Rookie reaching his V8 dream
THE goal of Gatton driver Brendon Pingel to race V8s was boosted as he claimed the title of Rookie of the Year in his first season in the Aussie Racing Cars.
Pingel finished the seven-round series seventh overall out of 70 drivers, with that top-10 outcome the best for a driver in their rookie season in the 11-year history of the class.
That helped the 25-year-old earn the Rookie of the Year accolade.
"It's apparently the best someone has run in their first year running in the top 10, so it's pretty good," he said.
Pingel contested three races last year but 2011 was his first full season of the developmental series which features smaller versions of road sedans Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore and Toyota Aurion.
The former Queensland improved production series racer competed in a factory-prepared Aurion this year.
This came after he twice tested in a V8 Supercar with Greg Murphy Racing.
Coming from a 1200 Datsun Coupe, Pingel thought it best to learn how to better handle a V8 which was the motivation for him to contest the Aussie Racing Cars series as they have a similar feel to the full-sized Falcons and Commodores.
"That's the best thing about the Aussie cars ... you get to learn all of the things you need in the V8s," he said.
"The aim initially going into the Aussie Racing Cars was learning the skills and catching people's eyes and hopefully getting sponsorship with the aim of possibly running in the Fujitsu Series in the future."
A move to the V8s could still be a while away though as financial support is needed.
Instead, Pingel is planning on backing up next year in the Aussie Racing Cars in his own car rather than a leased factory car.
"Hopefully we can get sponsorship to run our own car next year," he said.