Karter Josh Smith will join Brad Jones Racing to contest this season’s Kumho V8 Touring Car Series.
The 18-year-old has earmarked the category as the next step of his motor racing career after a decade racing karts, which has seen him claim three Queensland state titles.
Smith’s leap into the world of touring car racing will see him pilot an ex-Jason Bright and ex-Andrew Jones VE Commodore for the third tier V8 category.
The Townsville driver will visit Phillip Island today for a test to aid his transition from karts to touring cars with the Albury outfit, which is gearing up for its first campaign in the series.
Smith is under no illusions of the task ahead but is looking forward to the opportunity at Brad Jones Racing.
Andrew Jones will operate in a mentor role for the teenager during his maiden year in tin tops.
“Working with BJR is a huge deal for me, they are such a well-known team,” said Smith.
“It is giving me the platform to step up and work towards my goals.
“To have Andrew Jones as a mentor is really great. I’ve visited the workshop and spent a lot of time talking to him on the phone, he’s been a great support so far.
“This year the car and tracks will be completely new to me. I’ve had a test in a Formula Ford and Dunlop Series car at Winton, so the full day at Phillip Island will be a big day out.
“Whenever you talk to someone who has raced there, they really rate it as one of the best circuits to go.
“The fact we get to support the V8 Supercar Series when they travel to Winton and Ipswich is really cool. We get to showcase ourselves in front of a huge crowd.
“It’s going to be a big year for me, new car, new tracks; there is a lot to learn.
“The crew is young as well, some of the guys have experience and some like me, will be learning as they go. I first want to get comfortable with the car and build results from there.
“To say I’m excited would be an understatement.”
Smith will begin his Kumho V8 title at Sandown for the opening round of the series from April 1-3.