BNT SuperTourers: Champion McLaughlin to Face Stern Test
Champion McLaughlin to face stern test as BNT SuperTourers blast off for Season 2
Champion Scott McLaughlin in the Number One car heads the entry for Round 1 of the 2013 BNT V8 SuperTourer series – The Rock Rumble - but he can expect a stern challenge from a stellar field of V8 driving talent.
Greg Murphy, fired up for a huge domestic season alongside his works HRT enduro drives in Australia, will head the challengers and new BNT V8 SuperTourer signing Shane van Gisbergen will be looking to get onto the pace as quickly as he can in the ex-Corkery Ford, now being run by Melbourne Performance Centre.
MPC will be running a three car operation with their ex-Geoff Emery car being run by the hugely experienced Kayne Scott. Scott had minimal testing before this event in 2012, and was immediately the pace setter in a similar car. Andre Heimgartner - now with Hydraulink backing - has transferred his car to the MPC set-up with van Gisbergen adding a Ford v8 SuperTourer to the MPC stable.
John McIntyre has completely restructured his team in the off-season and is determined to be a consistent front runner in 2013. He narrowly won the 2012 Sprint Series title and knows that he will have to raise the game to stand any chance of retaining that in a much more competitive field.
His main opposition in that Sprint Title battle - Jonny Reid - is not confirmed for International Motorsport but could appear. Ant Pedersen is confirmed at IMS and will be looking for a repeat of his 2012 weekend at Round 1, where he won the feature race.
A key man over the weekend could also be Andy Booth - the fastest man not to win a SuperTourer race in 2012. Booth has blistering pace around the Hampton Downs track, and will surely be a factor this weekend if he can add consistency to his undoubted speed around this track. Craig Baird will also be looking for a much bigger season in his familiar United Videos colours and a good run at Round 1 for him - as with the other top line drivers - will be a major launch pad for a championship assault.
It had been hoped the new Maverick Motorsport SuperTourer, being built for Michael Ninkranz, would be ready for Round 1, but an official entry had not been received when entries closed. A late entry is possible, but the team will treat the weekend as a test session in preparation for Round 2 if they do make it to Hampton Downs.
McLaughlin Holden Commodore V8ST
Supercheap Auto Racing
2 TBC Ford Falcon V8ST International Motorsport
3 Angus Fogg Holden Commodore V8ST Fogg Racing
8 Tim Edgell Holden Commodore V8ST Edgell Performance Racing
9 Dominic Storey Ford Falcon V8ST iSport Racing
10 Richard Moore Holden Commodore V8ST M3 Racing
11 Simon Evans Holden Commodore V8ST Team 4
12 Kayne Scott Holden Commodore V8ST MPC
15 Paul Manuell Holden Commordore V8ST M3 Racing
22 Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore v8ST MPC
23 Andy Booth Holden Commodore V8ST AV8 Motorsport
26 Simon McLennan Holden Commodore V8ST M2 Motorsport
27 Craig Baird Ford Falcon V8ST PSR West
31 Daniel Gaunt Ford Falcon V8ST Tasman Motorsports Group
32 Mitchell Cunningham Ford Falcon v8ST Cunningham Motorsport
47 John McIntyre Ford Falcon V8ST John McIntyre Racing
51 Greg Murphy Holden Commodore V8ST M3 Racing
69 Eddie Bell Ford Falcon V8ST Bell Racing
96 Ant Pedersen Ford Falcon V8ST International Motorsport
97 Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon V8ST MPC