RUMOURS SCUPPER RUSSELL'S 2006 SUPERCAR PLANS Rumours have provided a setback to the planned progression of Newcastle youngster Drew Russell through the Australian motorsport ranks in recent weeks. After winning Class A in the 2005 Australian...
RUMOURS SCUPPER RUSSELL'S 2006 SUPERCAR PLANS
Rumours have provided a setback to the planned progression of Newcastle youngster Drew Russell through the Australian motorsport ranks in recent weeks.
After winning Class A in the 2005 Australian Production Car Championship and finishing a narrow second in the outright standings, the 17-year old canvassed his options for the next step in his racing career.
After careful deliberation, it was decided to aim for a step up to the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series. A car has been earmarked for Global Racing Industries to purchase to run in the series, however financing the purchase is dependant on selling the team's Honda S2000.
Global Racing Industries team owner Wayne Russell feels the chances of selling the car and progressing have been hampered by rumours within the production car ranks.
"I have been informed by a number of people about rumours, relating to the eligibility of the car in 2007," Russell explains.
"Some I have spoken to have told me that they have heard the car won't be eligible beyond this year.
"Understandably, people aren't going to buy a car if they can only run it for one year.
"While CAMS have, to date, been unable to provide me with clarification on the matter, I see no reason why the car shouldn't be eligible in the class in 2007.
"It is still a current model car. You can walk into a Honda showroom in this country and purchase a brand new S2000.
"Under CAMS rules, a car is eligible to run in the championship for three years after the manufacturer ceases production on the model.
"This particular car that we own has been in the championship for a number of years and has always been competitive."
Russell has sought clarification on the issue from CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motorsport) and series organisers PCAA (Production Car Championship of Australia), but feels the damage may have already been done.
"We had aimed to have the car sold by now, so we can progress with our Supercar plans," he said.
"Getting the money to run the program is going to be tight, and it is really dependant on selling the Honda.
"There is nothing to say that we would have sold the car without this, however these rumours certainly aren't helping our chances.
"Drew had an opportunity to take part in the recent Formula BMW test in Bahrain, however once we withdrew from that to focus our energies and finances towards getting into V8 Supercars.
"It is very disappointing, that when you are working so hard on something, that things out of your control such as this happen."
In the interim, Drew Russell will race in the opening round of the 2006 Australian Production Car Championship at Wakefield Park Raceway this weekend, March 3-5, aboard the Go-Karts-Go Honda S2000.
"There are worse options for Drew than to run the Honda again," said Russell.
"By running at Wakefield, it keeps our options open. If the Supercar program doesn't come together, then we aren't a round behind in Production if we decide to run the rest of the season and try to go one better than we did in 2005."
Global Racing Industries thanks the support of Go Karts Go, Best Western Mount Panorama Resort, MC Racing Group, Oran Park Raceway, Ray White Real Estate Bathurst, Kloster Honda, Koala Glass and Bells Radiators.