Youngest ever Dunlop Series driver to make Barbagallo debut
Dunlop Super2 Series
By V8 Supercars
Youngest ever V8 Supercars Dunlop Series driver Kurt Kostecki has put in every effort to get up to speed before racing the Perth SuperSprint next weekend.
Despite being a Perth local, the 16-year old has never raced at Western Australia's Barbagallo Raceway - but logging some laps around the track during his school holidays has boosted his preparation.
Though he will steer his RSport Commodore for what is his third V8 Supercars Dunlop Series event after debuting in the series at Sydney Olympic Park last year, Kostecki recently loaned an ex-Craig Lowndes BF Falcon currently racing in the third-tier V8 Touring Car series for a bit of reconnaissance at the 2.41km circuit.
"I haven't raced [at Barbagallo] surprisingly and a lot of people are quite shocked by that," Kostecki told v8supercars.com.au.
"Testing at Barbagallo will give me a bit of an edge over the people that haven't been there before or haven't been there in a while... and to go on track in the first practice session and not have to learn the track will definitely help me throughout the whole weekend."
The Falcon -which Lowndes debuted in 2008 with Triple Eight Race Engineering -is piloted by Kostecki's 15-year-old brother Jake in the V8 Touring Car series.
So, while there has been some discussion on whether a driver who isn't old enough to have a licence should be behind the wheel of a V8 Supercar - his family is completely supportive, and he's looking to repaying the faith with results this weekend in front of a home crowd.
"I think it's one of the craziest things - a lot of people have made comment that I can drive at 250 kilometres per hour, but I'm not allowed driving on the road without my dad sitting next to me," he told v8supercars.com.au.
"One of the hardest things has been having a lot of critiques around - it's on TV, there's a lot more people at the track, and just having a lot of people watching the races ... it's a big thing to overcome to know I have eyes on me all the time.
"To some extent there has been some criticism where people have said I'm too young, or I should have gotten more experience first, but hopefully I can prove them wrong and see how I go in the future.
"I'm going to have a lot of support at the track with people I know and even people who have made contact with me through social media who said they're going to be there supporting me - that gives me a lot of confidence."
Kostecki had a tough learning curve at the Sydney Olympic Park and Adelaide Parklands circuits in his opening two events, not having raced at either before tackling them in a V8 Supercar - his best finish of the four outings was 19th in Sydney.
The V8 Supercars Dunlop Series take to the track for two practice sessions on Friday, ahead of their three races across the weekend.
The Perth SuperSprint also marks the 100th round of the Dunlop Series. Don't miss your chance to celebrate a piece of V8 Supercars history, book your tickets now.