Sixteen-year-old Supercars rookie Alex Rullo has received advice from fellow West Aussie Daniel Ricciardo as he gears up for the Clipsal 500.
Rullo will become the youngest ever driver to start a Virgin Australia Supercars Championship event after striking a deal with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
Finishing 17th in last year’s Dunlop Super2 Series with LDM, Rullo was last week granted dispensation by CAMS to gain the necessary Superlicense to compete.
In a video message recorded from Monaco and aired on Today Tonight, 27-year-old Ricciardo warned Rullo that the Adelaide weekend will be a draining experience. “You will obviously be overwhelmed with many things that weekend, but if you just stay cool you will do great,” he said.
“For me the biggest thing when I got into Formula 1 with HRT (Hispania midway through 2011)… that first weekend was crazy.
“I think the biggest challenge was not the race itself but the media and everything surrounding it.
“I was just trying to actually save some energy for the race on Sunday.
“Obviously it is cool to be excited about it all but just make sure you save a little bit in the bag for the race itself and just ride along with it and don’t overthink it too much either.
“Just have fun, basically.”
Ricciardo also urged Rullo to learn all he can from his rivals, pointing to his own relationship with Sebastian Vettel, who he drove alongside at Red Bull in 2014.
“Going up against guys like (Sebastian) Vettel and having some success of those experienced guys, from my point of view, a big thing to that was learning from them and being open-minded,” he said.
“Obviously I believed a lot in my own ability, but you can always learn and appreciate what someone else has done in the sport.
“I focussed on myself first but I was always trying to see if I could gain a little bit more from the likes of Vettel when I had him as a team-mate.
“Just stay open-minded and be willing to learn and you will go far in the sport.
“You’re young, your window for growth is very big. I look forward to watching on.”
LDM is yet to confirm a team-mate for Rullo after its second signing Matt Chahda was denied a Superlicense by CAMS.