SBR CONFIRM ENDURANCE PAIRINGS Stone Brothers Racing has finalised its endurance line-up for this year's Betta Electrical Sandown 500 and the Super Cheap Auto Bathurst 1000. Last year's V8 Supercar Rookie of the Year Warren Luff has been ...
SBR CONFIRM ENDURANCE PAIRINGS
Stone Brothers Racing has finalised its endurance line-up for this year's Betta Electrical Sandown 500 and the Super Cheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Last year's V8 Supercar Rookie of the Year Warren Luff has been confirmed as co-driver of the Pirtek Falcon with two-time and defending series champion Marcos Ambrose.
Luke Youlden has been named as co-driver of the Caltex Falcon alongside two-time Bathurst winner Russell Ingall.
Both drivers were confirmed as part of the SBR operation earlier this year, but actual driver pairings have only been confirmed today after a long deliberation between teams owners Ross and Jimmy Stone, the drivers and technical staff.
"There have been just so many issues to consider in making our final decision," said Stone.
"Once, it was just a matter of putting two drivers together who were about the same height and who had similar seating positions. While that is certainly still a consideration it is only a small percentage of what we can now look at.
"We want both the main driver and co-driver to enjoy the same type of handling car. We also want to consider the personalities of the drivers and how well they get on with their partner and the rest of the crew they will be working with."
There is no doubt that both drivers will have a reasonable amount of pressure on them with Ambrose and Ingall both serious contenders for this year's championship.
Ambrose currently leads the championship heading into the seventh round at Queensland Raceway, while Ingall sits in third place just 16 points behind Steve Richards.
Luff and Youlden will have a busy weekend at Bathurst.
Luff will also be competing in the sixth round of the HPDC Development Series while Youlden will also be driving in round seven of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup.
"I am absolutely rapt to be driving with Russell in the endurance races," said Youlden, who was second at Sandown and third at Bathurst in 2003 with Steve Ellery.
"He has the wins on the board at Bathurst and knows what it takes to get there, so hopefully he can instil that knowledge in me over the next couple of months."
"I've been on the podium before at Sandown and Bathurst but to go that next step or couple of steps requires a lot of hard work, and I can learn from the best in the business."
"I've done about 50 laps of testing in the Caltex Falcon so far, and we've got another couple of sessions scheduled, so we'll be looking to refine driver changes and seat adjustments. I'm a little bit taller than Russell so we'll be doing plenty of practice on that I'd imagine."
Luff, who currently sits second in the HPDC Development Series after finishing second overall at Eastern Creek last weekend, was delighted to be confirmed alongside Ambrose.
"For me it is a great opportunity because everyone looks to Marcos as the benchmark of the category," said Luff.
"He has won the championship two years running and he is currently leading it this year, so for me it gives me a really good yard stick to gauge my performances during the endurance events and more than anything I know that it gives me a tremendous shot at winning both Sandown and Bathurst.
"Obviously Marcos' speed and performances in the championship over the last few years have been nothing short of amazing and with this being his last year in the championship he definitely wants to go out as a winner of Bathurst.
"So I look forward to being a part of that success and helping him and the team to achieve that goal."
The next round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be at Queensland Raceway on July 22-24.