Teenager Alex Rullo says he feels ready to make his Virgin Australia Supercars Championship debut at the Clipsal 500 after completing his final pre-season test day.
The 16-year-old will become the youngest driver in the series’ history in Adelaide and says Tuesday's track time will have him prepared for one of the toughest races on the calendar.
The Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport driver crashed out of his previous test at Winton but managed 73 laps at Sydney Motorsport Park as teams tested Dunlop’s new construction tyres for 2017.
He enters Adelaide on a provisional CAMS Superlicense which will be reviewed on an event-by-event basis until he turns 17 in June.
“Overall it was a really positive day for us,” Rullo told Supercars.com of Sydney.
“It’s a bit of a confidence boost and we put some good times in towards the end.
“I’m still getting used to the new tyre. It’s hard to compare, I’d never run at Sydney on Dunlop tyres. Last time I drove there in a Supercar was the Kumho Series.
“It was good and you can definitely feel the difference, how it doesn’t lean on the tyre as much compared to last week at Winton.
“I’ve been there (Adelaide) last year in the Super2 Series and it will be cool to get there in the main car and see how it handles with the new tyres.”
Rullo had a busy and productive outing at Sydney Motorsport Park
Rullo admitted it was a mixed testing program on the day as he focussed on getting used to his new machinery as well the tyre.
“I’m still getting used to the setup in this car and the differences from the Super2 car from last year,” he added.
“We didn’t get too much into the data, it was more our program and the setup changes we were making.
“I had my appendix out only five weeks ago. I’ve been off the weights, but I’m still on the bike. It was good to have the test and it’s the best training you can do.
“There was no helmet fan or cool suit. We did some practice race stints too and a few practice stops as well.”
The Perth-based driver added it will likely take some time to find his feet in the main series after a single season in the Super2 Series in a Next Generation car and a year in the V8 Touring Cars Series.
“I think the first half of this year will definitely be a learning stage,” he continued.
“We’ve got a lot to gain in the data and the engineers will have a look back at the workshop and go through that and see where we can make some gains in the new tyre.
“I’m acclimatising myself with the car and I think it’s gelling pretty well and settling in. I’m definitely looking forward to Clipsal.
“It was good to be in a similar car last year. They’ve had (Matt) Chahda in the other car and he’s sort of at the same stage I was at last year with the Super2 car.
“For me it's really just getting used to the tyres, the soft and super soft, and the twin-spring we’re running in the rear (which is banned in Super2).”