Kiwi team aims for three-car Hampton Downs assault

Speedcafe.com

Friday 29th September, 2017 - 11:40am

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International Motorsport is entering the Hampton Downs 500

International Motorsport says that it is close to finalising a three-car effort for next month’s Hampton Downs 500 in a precursor to a possible Bathurst 12 Hour campaign.

John Udy and Michael Scott will share an ex-SuperGT 2012 model Audi R8 LMS for the next round of the Australian Endurance Championship, with two other entries as yet unconfirmed.

The Auckland-based race team has advised, however, that it is close to signing “a couple of world class Kiwi drivers” for the other cars.

It is hoping to also compete in the AEC’s final round at Highlands Motorsport Park a fortnight later.

“We’re hoping to have three cars on the starting grid at Hampton Downs,” says team manager Nick Williamson.

“The plan is to make it to Highlands as well but you never count your chickens in motorsport.

“It’s still four weeks out from the event and motorsport can be a cruel mistress sometimes.”

Udy, who has previously partaken in drifting, says that he was inspired in part by the exploits of another drifter in the form of ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett.

Whiddett made his GT debut in the corresponding race last year, combining with long-time Australian GT driver Klark Quinn to finish a solid eighth.

“I think the drift guys are often underestimated in terms of their driving ability,” says Udy.

“Mike showed last year that the fundamentals are there and I was really impressed at how quickly he got to grips with circuit racing.

“I’ve a little bit more experience than him on the track so hopefully, I’ll go alright.”

Williamson hopes to draw experience from the AEC starts for a tilt at next year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which has already drawn more than 40 entries.

“The two Australian GT events in New Zealand will be a great litmus test to see where we’re at,” he explained.

“It also gives the drivers a chance to test themselves against a lot of the guys they’ll be racing against at Bathurst.”

The Laser Plumbing & Electrical Hampton Downs 500 takes place on October 27-29 and the Highlands 501 on November 10-12.