Three wildcard entries have been given the green light to contest this year’s Bathurst 1000 endurance classic, organisers of the V8 Supercars Championship have announced today.
As we predicted, two winning teams will field three cars between them at October’s blue-ribbon race, with New Zealand-based Super Black Racing and Dunlop Series outfit Dragon Motor Racing both proving successful in their applications.
Super Black Racing will be the first New Zealand-based entry in the championship since Team Kiwi Racing competed in 2009. It will run a Ford Performance Racing-prepared Ford Falcon FG in conjunction with the factory-based squad.
The team, headed by internet entrepreneur Tony Lentino and former V8 Supercars veteran Paul Radisich, is known to be considering a bid for at least one of the three dormant Racing Entitlements Contracts that series officials have put up for tender to return the championship grid to a full complement of 28 cars.
“I am a proud Kiwi and have a passion for motorsport so being able to create a team and bring the black and silver New Zealand colours back into the sport gives me great pride,” Lentino said of today’s announcement.
“Bathurst is the greatest motor race in our region and is as iconic in New Zealand as it is in Australia. It is the best place for us to make our debut and will be a great sounding board to a potential full-time entry in the series.”
Dragon Motor Racing’s sign-off is perhaps more of a surprise. The team will field a pair of Holden Commodore VFs at Bathurst, in addition to a single entry at the preceding Sandown 500 round, the first of the three events marking the Pirtek Enduro Cup leg of the 2014 calendar.
The team has its roots in the V8 Development Series, although it has only contested two rounds of the 2014 season to-date. The outfit has confirmed that feeder series racers Kristian Lindbom and Ben Schoots will front its four-man line-up, with their co-drivers to be announced in due course.
The team will run with technical support from Garry Rogers Motorsport, from whom it purchased the two Commodores following the team’s marriage with Volvo during the off-season.
“We have been working with the team at Garry Rogers Motorsport on our wildcard entry since May this year. Our team is hoping that our campaign is a catalyst and stepping stone to further opportunities within the V8 Supercar competition,” Dragon Motor Racing team principal Tony Klein said.
It isn’t the first time that the V8 Supercars Championship has allowed ‘wildcard’ entries to contest its big ticket motor race at Mt Panorama. In 2011 and 2012, the Kelly Racing stable fielded an extra car for the winning drivers in its driver academy reality competition, and last year saw Triple 8 Racing field an Xbox-liveried Holden Commodore (pictured top) for international drivers Mattias Ekström and Andy Priaulx – the pair finished a hugely impressive tenth in their one-off outing.
Image via Red Bull
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