Glenn Seton is predicting action-packed races at the inaugural Bend SuperSprint in August after becoming one of the first to drive a Supercar at the venue.
A two-time Australian Touring Car Champion and Supercars Hall of Famer, Seton visited the new South Australian circuit yesterday as part of his role as a judge with Aussie Driver Search.
The talent contest, which will award a 2019 Dunlop Super2 Series drive to its winner, has an ex-Tickford Racing Falcon in its fleet of vehicles.
Among those coaching and assessing contestants in a variety of cars across the day, Seton took the opportunity to jump behind the wheel of the Falcon.
Now 53, Seton’s last Supercars start came in 2010 with Kelly Racing, with only very limited laps in the cars since.
“I think the circuit is fantastic,” said Seton, who drove the 3.4km West Circuit, which is 1.5km shorter than what Supercars will use on August 24-26.
“The facility here and what they’ve built is world class. It’s very challenging, there’s lots of blind corners which you arrive at across crests.
“To drive an old FG, which is a 2009-model FPR car, I’ve been out of them for a long while and it takes a little while to get used to them.
“They’ve got so much grip and so much brakes, and so aggressive with the throttle, you’ve got to be really gentle with all that stuff.
“After a few laps I started to get used to it and really enjoyed the challenge and opportunity.”
Seton is looking forward to seeing the full Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field tackle the new venue.
“I think it’ll be pretty spectacular,” he said.
“There’s a lot of areas there that are actually braking areas, where you’re going to get some passing.
“There’s a lot of areas that are very challenging with crests and high-speed corners, so you’re probably going to see a few cars in the paddock!”
The Bend Motorsport Park opened earlier this year, becoming Australia’s first new permanent circuit since Queensland Raceway opened in 1999.
Its addition to the Supercars calendar marks the first time South Australia has hosted two championship rounds in a single season since 1977.