Zukanovic restores ex-Tander Commodore for Kumho debut
V8 Supercars Development Series regular Marcus Zukanovic is set to make his Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series debut in the final round at Sandown.
The Victorian is busily working to prepare his ex-Toll HSV Dealer Team Commodore VZ in between his Development Series race commitments this weekend at Winton and in the first weekend of December in Sydney.
“I’m pretty confident and we’re 95 percent of the way there,” said Zukanovic, who has secured the car’s old number #16 for his first appearance in the class.
“I think the car will be a big hit with the fans. It will be great to have it racing against Tony Evangelou’s ex-FPR #6 CAT car too – these exact cars fought it out for race wins in the 2006 season with Jason Bright and Garth Tander driving.
“I’ve been watching the Kumho Series and there’s a few guys in there that look quick. Morgan Haber in Matthew White’s car has been fast, Tony Evangelou is a handy steerer, Jim Pollicina had his first race win in Queensland, so there’s definitely some competition.”
Originally a Holden Racing Team Commodore, Zukanovic’s car – HRT 051 – won a total of 11 V8 Supercars Championship races. It won four in 2005 in the hands of Todd Kelly for HRT and seven in 2006 in Tander’s hands for the sister Toll HSV Dealer Team.
It won the only V8 Supercar round ever held in Shanghai, China, in the hands of Kelly in 2005 and was the car in which James Courtney made his V8 Supercars debut with HRT later that year at the Sandown 500 alongside Jim Richards.
Zukanovic ran the car in the 2007 and 2008 V8 Development Series before a major testing crash at Winton at the start of 2009 forced him to the sidelines with a broken leg, collarbone and rib.
The car was rebuilt as Zukanovic recovered and he returned to race it in the 2010 Development Series with its final on-track appearance being in the final round that year at Sydney Olympic Park.
The final Shannons Nationals round will be held at Sandown on November 24-25.