30th May, 2012 – Australian born WGA Middle East Supercar Series star driver Tarek Elgammal has completed his first laps in a current specification V8 Supercar at Australia’s Winton Raceway this week.
The Dubai based racing driver, who won the inaugural Middle East Supercars Championship and who is also a former UAE GTB Champion, was given the opportunity by Tony D’Alberto’s Team Hiflex V8 Supercar team.
Elgammal was hopeful that the successful test could open the door to more V8 Supercar opportunities and his consideration for international co-driver roles in the near future.
Driving the same Ford Performance Racing designed and constructed FG Series Falcon V8 Supercar that Tony D’Alberto is competing with strongly this season, Elgammal impressed with his immediate pace on the tight and technical three kilometre Winton Raceway circuit.
“The team were very busy as they had their normal test program to complete, as well as ensuring that their endurance race co-driver Dale Wood gained some valuable test miles in the car. So for Tony and Al D’Alberto to give me this opportunity was a great privilege and I can’t thank them enough” said Elgammal.
Elgammal took over the driving duties mid-way through the test day, under the guidance of experienced series driver Tony D’Alberto and his race engineer Adam DeBorre.
Speaking after the test, Elgammal was excited by his first taste of Aussie V8 Supercar power, completing the session without incident, quickly acclimatising to the car to set a number of respectable lap times.
Elgammal stated, “I wasn’t going out there to break the lap record, and I was very aware of the workload Team Hiflex had on their test day so I wasn’t going to do anything silly. I had a very short window in which to learn the track and the car so the goal was to get the maximum out of that short time and I am satisfied that I did that.
“These cars take a fair bit of time to understand, but the main thing was that I got in and drove it quickly and handed it back to the team in one piece. I know without doubt that with some more seat time I could go much quicker as the car didn’t intimidate me.
Elgammal added, “Growing up in Australia and watching the Australian Touring Car Championship and Bathurst each year, all I ever wanted to do was to be part of it. I was totally obsessed and this test has been an important part of that lifelong dream coming to life. I hope that this will lead to other V8 Supercar opportunities in the future. Now that I have experienced it first hand, I know with more seat time and detailed data analysis that I could do a respectable job as an international co-driver. That would be the ideal situation for me and I’m prepared to put in the work required to make it happen.”
Elgammal was one of only three drivers to win races during the 2011/12 WGA Supercars Middle East Championship, competing with the VIVA Racing Team. He is planning to return to the new series, while also competing in Sportscars.
Print quality image links from Tarek Elgammal’s V8 Supercar Test in Australia