Adelaide-basedV8 Touring Car Series team THR Developments will expand its operations toinclude the Dunlop Series in 2014.
The team has confirmedthe purchase of two ex-Jack Daniel’s Racing Commodore VE II V8 Supercars fromKelly Racing in Melbourne.
The cars werethe last two built under the previous V8 Supercar regulations prior to theintroduction of ‘Car of the Future’ specification machinery this year and werecollected from the Kelly team’s Braeside workshops this week.
One of thecars debuted in 2010 and was driven by Todd Kelly for three seasons as the #7entry, while the other was Rick Kelly’s #15 car in 2011 and 2012, winning V8 SupercarsChampionship races at Hidden Valley and Sandown in 2011.
THR Developmentscurrently runs three cars in the V8 Touring Car Series for ex-V8 Supercars,though the team's entry into the Dunlop Series won’t come at the cost of theexisting program.
“We’re reallykeen to use this as a platform to develop young drivers,” THR DirectorNick Taddeo said, whose organisation will be contracted by SA Racing and Logisticsto run the cars.
“We’d like to use the current VZ Commodores we run in the V8 Touring Car Seriesto get young drivers started and step them up into the VEs in the future forthe Dunlop Series.
“We’ve alreadygot a couple of drivers interested for next year who are looking to step upfrom V8 Touring Cars."
The team willhave support from Kelly Racing with Todd Kelly – schedule permitting – to help shakedown the cars at Mallala in early June.
“The supportfrom the Kelly boys has been fantastic,” Taddeo said.
“We’re loadedup with a range of spare parts for the two cars and we’ll go back to them andcollect everything else they have in their workshop that fits these twospecific chassis.
“We have arelationship now with the Kelly guys and should we need repairs or what not,they’ll look after us in that regard. Whatever we need, we’ll let them know andTodd will organise it for us.”
While the focus is on entering the Dunlop Series in 2014, the team could stillappear in 2013.
“It’s possiblewe may run in the Dunlop Series this year, but that’s up in the air at themoment. The main thing for us to do is to get prepared and ready for nextseason,” Taddeo said.
THR Developments runs three cars in the V8 Touring Car Series for ex-V8Supercars, which next races at Winton on June 22-23.
It prepares an ex-James Courtney Stone Brothers Racing Falcon for ChrisSmerdon, an ex-Team Dynamik/Jason Richards Commodore for Saloon Car graduateJosh Kean and an ex-Greg Murphy/Supercheap Auto Commodore for Adelaidetransport operator Ian Yeing.