Newcastle-based brothers Aaren and Drew Russell will achieve a life-long dream this year, contesting Australia's biggest race, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Regulars in the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series over the past decade, the Novocastrian duo has been granted a wild card entry by V8 Supercars to compete at Mount Panorama alongside the Championship cars.
The team has sourced a Holden Commodore VF originally built by Garry Rogers Motorsport that raced at Bathurst in 2013, with GRM to prepare the car prior to the family-operated Russell team running it at the circuit.
Australian-owned gym franchise chain Plus Fitness will sponsor the team's entry in the 'Great Race', a continuation of the association with the Novocastrian Motorsport Dunlop Series team.
Aaren Russell has impressed in recent times in the Dunlop Series with podium finishes last year at Queensland Raceway and Sydney Olympic Park, and again this year at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
The 23-year old's efforts were recently recognised by V8 Supercars Championship team Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, which gave him his first taste of a current-generation V8 Supercar at the recent Queensland Raceway event during the additional driver practice session.
Aaren says this is the sort of opportunity he's been working towards for years.
"To do with it with my family and our own team makes it even more special," he said.
"Motorsport is our passion, it's something we go 'all in' on and the sacrifices we've all made show just how committed we are to it.
"To be heading to Bathurst to compete in the most famous race in Australian sport is very special and not something I am taking lightly.
"We have huge respect for all of the V8 Supercars Championship teams competing at Bathurst. We'd like to simply stay out of trouble, fly the flag, complete the race and be happy with our day's work."
Brother Drew Russell is the fourth-most experienced driver in the history of the Dunlop Series since making his debut in 2007.
While the 27-year old may be making his Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 debut, he has plenty of Bathurst experience with seven Dunlop Series round starts at the famous circuit between 2007 and 2013.
"We're under no illusions as to our place in the pecking order when we head onto the track at Mount Panorama, we're not contending to win the race but we absolutely will be putting our front foot forward to give a positive and professional account of ourselves," Drew said.
The Russells will become second-generation Bathurst 1000 drivers given their father Wayne, who acts as team manager, made four starts in the race between 1994 and 1997. The brothers intend to carry the #62 Wayne used at Mount Panorama on the car this year.
The brothers join Erebus duo Will and Alex Davison - who will pair together - and with Nissan's Rick and Todd Kelly, will become the third set of brothers on the grid in October.
It's the first time in just over 30 years (1984) that three sets of brothers have competed in the Bathurst 1000.
The brothers will also pair up in the Dunlop Series mini-enduro in Aaren's car, for some more miles around Mount Panorama across the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event.