Priaulx seeking 2014 V8 co-driver role
Triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx says he is actively looking to secure a V8 Supercars co-drive after missing out on a drive with Triple Eight.
The Brit has revealed he was being considered to partner either Jamie Whincup or Craig Lowndes at Triple Eight for next year’s enduros, before the positions were filled by Paul Dumbrell and this year’s Bathurst 1000 champion Steven Richards respectively.
Dumbrell’s contract extension and the shock move of Richards from Ford Performance Racing to arch rivals Triple Eight were confirmed earlier this month.
A V8 Supercars co-driver role for 2014 has emerged as an important goal for Priaulx ever since his impressive Bathurst wild card drive to 10th alongside Swede Mattias Ekstrom at this year’s edition.
So much so, the 40-year-old Guernseyman’s decision to leave DTM to race for BMW in the all new American United Sportscar Championship in 2014 has been made with V8 Supercars in mind.
The new championship’s schedule doesn’t collide with V8 Supercars’ Pirtek Enduro Cup, ensuring he will be available for a drive.
With 12 V8 events already under his belt, including a podium finish alongside Lowndes in 2010, he is more than confident his skills will make him a valuable option for teams.
“I am looking for a co driver role in V8 Supercars for next year and I’m hoping there will be some opportunities”, Priaulx told Speedcafe.com
“I knew I was seriously being considered for a drive at Triple Eight and that would have been great.
“Its still early days and I’m going to start putting myself seriously on the radar down there.
“I think we’ve proved I can go there and support anybody as I’ve raced at Sandown, Bathurst and Surfers. I’m optimistic that something might happen down there one day or next year.
“Bringing in European drivers can be a little bit more costly sometimes but you also gain more media profile in Europe.
“Now knowing that Roland (Triple Eight owner Dane) has chosen his guys that puts me on the market really and I think I can do a solid job. Lets see if the phone rings.”
Although Priaulx is very much focussed on his future in the United Sportscar Championship, he admits his drive at Bathurst this year ranks right up there among his season highlights.
“It was a very good point in my season. I qualified well in DTM and had some good moments however Bathurst reaffirmed my current speed. I think I went back to Bathurst and V8 Supercars a quicker driver than I was five years ago.
“We led the race and that is something I will never forget. I think in motor racing you have to live in the moment and not the past. At the moment it was a very special thing to happen to me.”