SuperCheap Auto Racing has announced that former Grand Prix racer Christian Klien will share its #66 Holden Commodore with regular driver Russell Ingall at this year’s Sandown 500 and Bathrust 1000 endurance events.
The Austrian recently participated in a private test with the Walkinshaw-run team at Winton, and his deal was announced this morning.
Klien’s sporadic F1 career has run from 2004-6 with Jaguar Racing and Red Bull Racing, and he later made a three-race return with Hispania Racing in 2010, having serves as a test driver for Honda and BMW Sauber in the interim period.
An experienced endurance racing campaigner, Klien has recently been working in the Williams F1 team’s simulator, with his advice proving instrumental to the team’s upturn in fortunes which saw it win last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Klien has previously competed in V8 Supercars, when he co-drove with Paul Dumbrell in the Rod Nash Racing Team Bottle-O Ford Falcon at last year’s ArmorAll Gold Coast 600.
“After the Gold Coast I was determined to come back and do more V8 races,” said Klien, who will appear on track in the co-driver-only practice session at this weekend’s Phillip Island 300 championship round.
“The test went very well. After I familiarised myself with the car I worked through a program with the engineers and was able to bring my lap times down.
“Mount Panorama is one of the world’s great circuits and the Bathurst 1000 is world-famous – it’s a must-do race in any racing driver’s career.”
His signing has pleased for V8 Supercars champion Russell Ingall no end.
“Christian is a world class driver who’s reached racing’s pinnacle in Formula 1, so he’s clearly very talented,” the series veteran added.
“He’s fast and dedicated. He’s flown to Australia four times in the past six months and raced in the Bathurst 12 Hour so he could prepare himself if an enduro drive did eventuate – that says a lot about his character.
“The pressure’s going to be on, but Christian’s used to that. He’s the sort of bloke we wanted on our team and I know he’s going to do a great job.”
|READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTIAN KLIEN HERE!|
Assisted with backing from Red Bull into F1, this young man is now racing sports cars