David Russell gets a rev up

FORMER Lismore kart racer David Russell has landed a drive in two of Australia’s most celebrated V8 races – the Bathurst 1000 and Phillip Island 500.

Russell will join former rival Jonathon Webb in the third-string Dick Johnson Racing supercar as part of the endurance team for the big races in September and October.

Last week Russell test drove his new car for the first time at Queensland Raceway and came away impressed with its precision and power.

“This is definitely the best car I have driven,” Russell said.

“I am stoked to be on the team; it is one of the better teams you could hope to be on.”

The 27-year-old is no stranger to Mt Panorama or Phillip Island, having driven at both in the Carrera Cup in 2008 and completing the Bathurst 1000 in 2003 with the Fujitsu Racing Team.

“I have also completed a couple of 24-hour races and a 12-hour race at Bathurst so I know the circuit,” he said.

Russell is also familiar with his new team-mate who he went head-to-head with for the 2009 Fujitsu Development Series – which is akin to the reserve grade of the V8 Supercar Series.

Webb and Russell went into the final race of the series locked in a battle for top spot; Webb ended up winner of the series while Russell was relegated to third after mechanical problems.

“He had a good weekend, I had a bad one. That was the difference,” Russell said.

“But now we are team-mates, so I’m looking forward to linking up and giving the enduro races a shake.”

Russell is confident the pair can make their presence felt in the big races, which are often dominated by those with big reputations.

“We may not have the experience of Craig Lowndes or Greg Murphy but we certainly have the right car so if we stay out of trouble I am sure we will be in the hunt,” he said.

Meanwhile, Russell is yet to ink a deal for the 2010 Fujitsu Development Series starting on March 14.

“There is a bit of interest there but just waiting for it all to be tied up,” he said.

“We should have something sorted in the next couple of weeks.”

Either way, Russell has the peace of mind knowing that he is locked in for the big races later in the year – although the Fujitsu Series would certainly be good practice between now and then.

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