Kelly Racing has completed its Armor All Gold Coast 600 International co-drivers’ line-up with the signing of IZOD IndyCar Series star Justin Wilson.
The British driver will make his V8 Supercars Championship debut alongside Greg Murphy in the #51 Pepsi Max Crew Commodore entry for October's Surfers Paradise street race.
Wilson is in his eighth season of open-wheel racing in America after debuting in ChampCar in 2004 and moving to IndyCar in 2008 when the two series merged. And 2012 has been a successful year of racing to date with a win at the Indycar Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway in June and victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
With several previous trips to the Gold Coast in the ChampCar and IndyCar series, Wilson is excited by the opportunity ahead of him.
“I’m very grateful to have the chance to drive the Pepsi Max Crew V8 Supercar at the Gold Coast – it’s a great looking car with a great sponsor in Pepsi Max.
“I’ve raced at the Gold Coast event four times before and I’m really looking forward to being part of it again. Surfers Paradise is a cool venue – there’s such a fun atmosphere, loads of on-track action and the fans really love their racing.
“The track is also lot of fun for the drivers. It’s high commitment, especially through the blind corners, and it’s physically demanding too.
“I’m really looking forward to driving alongside Greg Murphy. I know he’s fast and has a never give up attitude. Just from watching on TV you know he’s getting everything possible from the car. It will be fun joining Greg in the Pepsi Max Crew V8 Supercar and seeing what we can achieve. It will be a tough challenge driving a V8 for the first time and I know the level of talent already racing in the series is extremely high, so my goals are to listen to Greg and the team and help them get the best finish possible.”
Murphy is equally pleased with the signing of Wilson and expects Wilson's experience may give them an edge.
“Justin has a pretty impressive list of achievements and has shown that he can transition easily between various forms of the sport.
“His knowledge of the circuit will without doubt be an advantage and with the testing opportunity for all the International drivers in advance of the race, I’m sure he will quickly come to grips with the Pepsi Max Car.
“I reckon I am bloody lucky to have a Driver of Justin’s calibre to work with and I hope that we can put it all together for some strong results for the Pepsi Max Crew.
“This format has proven to be a huge success so far and has highlighted how popular V8 Supercars is around the world when talented and successful drivers such as Justin are putting their hands up to be involved.”
Wilson joins fellow IndyCar drivers Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and sportscar veteran Franck Montagny in the Kelly Racing line-up. Andretti and Rahal will co-drive with Todd Kelly and Rick Kelly in the Jack Daniel's Racing Commodores and Montagny will team up with Karl Reindler in the Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing entry.
The Armor All Gold Coast 600 will be held on 19-21 October.