Christian Klien confirmed for Townsville practice

Speedcafe.com

Wednesday 4th July, 2012 - 2:00am

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Supercheap Auto Racing's Russell Ingall will pair up with Christian Klien

Supercheap Auto Racing’s Russell Ingall will pair up with Christian Klien

Christian Klien has been confirmed as a participant in the two V8 Supercars practice sessions for the Sucrogen Townsville 400 this Friday.

The former Formula 1 driver will drive Russell Ingall’s Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore VE in the opening two sessions, allocated solely for endurance race co-drivers and regular V8 drivers who are placed in the bottom 50 percent of the championship.

The Austrian was confirmed recently as Ingall’s Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 co-driver. Klien’s Townsville laps will be the third drive of a Walkinshaw Racing Commodore, having conducted a test day at Winton, plus the practice session at Phillip Island.

Walkinshaw Racing’s operations manager Mike Henry says that having Ingall and Klien share the same car at Townsville will be a huge bonus come the two-driver races.

Christian Klien

Christian Klien

“The opportunities to put co-drivers in with the regular drivers on the same day in the same car is very rare,” Henry told Speedcafe.com.

“For us, it’s nice to have a car that Christian will drive and then Russell will drive. It helps us develop where they are at, how they give feedback, and the two of them will be able to evolve into a better race pairing by understanding how each other likes the car.”

Now up to his third test with Walkinshaw Racing, Henry says that Klien has fit into the factory Holden team with ease.

“He’s a great young bloke and, personally, I enjoy working with him. It’s a pleasure to spend time with him. For me, he is a very positive driver for our team,” Henry said.

“Guys like Christian don’t make it into the Formula 1 paddock without having all their ducks in a row. Getting him out here is very positive.”

Klien comes to Townsville fresh off a debut win in the Italian-based Superstars series at the Hungaroring last weekend.

For other teams practice schedules at Townsville, Dick Johnson Racing will only have one of its four drivers take part in the session, with international drivers Allan Simonsen and Matt Halliday again remaining on their foreign soil. Paul Morris will drive Steve Owen’s VIP Petfoods entry, but the team has decided to dedicate an extensive test session for James Moffat’s partner Alex Davison at Queensland Raceway later in the year, rather than give him Townsville laps.

Owen Kelly will also miss out on testing. Kelly is scheduled to drive the #51 Pepsi Max Crew Commodore in the enduros, but the team has elected to dedicate all available track time to F1 world champion recruit Jacques Villeneuve.

Tekno Autosports has also not listed its endurance drivers for Townsville laps. Team drivers Jonathon Webb and Michael Patrizi will team up with Scott McLaughlin and Jonny Reid respectively – both of whom will be at Townsville for support race commitments.

V8 Supercars action kicks off at the Reid Park street track on Friday.

See below for the complete driver entry list for the Sucrogen Townsville 400.

Car #

Team Name

Driver Name

Additional Driver

Additional Driver

Model

1

TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup Paul Dumbrell Warren Luff

VE II

2

Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Nick Percat Cameron McConville

VE II

3

Team Hiflex Tony D’Alberto Dale Wood

FG

4

Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth Craig Baird Luke Youlden

FG

5

Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom Steven Richards John McIntyre

FG

6

Tradingpost FPR Ford Will Davison Steven Richards John McIntyre

FG

7

Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Tim Blanchard

VE II

8

Team BOC Jason Bright Andrew Jones

VE II

9

SP Tools Racing Shane van Gisbergen Craig Baird Luke Youlden

FG

11

Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Karl Reindler Dan Gaunt

VE II

12

Jim Beam Racing Dean Fiore

FG

14

Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard David Besnard

VE II

15

Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly David Russell

VE II

17

Jim Beam Racing Steven Johnson

FG

18

Team Norton DJR James Moffat

FG

19

Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb

VE II

21

Wilson Security Racing David Wall

VE II

22

Holden Racing Team James Courtney Nick Percat Cameron McConville

VE II

30

Team iSelect Taz Douglas Scott Pye

VE II

33

Fujitsu Racing GRM Alexandre Premat Greg Ritter

VE II

34

Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso Greg Ritter

VE II

47

Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade Andrew Thompson

FG

49

V.I.P. Petfoods Steve Owen Paul Morris

FG

51

Pepsi Max Crew Jacques Villeneuve

VE II

55

The Bottle-O FPR Ford David Reynolds Dean Canto

FG

66

Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall Christian Klien

VE II

91

Tekno Autosports Michael Patrizi

VE II

888

TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes Paul Dumbrell Warren Luff

VE II

 

See below for Speedcafe.com’s Sucrogen Townsville 400 Race Guide

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