Stone hails potential of SuperUtes rising star
Ross Stone says that last start SuperUtes winner Tom Alexander has the potential to step up to Super2 as soon as next year.
Only Alexander and three-time V8 Utes Series winner Ryal Harris have won races in the inaugural ECB SuperUtes Series this year, three apiece.
The Christchurch driver took two of those in the most recent round at Winton in the Ross Stone Racing Holden Colorado.
He was also on track for the other in Race 2 before being issued a drive-through penalty for turning around Toby Price on Lap 1.
Little known in Australia, Alexander won his native Toyota 86 Championship in 2014/15 and finished runner-up in the top class (Class 1) of the 2016/17 BNT V8s season.
Stone believes that Alexander has performed admirably despite having little opportunity to travel across the Tasman for testing.
“He’d done hardly any testing, none or next to none, and then at Adelaide he won one race,” Stone told Speedcafe.com.
“Because of the test (at Winton between Rounds 1 and 2) he was right on top of it.
“All the tracks from now on he’s never been to before so that makes it harder but I’m more than confident he’ll handle it no problems at all.”
The 23-year-old came to Stone’s attention on the word of friend and Kiwi motor racing legend Kenny Smith a few years back.
Stone Brothers Racing gave the likes of Marcos Ambrose and Shane van Gisbergen their starts in Supercars, and Ross Stone believes that Alexander has the potential to step up from SuperUtes next season or the year after.
“A few years back Tom ran a season in Formula Ford, actually had SBR on that car (because) Kenny collared me, so he’s always just someone I’ve followed and kept an eye on.
“For what we were doing it was a perfect fit. Tom has aspirations to run in V8s and obviously if he can have a good year in utes and then next year get a Super2 (drive) and see what happens.
“I think it would be (good for him). He’s 23 now, but saying that, I think (I’d prefer) another year in SuperUtes, I’d like to win the championship with him so we’ll see how we go.”
Alexander sits sixth in the series having failed to finish Race 3 in Adelaide due to a boost hose failure, but is only 42 points behind leader Craig Woods.
Round 3 supports the Watpac Townsville 400 on July 6-8.