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Porsche star Estre's first impressions of Supercar

Supercars
05 Sep
'Everything was new, it was quite tough at the start'
3 mins by James Pavey
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Penrite Racing’s import Kevin Estre needed a single day to get up to speed in Supercar machinery, with the French driver confident in testing.

Estre, 34, has been recruited by the Groves to partner rookie Matt Payne at the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000.

The Porsche factory driver is the first driver from outside Australia and New Zealand to race in Supercars since 2019, and the first Frenchman since Alex Premat.

Estre took to the #19 Penrite Ford during an Evaluation Day at Winton Motor Raceway on Monday, and returned for a full test day on Tuesday.

The Penrite Gen3 Ford Supercar is a far cry to Estre’s usual beasts, with the Frenchman part of Porsche Penske’s Hypercar line-up in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

He is essentially a like-for-like replacement for Matt Campbell, who was unavailable for the 2023 Supercars enduros due to a date clash with his IMSA commitments.

kevin estre test 3

For Estre, Monday’s running was a big learning curve, given he had to adjust to a right-hand side car, gear lever and, most importantly, heel and toe techniques.

“Everything was new, it was quite tough at the start,” Estre said in a team video.

“Thinking about the blip, heel and toe, driving on the right side, gear change which is very different to what I’m used to.

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“It was tough, but I think we made good progress. I understood well what the car needs, now I just need to put it together.

“It was a good first test day for me to get a feel, to get to know the car, the team, what the team is asking me, what I should give for feedback.

“I feel good, I feel confident for the rest of the testing and the race in 10 days.”

Triple Eight gets to work on damaged Camaro

Penrite Racing has the most- and least-experienced line-ups on the grid, with Payne and Estre combining for one Great Race start. David Reynolds and Garth Tander, meanwhile, combine for 39 starts and six wins.

Estre is one of two rookies on the Sandown grid along with Super2 driver Aaron Love, who will share the Blanchard Racing Team wildcard with Jake Kostecki.

The BRT livery will be revealed on Saturday, with BRT shaking down BRT002 for the first time on Monday at Winton.

Kai Allen will make his Bathurst debut alongside Simona De Silvestro in a Dick Johnson Racing wildcard at the Repco Bathurst 1000, taking the rookie class to three.

DJR was set to test this week, but was forced to make alternate plans after De Silvestro underwent emergency appendix surgery.

The Penrite Oil Sandown 500 will be held on September 15-17, ahead of the Repco Bathurst 1000 on October 5-8. Tickets for both events are on sale now.

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