Former Dunlop champs join Bathurst 250 field

Monday 22nd September, 2014 - 2:30pm

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Owen will join Heimgartner in the #26 Falcon

Owen will join Heimgartner in the #26 Falcon

Former Dunlop Series winners Steve Owen and Tony D’Alberto will rejoin the second-tier V8 Supercars class as co-drivers for the 250km Bathurst round.

Ford Performance Racing Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver Owen is slated to share the #26 MW Motorsport Ford with Andre Heimgartner in the Saturday encounter.

Owen, who won the Dunlop Series in 2008 and 2010, drove for MW Motorsport last season, winning both races at Bathurst.

In addition to Dunlop Series duties, Heimgartner will tackle his first Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 this year, driving for Super Black Racing.

“It’ll help keep Andre match-fit for the 1000 and obviously to have Steve on call as a back-up driver, you can’t get any better than that,” MWM team owner Matthew White told Speedcafe.com.

“He’s familiar with our cars and is racing an FPR again this year so it’s a really good fit for everyone.”

Walkinshaw Racing Enduro Cup co-driver D’Alberto meanwhile joins first-year Dunlop driver Josh Kean for the 250km race.

D’Alberto has been helping Kean throughout the season as the 21-year-old South Australian adapts to the class in an ex-Walkinshaw Holden.

Brothers Aaren Rusell and Drew Russell are also scheduled to team-up for the race aboard their family team’s Ford Falcon FG.

The remainder of the 28 car field have entered without a co-driver, although may nominate one as late as the Thursday of the race meeting.

Under the race’s rules, the primary driver must qualify the car and complete at least 12 laps in the race.

According to White, more co-drivers will likely be seen next year when teams have longer to prepare for the event.

The two-driver format was not confirmed by V8 Supercars until June 30, having followed the category’s decision against allowing Dunlop Series entries to fill-out the grid for the main race.

“It all comes down to business models and commitments for a lot of guys,” said White.

“It came about fairly late this year when most teams and drivers already had their deals done.”

White has run Heimgartner and Morgan Haber throughout the 2014 season, but is currently without any drivers for his team’s third entry, most recently driven by Tim Blanchard at Queensland Raceway.

Among Bathurst’s entries are V8 Ute Racing Series winner Ryal Harris, who joins the series in the Matt Stone Racing-run ex-Stone Brothers Falcon campaigned in recent events by Steven Johnson.

Tim Macrow is also slated to return aboard an RSport entered Holden, while his former team, Dragon Motor Racing, is set to be a no-show, as previously reported.

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