Ulster’s Robert Cregan will become the first Irishman to compete in a V8 Supercar when he joins the Fujitsu Series at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide next month.
The 22-year-old will race for Matt Stone, the son of Jim and nephew of Ross, who is entering a team in the Fujitsu Series for the first time.
V8 Supercar Chairman Tony Cochrane said having Cregan in the Series was an important step for the sport.
“Hopefully, in a few years time, this will lead to a full-time V8 Supercar drive for Robert,” Mr Cochrane said.
“For us, it’s an important step, as we keep growing our influence outside Australia and spread our message around the world.”
Cregan is the son of Richard Cregan, the former team manager of Toyota’s Formula One outfit who now heads up Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management.
“It’s been a long goal for me to get there. I’ve been racing since 2002 and the ultimate goal has been to make a living out of it and race V8 Supercars. It’s a big step but I’m really excited,” Cregan said.
“I’ve been watching the series my whole life. As a racing fan, I think V8 Supercars is the best series in the world to watch. As a young driver, it’s the perfect championship to aim for.
“It’s a big step. I know it’s going to be tough and a big learning curve but I can’t wait for it to start.
Cregan began his racing career in Formula Ford in Ireland and England before moving into Porsche racing in Europe.
His V8 Supercar experience is limited to one test day at Winton Raceway last year with MW Motorsport where he competed 80-90 laps.
Matt Stone said Cregan looked to have the goods.
“He’s a rookie, but I’m optimistic. I think he’ll go pretty good.”
“Looking over his CV, he’s done a lot of good things and he’s always been top three or four in whatever he has done. V8s will be a big jump for him, but we’re aiming to be up the front.”
Cregan has competed in a number of different sportscar classes over the past few years. He tested a V8 Supercar back in September last year, driving a Matthew White Motorsport Falcon at Winton Motor Raceway.