Kelly Racing has added another V8 Supercars Series newcomer to its Armor All Gold Coast 600 international line-up with the signing of Frenchman Franck Montagny.
Montagny will team up with Karl Reindler in the #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Commodore for the October event.
The former World Series by Nissan champion has been racing a partial schedule in the American Le Mans Series this year for Level 5 Motorsports, having previously made seven Formula One Grand Prix starts with Super Aguri in 2006 and worked as test driver for Renault and Toyota for several years. The 34-year-old also has finished runner-up twice in 11 starts in the Le Mans 24 Hour.
The experienced Frenchman says he is relishing the opportunity to make his V8 Supercars debut on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
“I am grateful to Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing for the opportunity to come and race on the Gold Coast.
“I’m truly excited to go there and to attend this race! It’s pretty different to what I used to do so it’s a new challenge, everything will be brand new for me: a new category, a new team, a new team mate, a new track… This could sound a little bit stressful but actually that’s exactly the kind of challenges I like!
“From my experience, you don’t know someone from what you can read in the newspaper. So I don’t know much about Karl but I’ll try my best to learn from him and the team as quickly as possible so we can be efficient on track together because this is what really matters. And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team for their trust. For sure I’ll have a lot to learn but I’m really looking forward and as usual, I’ll do everything I can to get used to the car and match the team’s expectations.
With Reindler's regular race engineer Mathieu Galoche also originating from France, the Western Australian joked he'll need to brush up on his French for the weekend.
“Being outnumbered I will need to enrol in French classes before the weekend just so I can keep track of what is going on!” Karl said.
“I’m really excited to partner with Franck. He has a wealth of experience and I am sure this will position him well to settling in and understanding our cars.”
Kelly Racing Director Rick Kelly also expects Montagny's vast experience will help him adapt quickly to the car.
“Franck is a terrific signing for Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing. His talent behind the wheel in unquestionable and will no doubt adjust quickly to the demands of driving a V8 Supercar and support Karl well on the Gold Coast.
“V8 Supercars are difficult cars to drive and having experience beyond open wheelers is an asset.
“The category has done an excellent job of attracting profile drivers to the event and to secure Franck in our team is very pleasing and look forward to also working alongside him.”