KOSTERA BACK AS SCUD RACING CONFIRMS A MAJOR LAST-MINUTE EXPANSION One day before the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship opener at Eastern Creek, Melbourne-based Scud Racing was a two car operation harbouring only longer-term...
KOSTERA BACK AS SCUD RACING CONFIRMS A MAJOR LAST-MINUTE EXPANSION
One day before the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship opener at Eastern Creek, Melbourne-based Scud Racing was a two car operation harbouring only longer-term plans to expand into the outright ranks of the Australian Drivers Championship.
Today, however, team owner Bill Maddocks closed a deal on an ambitious plan to lift the team up the pecking order full-time thanks to a last minute arrangement - finalised yesterday in the Eastern Creek paddock - that will see Scud Racing take over the ex-James Rosenberg Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz entry for the full 2008 series and beyond.
West Australian driver Stuart Kostera has been tabbed to drive the car following a strong season last year, winning one race and twice finishing on the podium despite only taking part in six of the eight rounds contested, with two different teams.
Though the Scud team, in partnership with Bevan Carrick of Cooltemp Racing, won the title last year with Tim Macrow they had no plans to enter the championship class with the newer generation cars this season.
Instead, they had intended on taking on the Opes Prime National Class (For '02 -- '04 model cars) with team newcomer Mathew Radisich and the Trophy Class (For the oldest generation cars eligible) with impressive newcomer Justin Tate, just 16, in the teams ex-Tim Macrow F301 Dallara.
As it has turned out yesterday's opportunity to acquire the ex-Manor Motorsport Dallara F307 has dramatically accelerated the teams' plans to create a three-tiered developmental system for young drivers coming through the ranks.
"It certainly wasn't our intention to get a new car this year -- we were happy to run Mathew and Justin this season and look at getting a 307 next year," Bill Maddocks explained today.
"We have a plan in place to work with Mathew and Justin to give them experience, miles and laps in a Formula 3 car and progress them through the classes. We think Mathew has the potential to be in the championship class next year and Justin can step up to the National Class.
"The plan was to purchase a 307 car for next season, but the chance to get this car now was too good to refuse so we have made the investment in an effort to take the team forwards.
"It was a case of biting the bullet and buying the car when it was available." He said.
The team has also invested in serious talent to run the car, championship-winning mechanic Gary Sturdy set to run the car for the season whilst experienced engineer Barry Jones has been confirmed as the overall Data & Race engineer for the entire three-car Scud program.
"We're very serious about this and we have a very capable team now," Maddocks enthused.
"I had always intended on getting Stuart in one of our cars this season and I can't think of anyone better to run the new car. In Stuart we have a driver with the potential ability to win the championship, like we had with Tim last year.
"This is another piece in our plan to run a program that allows drivers to gain experience and come through the ranks of Formula 3 to gain as much experience as possible in a very affordable way. We don't put our drivers under any pressure to perform -- they generally place enough on themselves anyway -- so we want to work with them to learn the tracks and cars in the National and Trophy classes, before going out and having a crack at the championship.
"This is an ongoing plan that we have mapped out into the future, but it's really exciting. I'm very excited about the potential of the young kids we have this year and the potential for them in the future."
West-Australia based Kostera was only called up at the last minute to drive the new Scud Racing acquisition however he said that he jumped at the chance.
"I had been talking to Bill for a couple of weeks to put something together for the season, but nothing was concrete and I didn't think I'd be here," he explained.
"When he called and said that he had a new Dallara and wanted me to drive I jumped at the chance. It's great to be back in the series and I'm really thankful to Bill for the chance to drive for him. These are fantastic cars and he's got some excellent ideas about bringing the younger kids through, so it's good to be a part of that."
Scud Racing's three-tiered assault on the Kumho Tyres Australian formula 3 Championship and the Opes Prime National Class gets underway this morning at 10:05am with Opening Practice.
Two races will be held Sunday to complete the round.