Troy Bayliss will make his V8 Supercar endurance race debut at one of the most demanding touring car events in the world, with the three-time World Superbike Champion set to get behind the wheel of a Paul Morris Motorsports-prepared Commodore for this weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.
Bayliss was scheduled to make his debut at the L&H 500 at Phillip Island last month until a mechanical failure on the race sighting lap forced him and co-driver Dean Fiore to watch the race from pit lane.
Racing at Mount Panorama is the realisation of a dream for Bayliss, who said he remembers watching the race as a child from the comfort of his lounge room.
“I’m really looking forward to racing Bathurst,” Bayliss said. “It’s going to be a challenging weekend and even the top guys in the series rate the event as one of the biggest of the year. I guess for me it’s going to be a huge learning curve having to become familiar with the grueling track and also the car at the same time.
“Given the circumstances I’m feeling quite prepared for the event. I would have liked a full day in the car at Phillip Island just to allow me to learn more about the category prior to Bathurst, however it wasn’t meant to be.
“My goal is to get through the weekend and to get some miles in the car so I can take another step further in my goal of making the transition from two to four wheels.”
Fiore, who will also make his debut in a V8 Supercar at Mount Panorama this weekend, said he is looking was looking forward to the challenge of racing the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and said that despite his rookie tag, Bayliss was one of the best co-drivers available.
“To race alongside Troy [Bayliss] is an absolute honour,” Fiore said. “While he is fairly new to the world of V8 Supercar racing, the way conducts himself with such professionalism is certainly something which I draw on and learn from.
“The last time I raced at Bathurst was in a Porsche last year where I won all three races; Troy’s last visit to the Mountain was on a bike in 1994 and I think he won a race then, which overall is a good omen for us.”
The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 commences with practice on Thursday October 8, 2009 before the 1000 kilometre race which will take place on Sunday October 11, 2009.