F3

AUSF3: Champion Clucas to debut V8SDS at Phillip Island

KUMHO TYRES AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPION TO MAKE V8 SUPERCAR DEBUT AT PHILLIP ISLAND 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Champion Ben Clucas will make his Fujitsu V8 Supercar series debut at Phillip Island this weekend. British driver...

KUMHO TYRES AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPION TO MAKE V8 SUPERCAR DEBUT AT PHILLIP ISLAND

2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Champion Ben Clucas will make his Fujitsu V8 Supercar series debut at Phillip Island this weekend.

British driver Clucas, who won 11 of the12 races he contested in this year's Australian Drivers Championship, will drive a Peters Racing Falcon V8 Supercar in the final round of the Fujitsu series, replacing regular driver Luke Youlden who is unavailable to drive for the round.

It will be Clucas' first V8 Supercar race following a number of tests with various teams throughout the 2006 season, including the factory Ford Performance Racing squad at Winton earlier this year.

Clucas will join fellow Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Champion Michael Caruso (Who won the title in 2003) in the Fujitsu Series field at the CAT Grand Finale this weekend, championship alumni such as Marcus Marshall and Aaron Caratti (the 2005 title winner) also factors in the final major meeting of the year.

The British ace has been a revelation in Australian Motorsport this season, dominating the Kumho Tyres Formula 3 Championship and also featuring strongly in selected Australian Formula Ford and New Zealand Formula Toyota races with great success.

Clucas, the first British driver to win the Australian Drivers Championship in fifty years, said that he was looking forward to his debut in a V8 Supercar.

"It has obviously been a goal of mine since coming to Australia, so I'm very happy to have been given this opportunity with Peters Motorsport for Phillip Island," Clucas said.

"I have been in contact with the team for five or six months and spent some time with them at the Queensland Raceway round of the championship earlier this year. When Luke Youlden became unavailable to drive they called me to take the spot for this weekend.

"It's going to be a massive learning experience for me but I am really looking forward to seeing where I sit in the pecking order." He said.

After giving his Formula 3 outfit, Team BRM, four race wins from four starts at Phillip Island already this season, Clucas said that he expected the high speed 4.46km circuit to be a completely different experience in a V8 Supercar.

"I have had a look at the data and it looks like a very different circuit," he said.

"The braking distances are longer and corners that were flat in a Formula 3 car are a lot slower in the V8, but I know the circuit quite well which should help.

"This is going to be a great opportunity for me to find out where I am at amongst the Fujitsu field," Clucas added.

"I have made no secret that it's my desire to land a full time drive in the series next year so I plan on learning as much as I can. I'm not expecting a huge amount but I want to complete every lap of every session and race and gain as much experience as possible."

Clucas' success in this year's Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship has propelled the driver into the national spotlight, continuing the trend of Australian F3 Alumni progressing into higher levels of Motorsport.

Recently 2002 championship runner-up Will Power scored his debut podium in the Champ Car World Series, whilst 2004 champion Karl Reindler drove superbly to third place in the recent round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in China.

The 2007 championship gets underway at the Australian leg of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event in Sydney, February 2 -- 4.

-credit: www.formula3.com.au

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Series F3
Drivers Marcus Marshall , Luke Youlden , Ben Clucas , Will Power , Aaron Caratti , Karl Reindler , Phillip Island