Longhurst and Mezera Queensland 500 preview

Longhurst And Mezera Together For The First Time Since 1988 win Queenslanders Tony Longhurst and Tomas Mezera will be teamed together for the first time since winning Bathurst in 1988 at next week's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 at the Queensland...

Longhurst And Mezera Together For The First Time Since 1988 win

Queenslanders Tony Longhurst and Tomas Mezera will be teamed together for the first time since winning Bathurst in 1988 at next week's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 at the Queensland Raceway, near Ipswich.

Announced as part of the Holden Racing Team endurance line-up several months ago, Longhurst and Mezera were expected to be teamed-up with Mark Skaife and Jason Bright respectively for the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 and the V8 1000 at Bathurst in October.

With Skaife and Bright 1-2 in the championship, it was expected that HRT would "hedge" its bets and put the two in separate cars, but that has not been the case.

Skaife and Bright in the team's brand new number one Commodore has created the opportunity for Longhurst and Mezera to re-live old times, in what will be the ninth round of the Shell Championship Series on August 26 "Our win at Bathurst in 1988 is something we will never forget and it would be nice to have that sort of success again," said Longhurst.

"The VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 is certainly a challenging race and it is nice to know we are heading to the Queensland Raceway with the strength of the Holden Racing Team behind us.

"Tomas and myself have been long-time Queensland residents and it would be something pretty special for of us to win such an endurance race in front of a home crowd. It has been a few years since we won that race at Bathurst, but history might just repeat itself."

The HRT move means that it's now almost certain that Shell Helix Racing will team its two regular drivers Steve Johnson and Paul Radisich in the one car to ensure maximum pressure is placed on the series' leaders ­ but an announcement is not expected until Monday.

A Skaife-Bright verses Johnson-Radisich battle would create the perfect traditional Ford verses Holden grudge match in front of what is shaping as a record V8 Supercar audience at Queensland Raceway.

"We've split our lead drivers once before and that was in 1999, but the team's policy since then has been to put your two lead drivers together and to attempt - whenever possible - to win the race," said HRT General Manager Jeff Grech.

"By winning the event, the Shell Series outcome will then look after itself. "This year's a little different in that there's another 'regular' round before Bathurst and another two after the 1000k event so, we will evaluate our position again post Queensland and Winton.

"Mark and Jason still will have at least three regular rounds to (hopefully) have their own personal battle for the Championship." Skaife and Bright ran a handful of "shake-down" laps at Melbourne's Calder Park last Friday, while Longhurst and Mezera spent a full day familiarising themselves with their car and crew, as well as practicing pit stops and driver changes.

Tickets for this year's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 can be purchased through Ticketmaster7.com or by phoning 1 300 888 086.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Bright , Mark Skaife , Paul Radisich , Tony Longhurst , Steve Johnson
Teams Holden Racing Team