Former Byron Bay driver Andrew Thompson.
Former Byron Bay driver Andrew Thompson.

Andrews big break in V8 Supercars

By ADAM HICKS FORMER Byron Bay racing car driver Andrew Thompson has secured a seat in the V8 Supercar Championship Series this year.

The 20-year-old, who cut his teeth in local karting, yesterday revealed he would drive the #50 PWR Performance Products Commodore VE in his first full-time V8 season.

The Northern Star reported last October that Thompson was negotiating with four teams after impressing with a top-10 finish at Bathurst and several round wins in the Fujitsu development series.

However, the deal took longer to finalise than he expected.

“I’ve been chipping away at a V8 main game deal for the past six to seven months, and it’s taken some work,” he said.

“I’ve had to be patient until it was all signed and sealed, and now it’s full-steam ahead.”

PWR Racing will run the single car program from its Dandenong, Melbourne, race headquarters, after initially planning not to contest the V8 Supercar series this year.

PWR Racing Team principal Kees Weel said the opportunity to sign one of the sport’s brightest young stars was enough for him to reverse his decision.

“You have to introduce new blood and Andrew’s a fast and extremely talented young bloke worthy of being given a go,” Weel said.

“When this opportunity came up it wasn’t a difficult decision to jump straight back in.

“We’ll give Andrew a good car and he’ll impress.”

Having previously raced in Fords, Thompson will have his first taste of a Holden in the official V8 Supercar pre-season test at Winton Motor Raceway in two weeks before heading to Adelaide for the season-opening Clipsal 500 later in February.

“The first goal is to get into the car and get comfortable before Adelaide, while also trying to feel the difference between the Commodore and Falcon,” Thompson said.

Touted as a potential future champion, Thompson said he would not feel any external pressures to perform when he made his full-time V8 debut next month.

“The only pressure I feel when I’m racing comes from within me, trying to achieve what I’ve set my sights on,” he said.

“If I can satisfy myself, then everything else will be looked after.”

n There will be fireworks on and off the track tonight when Lismore Speedway hosts a round of the Super Sedan Series featuring Queensland’s best drivers.

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