V8 Supercars endurance driver Owen Kelly, currently on qualifying duty with Kyle Busch’s NASCAR team this week at the Napa 200, will team up with Richard Moore in his Skinny Mobile V8 SuperTourer for the series enduro rounds in what will be a fascinating combination of seasoned campaigner and rookie.
Kelly will practice and qualify Kyle Busch’s Nationwide Series Toyota in Montreal this week as Busch attempts the most difficult double-duty task in NASCAR as one of several drivers forced to miss the pre-race sessions in Canada while preparing for the corresponding Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan.
Meanwhile Canterbury based university student Moore is looking forward to sharing the drive with such an experienced endurance driver. “In testing with the M3 Racing team Owen was straight onto it with real pace and I can’t wait to put our combo to the test at Taupo. The endurance rounds are a whole different ball game for the V8 SuperTourers and having Owen on board will be a real boost for the team and a great opportunity for me to pick up more race craft from someone so experienced.”
The Taupo track is not totally new to Moore as he competed there in the Porsche GT3 series and qualified his BMW Mini on pole at the inaugural A1GP round back in 2007. “Taupo has some good memories for me having raced here many times,” he added. “In fact my debut here was a win at the North Island karting road race champs so I feel very comfortable with this challenging track even though the Skinny Mobile V8 SuperTourer is a bit more of a handful than a Rotax!”
The Father’s Day 400 will see twenty V8 SuperTourers compete over two, 200 kilometre races on the Sunday following qualifying. The first 60 lap race starts at 11:25 am and the second 60 lapper at 1:45 pm. Each driver has twenty minute session to qualify on Saturday with start positions determined by their average best times.
The endurance series continues at Pukekohe on 27 and 28 October and wraps up at Ruapuna in Christchurch on 24 and 25 November.