STONE BROTHERS RACING FINALISES ENDURANCE DRIVER LINE-UP Stone Brothers Racing has confirmed its fourth and final driver for this year's V8 Supercar endurance events after talented youngster Luke Youlden signed with the team ...
STONE BROTHERS RACING FINALISES ENDURANCE DRIVER LINE-UP
Stone Brothers Racing has confirmed its fourth and final driver for this year's V8 Supercar endurance events after talented youngster Luke Youlden signed with the team this morning.
Youlden will join Warren Luff as the team's "hired guns" for the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 in Melbourne on September 9-11 and the Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst on October 6-9.
Youlden, 27 and based in Melbourne, wasted no time becoming acquainted with the SBR outfit joining the back-to-back champions for their first test of 2005 at Queensland Raceway today.
A final decision on who will drive with Marcos Ambrose in the Pirtek Falcon and Russell Ingall in the Caltex Ford will not be made for several months.
Youlden recently announced that he would spend this season as part of Tony Quinn's VIP Petfoods team in the Australian Carrera Cup Championship, which gets under way the same weekend as the V8 Supercars kick-off their championship at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 17-20.
SBR co-owner Ross Stone said he was pleased to have Youlden as part of the SBR line-up and that an agreement could be reached this early in the year.
"There is no doubt that Luke is a talented young driver and we are pleased that we can announce him as part of our endurance team at this stage of the year," said Stone.
"Luke did a solid job in the Konica-Minolta Series last season and was unlucky not to win the championship. His podiums at Sandown and Bathurst in 2003 are also strong credentials.
"There is no doubt that running in Carrera Cup will give him plenty of race miles this year and we intend to give him as much testing time as we can."
Youlden is obviously delighted to have been given the opportunity to drive in the endurance events with V8 Supercar's leading team.
"If you were to be given a pick of any team to be heading to Sandown or Bathurst with then SBR would be the number one choice," said Youlden.
"The team's record over the past couple of years speaks for itself and I am looking forward to being a part of the operation.
"Everyone at SBR has made me feel welcome and I am determined to do the job and justify Ross and Jimmy Stone's faith in me."
Youlden started his career in karts and progressed to Formula Ford where he actually won a support race at Bathurst in 1999 before going on to clinch the national championship the following year.
In 2001 he was Australian GT Production Car Champion and in 2002 he won the Konica V8 race at Bathurst.
He ran in the Konica Series in 2002 and again in 2003 before teaming up with Steve Ellery to finish second at Sandown and third and Bathurst.
Last year he finished on equal points with Andrew Jones in the Konica-Minolta Championship, but was relegated to second place on the championship table on a count back.