Grant Denyer set for Aussie Racing Car debut

Denyer had a brief test in an Aussie Racing Car at Oran Park last decade

Denyer had a brief test in an Aussie Racing Car at Oran Park last decade

Television personality Grant Denyer is set for a maiden appearance in the Aussie Racing Car Series later this year as he explores his motorsport options for 2015.

Denyer made a surprise return to the V8 Supercars paddock at Sydney Motorsport Park during Monday’s ride day.

The 36-year-old was invited to the Western Sydney venue by Erebus Motorsport general manager Barry Ryan, who previously worked with Denyer on the Shannons Bathurst wildcard program.

In his first track time since February’s Bathurst 12 Hour, Denyer cut laps in an Erebus Ute as well as riding as a passenger in the team’s Richard Muscat-driven Australian GT Championship Mercedes.

Denyer is hopeful of racing in the Australian GT category next season, supplementing his part-time television role on Network Ten’s Family Feud.

“I’ve been there and done that in the Utes, so it’s probably not a path I want to go back down, but it’s a nice introduction back into some garages and a chance to hold a steering wheel again,” Denyer told of Monday’s laps.

“Making a connection with teams is as big as finding sponsors. It’s scary coming back into the pitlane and feeling like you’ve been away for a decade.

“Barry just said ‘I know you’re busting to have a steer, so just come down and do some laps’. That was really nice.”

Stepping into an Aussie Racing Car will reunite Denyer with category owner Tony Quinn, who also runs the AGTC.

Denyer enjoyed backing from VIP Petfoods during his early forays in the V8 Utes, as well as joining the Scottish native for selected endurance events, including the Bathurst 12 Hour.

“I’m going to have a steer in Tony’s Aussie Racing Car at Indy, it’s all but done,” said Denyer.

“I’m also talking to some teams to try and do the Bathurst round as well.

“That’ll give me a chance to have a feel for it, see how hungry I am and build on some relationships ahead of next year.

“I’d love a GT program next year, I think that’d be pretty cool,” he added.

“I really like those cars and where that category is going.”

Denyer’s now relaxed lifestyle sees him living in Bathurst and filming Family Feud two days a fortnight in Melbourne.

The move came after sensationally quitting Seven’s Sunrise and Million Dollar Minute programs last year to focus on rebuilding his rundown health.

The move to Ten has coincided with the network’s acquisition of the free-to-air component of V8 Supercars’ media rights deal for 2015.

A former pitlane reporter for V8 Supercars with both Ten and Seven, Denyer says he’d love a part-time return to motorsport TV duties.

“I think everybody is aware that we’ve both turned up at the same place, but we’re not really talking about it yet,” he said.

Family Feud is going really well, so for me it’d be a nice side-benefit (to be involved in V8s).

“I wouldn’t want to do the whole championship, so the amount of rounds that Ten have got is probably pretty good.

“I’d would really love to work in the pitlane again. I’m a motorsport fan first and foremost.”

Denyer turned laps in an Eerbus V8 Ute at Sydney Motorsport Park on Monday

Denyer turned laps in an Eerbus V8 Ute at Sydney Motorsport Park on Monday

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]