New Zealander Barry Holden is now one step closer to a fully funded 2019 Dunlop Super2 Series driver after advancing to the Aussie Driver Search finals taking place next month.
Holden, who ran in the NZV8s for two rounds almost five years ago, took part in the Aussie Driver Search at the beginning of the month at Wakefield Park.
He was among a large selection of Kiwi hopefuls who attended the first day of the back-to-back Wakefield rounds during the Aussie Drivers Search series of qualifying rounds.
He took a V8 Ute, Toyota Racing 86 car and an ex-Tickford Racing V8 Supercar for a spin on November 5th.
“It was obviously exciting times for us,” Holden said.
“It was the first time that I entered in a competition like that, I’ve been involved in a few like that but never competed in one myself.”
“It was really good, we got to the track the day before my drive, the Aussie Driver Search team were unloading all their gear.”
“That’s a quite an awesome experience because we got to meet the majority of the team before the big day. It felt quite low key and we got to meet Kyle Austin (ADS founder), his father Grant, and his partner Emily who does all the organising of the events. Not to forget Paul Holland and his wife Rochelle who helps the organising.”
“We did the track walk that evening which was quite nice to do again, because it’s been a long time since I did one apart from the recent Go-kart weekends.”
“The assessment day was pretty hectic with a lot of people and ADS staff there; the weather conditions were really good.”
“I drove the [V8} Ute first and the judge in that car was Barton Mawer who has a massive pedigree in motorsport. I remember the Ute was very much like the NZV8 (ex-Baird United Video NZV8 car from the late 2000s).”
“Then the [Toyota] 86 was a different car for me. Hugely important to keep the speed up in the corners and maintaining the momentum. I’ve never driven any type of [race] car with ABS brakes, so having that was a different feel.”
“The judge in the V8 Supercar was Ryal Harris and ten-minutes in that car wasn’t enough. The power with the sequential gearbox and the braking capabilities, everything about it was an actual racecar.”
Holden did confirm that he’ll be racing in the Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship at Pukekohe in early December [8-9] for the Formula First 50th Anniversary which is also their second round of the 2018-19 season.
He will then fly back out to NSW to head to the Aussie Driver Search finals at Wakefield Park on which is scheduled for two days on December 11-12.
The Pro-competition finals takes place on December 12 (Wednesday) which will have a round-robin knockout format.
The winner of the Pro-competition gets the 2019 Dunlop Super2 Series drive with Matt Stone Racing in their 2017 championship-winning Holden VF Commodore.