TCR ace to make Bathurst 1000 debut

Dylan O’Keeffe will back up his WTCR debut in Zolder with a first start at the Bathurst 1000 alongside Andre Heimgartner.

As revealed by, O’Keeffe has been linked to the #7 Kelly Racing seat for some time.

However there’s been a question mark over whether he’d be able to return to Australia in time, the current cap on international rivals into the country leaving him in danger of being stranded in Europe following his recent WTCR debut in Belgium.

The travel dilemma now appears to be resolved, KR confirming today that O’Keeffe will make his first Bathurst 1000 start next month.

While a Great Race rookie, O’Keeffe is no stranger to Supercars. He spent last season in the second-tier Super2 series with Garry Rogers Motorsport, alongside a TCR Australia campaign that yielded second in the standings.

He also made his main game Supercars debut late last season, as a last-minute substitute for a benched Richie Stanaway on the Gold Coast.

“It’s awesome to have Dylan join us for the Bathurst 1000,” said Heimgartner.

“I actually raced alongside him quite a bit in TCR last year and he was really competitive and actually got a few wins and podiums. He’s also had some solid experience behind the wheel of a Supercar so we should be a good combination.

“It’s great to give a young rising star the co-driver role. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in a similar position myself, I got a co-drive and now here we are a few years later and I’m in my third full-time season in Supercars.

“It’s rewarding for myself and the whole team to be able to give a young driver the opportunity to show what they can do.

“We saw Dylan at the the Gold Coast 600 last year where he was able stay out of trouble and hold his own against some of the more experienced guys in a fairly chaotic race so no doubt he has the skill and experience to put us in a good position for Bathurst.”

O’Keeffe added: “I’m looking forward to driving the Ford Mustang, it’s been a little while since I’ve driven a Supercar however I’m confident I’ll adapt to it quickly and be able to be competitive with the other co-drivers.

“We’ll have a few practice sessions before the big race which will give me plenty of time to acclimatise, get to know everyone and learn the car.

“One of the big challenges will probably just be getting used to the pitstops and driver changes as that’s not something that I’ve done a lot of. We’re probably quite lucky that Andre and myself are similar in size so it shouldn’t be too complicated.

“Overall, I can’t wait to meet the dedicated team who have been working tirelessly over the last couple of months. They’ve had some great results recently so I’m looking forward to working with them and hopefully having a good result at Bathurst.”

O’Keeffe will need to complete 14 days hotel quarantine upon his arrival in Australia.

There is now just a single unconfirmed seat left on the 2020 Bathurst 1000 grid, with Tim Blanchard expected to partner Macauley Jones.

2020 Bathurst 1000 entry list

TeamDriver #1Driver #2Car
Walkinshaw Andretti UnitedBryce FullwoodKurt KosteckiHolden Commodore ZB
Walkinshaw Andretti UnitedChaz MostertWarren LuffHolden Commodore ZB
Brad Jones RacingMacauley JonesTBCHolden Commodore ZB
Brad Jones RacingJack SmithJack PerkinsHolden Commodore ZB
Brad Jones RacingNick PercatThomas RandleHolden Commodore ZB
Brad Jones RacingTodd HazelwoodJordan BoysHolden Commodore ZB
Tickford RacingLee HoldsworthMichael CarusoFord Mustang GT
Tickford RacingCameron WatersWill DavisonFord Mustang GT
Tickford RacingJames CourtneyBroc FeeneyFord Mustang GT
Tickford RacingJack Le BrocqJames MoffatFord Mustang GT
Kelly RacingAndre HeimgartnerDylan O’KeeffeFord Mustang GT
Kelly RacingRick KellyDale WoodFord Mustang GT
Erebus MotorsportDavid ReynoldsWill BrownHolden Commodore ZB
Erebus MotorsportAnton De PasqualeBrodie KosteckiHolden Commodore ZB
DJR Team PenskeFabian CoulthardTony D’AlbertoFord Mustang GT
DJR Team PenskeScott McLaughlinTim SladeFord Mustang GT
Team 18Mark WinterbottomJames GoldingHolden Commodore ZB
Team 18Scott PyeDean FioreHolden Commodore ZB
Team SydneyAlex DavisonJonathon WebbHolden Commodore ZB
Team SydneyChris PitherSteve OwenHolden Commodore ZB
Matt Stone RacingZane GoddardJake KosteckiHolden Commodore ZB
Matt Stone RacingGarry JacobsonDavid RussellHolden Commodore ZB
Triple Eight Race EngineeringShane van GisbergenGarth TanderHolden Commodore ZB
Triple Eight Race EngineeringJamie WhincupCraig LowndesHolden Commodore ZB
Garry Rogers MotorsportTyler EveringhamNathan HerneHolden Commodore ZB

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