Gracie's first V8 Supercar run

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/12/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Nineteen-year-old Renee Gracie completed her first test day in a V8 Supercar on Friday.

Gracie - who will be the first female driver to compete full-time in a V8 Supercar category in 14 years - was positive after her first taste of the FG Falcon she will race for Paul Morris Motorsports in next year's V8 Supercars Dunlop Series.

Gracie completed a series of runs at Queensland Raceway and used the day primarily to acclimatise to the 650bhp, 1350kg V8 Supercar after two seasons competing in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia.

She declared her introduction to V8 power as productive - and very enjoyable.

"It was a really good day, we definitely took plenty away from it and I have finally answered the question to myself about what it would be like to drive a V8 Supercar," Gracie said.

"This moment has been something I have dreamt about and thought a lot about ever since I knew I would be racing in the Dunlop Series. It's great to have finally pressed the button on it all and now I can start getting to work on learning how to drive one of these cars."

While Gracie knows it will be a challenge to adapt to the V8 Supercar, she felt she was off to a good start.

"A lot of people have been telling me that they are really hard to drive, and they are definitely not easy - but I felt quite comfortable and we were able to work through our program nicely," Gracie said.

"It's one thing to drive a V8 Supercar but it's another to drive one as the tyres degrade, or when the track gets hot and the grip level changes, so you adjust not only your driving style but the anti-roll bars in the car - which is something you can't do in a Carrera Cup car.

"I was able to get a taste of all that and I tried a few practice starts too so it was a good start, but the intensity will step up a whole lot when get into race mode at Clipsal next year."

Renee's team boss - and reigning Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 champion - Paul Morris is playing an active role in the young Queenslander's development, and was impressed with her first day's work.

Morris will race alongside Gracie in next year's Dunlop Series while also acting as a mentor and driving coach, something Gracie appreciates the benefits of.

"I'm so fortunate to be working with Paul, and to have him giving me the guidance I need.

"I know Paul's advice is right because I have seen how he has gotten the best out of guys like Tim Slade and Scott Pye when they were on the way up.

"The fact he will be out there on the track with me, driving the same car in the same race means he can look at my data and get right down to where I need to improve and how I can do it, because he is out there doing it too."

Gracie will be in action in the opening round of the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, from February 26-March 1.

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