TCR ace to make Bathurst 1000 debut
Dylan O'Keeffe will back up his WTCR debut in Zolder with a first start at the Bathurst 1000 alongside Andre Heimgartner.
As revealed by Motorsport.com, O'Keeffe has been linked to the #7 Kelly Racing seat for some time.
However there's been a question mark over whether he'd be able to return to Australia in time, the current cap on international rivals into the country leaving him in danger of being stranded in Europe following his recent WTCR debut in Belgium.
The travel dilemma now appears to be resolved, KR confirming today that O'Keeffe will make his first Bathurst 1000 start next month.
While a Great Race rookie, O'Keeffe is no stranger to Supercars. He spent last season in the second-tier Super2 series with Garry Rogers Motorsport, alongside a TCR Australia campaign that yielded second in the standings.
He also made his main game Supercars debut late last season, as a last-minute substitute for a benched Richie Stanaway on the Gold Coast.
“It’s awesome to have Dylan join us for the Bathurst 1000," said Heimgartner.
"I actually raced alongside him quite a bit in TCR last year and he was really competitive and actually got a few wins and podiums. He’s also had some solid experience behind the wheel of a Supercar so we should be a good combination.
“It’s great to give a young rising star the co-driver role. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in a similar position myself, I got a co-drive and now here we are a few years later and I’m in my third full-time season in Supercars.
"It’s rewarding for myself and the whole team to be able to give a young driver the opportunity to show what they can do.
“We saw Dylan at the the Gold Coast 600 last year where he was able stay out of trouble and hold his own against some of the more experienced guys in a fairly chaotic race so no doubt he has the skill and experience to put us in a good position for Bathurst.”
O'Keeffe added: “I’m looking forward to driving the Ford Mustang, it’s been a little while since I’ve driven a Supercar however I’m confident I’ll adapt to it quickly and be able to be competitive with the other co-drivers.
"We’ll have a few practice sessions before the big race which will give me plenty of time to acclimatise, get to know everyone and learn the car.
“One of the big challenges will probably just be getting used to the pitstops and driver changes as that’s not something that I’ve done a lot of. We’re probably quite lucky that Andre and myself are similar in size so it shouldn’t be too complicated.
“Overall, I can’t wait to meet the dedicated team who have been working tirelessly over the last couple of months. They’ve had some great results recently so I’m looking forward to working with them and hopefully having a good result at Bathurst.”
O'Keeffe will need to complete 14 days hotel quarantine upon his arrival in Australia.
There is now just a single unconfirmed seat left on the 2020 Bathurst 1000 grid, with Tim Blanchard expected to partner Macauley Jones.
2020 Bathurst 1000 entry list
|Team||Driver #1||Driver #2||Car|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||Bryce Fullwood||Kurt Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||Chaz Mostert||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Brad Jones Racing||Macauley Jones||TBC||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Brad Jones Racing||Jack Smith||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Brad Jones Racing||Nick Percat||Thomas Randle||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Brad Jones Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Jordan Boys||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Tickford Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Michael Caruso||Ford Mustang GT|
|Tickford Racing||Cameron Waters||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT|
|Tickford Racing||James Courtney||Broc Feeney||Ford Mustang GT|
|Tickford Racing||Jack Le Brocq||James Moffat||Ford Mustang GT|
|Kelly Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Dylan O'Keeffe||Ford Mustang GT|
|Kelly Racing||Rick Kelly||Dale Wood||Ford Mustang GT|
|Erebus Motorsport||David Reynolds||Will Brown||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Erebus Motorsport||Anton De Pasquale||Brodie Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB|
|DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Mustang GT|
|DJR Team Penske||Scott McLaughlin||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT|
|Team 18||Mark Winterbottom||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Team 18||Scott Pye||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Team Sydney||Alex Davison||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Team Sydney||Chris Pither||Steve Owen||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Matt Stone Racing||Zane Goddard||Jake Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Matt Stone Racing||Garry Jacobson||David Russell||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||Shane van Gisbergen||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||Jamie Whincup||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||Tyler Everingham||Nathan Herne||Holden Commodore ZB|
Additional co-driver practice at Bathurst likely
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