Lismore’s David Russell (centre) has much to look forward to in 2010.
Lismore’s David Russell (centre) has much to look forward to in 2010. Ross Gibb Photography

V8 supercar driver secured drive

IN-DEMAND V8 supercar driver David Russell has finally secured a drive for 2010, inking a deal with 2009 Fujitsu championship winner Matthew White Racing.

Russell, originally from Lismore, spent the off-season scouring the market for the best car and the best deal, with his services sought by many.

Now settled, the 27-year-old is looking forward to doing what he does best.

“It is certainly relieving to get it all out of the way; now I can just concentrate on driving,” Russell said.

“It is very exciting to get the opportunity to drive for last year’s championship-winning team.”

After just missing out on promotion to the big league with Howard Racing last season, Russell also knows the expectation that comes with taking over as number one driver for the championship team.

“There is definitely some added pressure there, it’s a big task to take on but I am up to it,” he said.

Last year’s third-placed finisher knows that he will be measured against his predecessor and former rival, Jonathon Webb.

In a bizarre sequence of events, Russell and Webb were fierce rivals last year in the Fujitsu series before Russell joined Webb in the third-string Dick Johnson Racing car for the 2010 endurance events. Now the Lismore lad will step into Webb’s shoes as lead driver for MW Racing.

“It is a bit crazy how it has all worked out,” Russell said.

The benefit of driving for MW Racing comes with the team running three cars which gives a greater spectrum of feedback on the vehicles.

Russell drove his new vehicle for the first time in Winton last week, and was suitably impressed.

“It is quiet easy to drive,” he said.

“It has great entry and mid-corner speed and is easy on tyres which is good news for the 24-lap races.”

Russell will be strapped in for competition next weekend when the Fujitsu Series gets underway with the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

“It’s time to get down to business,” Russell said.

“The goal is to win the championship this year which will set me in good stead to get the call-up to the top grade next year.”

If and when he does get the call-up, Russell will be keen to resume his strange on-again off-again relationship with Webb.

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WEATHER: Thunderstorms, strong winds this afternoon

Rain and thunderstorms over the next few days.

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