Watercraft racer switches to V8 Utes racing

Former jetski racer Matthew Nolan will compete in the V8 Utes this year

Former watercraft racer Matthew Nolan will compete in the V8 Utes this year

Watercraft racer Matthew Nolan will make the switch from surf to circuit in 2013, driving in the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All.

A circuit racing rookie, Nolan will join an expanded four-car Murphy Racing team, which will include Nolan, former V8 Supercars endurance driver Nathan Pretty, Craig Dontas and Gerard McLeod.

After engineering Pretty to third place in last year’s title, Murphy Racing team manager Dave Murphy says that he wants to take the team to the title in 2013.

“We will be better prepared this year,” Murphy said.

“We have more funding so we can buy new tyres for test days. We only had one test day last year, so this should make a huge difference.

“I have no massive expectations out of Matt, he’ll just learn the ropes but with the other guys I’m expecting race wins and the championship. We need to get Dontas onto the podium and keep him consistent.”

Nolan, a former Australian jet ski champion, will drive the Scott Jennings-owned Holden this year, and despite the lack of tarmac racing, the former jet ski racer is aiming high.

“It’s a new challenge for me. I did what I wanted to do in jet skiing and thought this would be a good change,” he said.

“The Rookie title is our goal this year. It would be great to wrap up the title. My focus is the rookie title and the other guy’s top 10 finishes.

Pretty will compete in different colours this year, with Monster Energy leaving the sport. Milwaukee has stepped up, though, and Pretty hopes to bring him the series title.

“We came unbelievably close last year, if it wasn’t for the mechanical failure at the Gold Coast round we would have had it, but we need to put that all behind us now and move a step forward to take out the title,” said Pretty.

The opening round of the V8 Utes will be at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on February 28-March 3.

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