Konica: New series drivers add to season finale

Debutants put pressure on Championship contenders A number of new competitors will battle it out at the sixth and final round of the 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia in what could potentially...

Debutants put pressure on Championship contenders

A number of new competitors will battle it out at the sixth and final round of the 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia in what could potentially mix things up for those drivers vying for the championship.

In an attempt to gain valuable track time for the upcoming V8 Supercar Championship Series endurance events, two new drivers will compete in their first round of the series to better prepare themselves for the gruelling 500 kilometre and 1000 kilometre races at Sandown and Bathurst respectively.

Experienced V8 Supercar driver Greg Ritter will occupy the seat of the Speed FX Racing Falcon in the same car leading Ford V8 Supercar Championship Series team Stone Brothers Racing prepared in the 2003 series and won the Mallala round last year as well as the overall Championship with Mark Winterbottom at the wheel.

Ritter will be replacing Brad Tilley who drove the car in the previous five rounds.

Ritter competed in the V8 Supercar Championship Series last year for 00 Motorsport and has secured a co-drive for 2004 with Stone Brothers Racing where he will partner 2003 Champion Marcos Ambrose in the Pirtek Racing Ford Falcon.

New Castrol Perkins signing Alex Davison will also be competing in the final round of the series, commencing his V8 Supercar career in Tony Longhurst's VX Commodore.

Longhurst in turn will step into the new Perkins VY model he is expected to share with Davison at the Sandown event.

"Normally new drivers only get a few test laps prior to the enduros, but Larry has gone out of his way to give me opportunities to get up to speed," Davison said.

"I'll be up against some pretty good operators at Mallala. My plan is to build up some speed through the three races and see how we go."

The two new additions are likely to put pressure on the top seven drivers who are all going into the final round of the series with a chance of walking away with the title.

The thoughts have been echoed by fifth placed driver Matthew White who is currently sitting 70 points behind leader Luke Youlden.

"I certainly think those guys could have an influence on the outcome," White said.

"I don't want to see someone come in for one race and upset a team's championship. I'd look pretty poorly on that if that happened. But I suppose it's up to the likes of the Stone Brothers to give their drivers as many miles as possible."

Castrol Perkins Motorsport's Steven Richards will act as the official Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series Ambassador for Mallala, offering spectators some expert commentary over the two event days as well as handing over the champion trophy to the eventual winner of the series.

Mallala Motorsport Park is located just over an hour from the centre of Adelaide. Ticket prices are Friday only $10, Saturday only $15 and Sunday $25. Children under 14 are free when accompanied by an adult.

-www.v8supercar.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Alex Davison , Brad Tilley , Mark Winterbottom , Luke Youlden , Matthew White , Greg Ritter , Steven Richards