V8 stars set for Commodore Cup enduro

Garry Rogers Motorsport driver Lee Holdsworth

Garry Rogers Motorsport driver Lee Holdsworth

A selection of V8 Supercars stars will headline the fifth round of the 2010 Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships at Winton Motor Raceway on Jun 26/27 in the Commodore Cup National Series for its third-annual Endurance Challenge.

Lee Holdsworth, Steve Owen and Shane Price will pair up with Commodore Cup regulars, along with a host of other national-level race drivers.

Holdsworth, currently sixth place in the V8 Supercars Championship Series, will be teaming up with his brother Brett, who is making his return to the series after winning last year’s Commodore Cup title.

Brett Holdsworth's Commodore Cup car at Oran Park last year

Brett Holdsworth's Commodore Cup car at Oran Park last year

Prior to stepping up into V8s, Lee kicked off his circuit racing in Commodore Cup, and in his most recent cameo start in the category at Oran Park in 2008, he dominated proceedings.

“The last time I raced in Commodore Cup it was good fun and I came away with the win, it’ll be good to go out there with my brother and give it a good crack at Winton,” he said.

“I haven’t raced alongside Brett since the 12 Hour at Bathurst last year, so I’m looking forward to getting back with the family and just have a bit of fun with it all.

“The Commodore Cup is probably the closest category you’ll get to a V8 supercar in Australian motorsport.

“Formula Ford and the MINIs and other support categories really don’t compare to a V8 Supercar, they just don’t have the same sort of characteristics.

“Being tin-tops you get a good feeling for judging distances with other cars on the track around you, they’re big and heavy and probably under tyred for the power they have.

“It’s very similar to how a V8 Supercar handles.”

Owen, who is currently leading the Fujitsu V8 Supercar standings, will continue to log miles prior to his long distance V8 Supercar duties alongside Jamie Whincup in the TeamVodafone Commodore VE, when he teams up with Ross McGregor.

Also using the event as preparation for the Phillip Island 500 and Bathurst 1000 races (alongside Tony D’Alberto) is Shane Price, who will be teamed with Matt Chick at Winton.

While James Sera starred at the Mallala round of the Shannons Nationals in his tin-top debut aboard Dean Randle’s wild Saab Sports Sedan, his cousin David Sera will be making his circuit racing debut at Winton.

The 10-time Australian karting champion will be sharing driving duties with Matt Hayes, who himself has only recently stepped up to the Commodore Cup from karts.

Another hot combination will be second round winner Nick Parker, who has enlisted current Kerrick Sports Sedan Series leader Darren Hossack as a co-driver.

Hossack comes into Winton having recently claimed the Clem Smith Cup aboard his rapid Chevrolet powered Audi at Mallala.

Adam Beechey, who is presently running in second position in his rookie season in the category, will be teamed with 1997 series champion Dean Crosswell, while the McLeod’s will be out in force, with Ryan and Gerard set to drive with Adam Lloyd and Marcus Zukanovic respectively.

Other leading contenders are likely to include the combination of Tony Bates and Geoff Emery.

Series front-runners including Scott Andrews and Josh Hughes, are yet to announce their co-drivers.

The winning team will take home the Ashley Cooper Memorial Trophy, named in the honour of the former Commodore Cup series racer who tragically lost his life in a racing accident in 2008.

The format for the both 45 minute long races will feature two compulsory pit stops, one for a driver change, and the other for a wheel change.

Other classes on the Shannons Nationals program for Winton include the Shannons V8 Touring Cars for older model V8 Supercars, as well as the Ford versus Holden battle in the Australian Saloon Car Series.

The meeting will also include a one-off appearance for the Cue Sports Car Endurance Championship, as well as the Victorian HQ Holdens, which will be competing in the Dallas Crane HQ Challenge.

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