D'Alberto doubles up

  • Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 23/09/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Former V8 Supercars full-timer Tony D'Alberto will be on double duties at next month's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, taking the chance to jump in a Dunlop Series Supercar with Josh Kean.

The two contested the 250km mini-enduro together last year and finished 12th, and both were pleased to continue the pairing, which gives D'Alberto extra miles around Mount Panorama before racing the 1000 with Tim Slade and Supercheap Auto Racing on the Sunday.

D'Alberto has been involved with Kean since 2013 when he handed over a Walkinshaw Racing V8 Supercar to the young driver, and this year gets to sample a different Dunlop Series car after Kean's move to Brad Jones Racing in the off-season.

Both drivers are out at Winton Motor Raceway today completing a pre-Bathurst test - as six other Dunlop Series teams have elected to do - before the category's longest race of the year in which a co-driver is optional.

"Last year I did the race with Josh and it's always been part of the plan for me to do it again," D'Alberto told v8supercars.com.au.

"I've been trying to mentor Josh a bit and with a test day today I thought, what an opportunity to actually have a feel of the car, because I haven't driven this car. For me it's more miles in the car, more miles at Bathurst, so it's all a plus."

D'Alberto has had the chance to complete a handful of laps today and was impressed with the Holden Commodore. He joked that the day doubled as an audition for BJR's vacant main game seat, after Fabian Coulthard's announcement yesterday that he would move on from the team in 2016.

"The car feels great... these things are really, really nice," he said.

"I expected it to be good around Winton because BJR has done plenty of laps around here - but the cars feel good and it's definitely a step up from what Josh and I had last year at Bathurst."

Kean said he was looking forward to teaming up again, and had taken some positives from the test day already.

"We had a problem from a previous round we managed to get on top of today, which was good," he said.

"We've focussed this morning on a lot of pit stop practice and getting the nitty gritty out of the way, and this afternoon we're knuckling down and getting some good laps underway, see if we can tweak a few things."

The shift to BJR has been a positive one for Kean, 22, who sits 17th in the Dunlop Series standings.

"It's been a good year to join these guys at Brad Jones, it's also been a bit of a tough one because we've had a bit of bad luck ... but we'll knuckle down and hopefully get a good result at Bathurst," he said.

"It's one of those races that's a bit longer and I think that suits me a bit better, so it's all about getting a result there."

All three BJR Commodores are on track today, with Andrew and Macauley Jones also behind the wheel of their Dunlop Series Commodores.

Others at Winton include Eggleston Motorsport (bar Paul Dumbrell), MW Motorsport and Rsport and Matt Chahda. Matt Stone Racing and Paul Morris Motorsport test at Queensland Raceway.

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