
"We were able to get used to the car and learn about it. We changed the car in between the two test days, really working on the setup using the knowledge we gained from the first day. There were a heap of things we changed, and the outcome to the changes were very positive.
"From the moment I went out on the track on the second day it felt a lot better. By the last session we did, we were pretty confident it was going to be the best setup we've had on the car so far."
For Alajajian, who resides on Sydney's North Shore, moving to the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series is the next step in his career as he pursues success at the top levels of Australian motorsport.
"We looked at going overseas for this year, but it wasn't feasible," he said. "Even if you get the money together there aren't any definite spots anywhere, it's going to be a major gamble.
"So we decided to look at what we can work towards locally. V8 Supercars is the obviously answer, and the Fujistu Series is a good stepping-stone to getting there. It's going to be a very competitive category to race in and I'm looking forward to it.
"Our main aim in the remaining five rounds of this year is to learn as much as we can, and prepare ourselves for next year, but we'll obviously be pushing and trying to do the best we can.
"We've learnt a lot already, I can't wait till we get to Queensland. We're not going to compete for the championship this year, but I feel like we'll be a competitive car in the field, and by the end of the year I'd like to be competing for top five positions."
In the meantime, Alajajian will make a brief return to the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star at Eastern Creek Raceway this weekend.
Alajajian - the current Formula 3 lap record holder at the circuit - has scored three podium finishes from his four starts in the series in 2006 behind the wheel of the Jack Hillermans Smash Renault-Sodemo Dallara F304.
Protecnica Racing thanks the ongoing support of Jack Hillermans Smash Repairs, Elf Lubricants and Nudie Juices.