Dale Wood will partner Rick Kelly for a second consecutive Bathurst 1000 campaign.
The former Supercar full-timer has long been expected to return to Kelly Racing for the 2020 endurance season, which us now limited to just October’s Bathurst 1000.
Victoria-based Wood will be one of a number of co-drivers who will likely face two weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine upon entering New South Wales, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the southern state.
The Bathurst event is also set to be his first taste of Kelly’s Castrol-backed Mustang, his previous experience with the team coming in its Nissan Altima hardware.
However, given this will be his 13th Great Race start, Wood isn’t too fussed about coming in cold.
“Us guys from Victoria have been sitting around for a long time now not being able to do our sport, so for us we’re chomping at the bit to get to Bathurst,” said Wood.
“It’ll be different how that looks with preparation leading into the event; in the past we’ve spent three days at the workshop practicing pitstops and driver changes and all of that stuff for Bathurst, plus the co-driver sessions at the lead up events. This time we’ll be spending a couple of weeks in hotel rooms.
“There’s a bunch of us that are pretty fortunate that we’re now very experienced at Bathurst, I feel like the time out of racing won’t be an issue at all. The biggest challenge for me will just be getting to terms with the Mustang, I was comfortable in the car last year, so there will be a small adjustment to that.
“But the main thing will be not getting to do our usual build-up of preparation.”
Two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Kelly added: “It’s great to have Dale on-board the Castrol Racing Supercar once again this year.
“He was an extremely valuable asset to us last year and it was a lot of fun having him around too so it’s great that we’ve been able to secure him once again to race in the Bathurst 1000.
“Myself and Dale are good mates away from racing so last year we didn’t quite know how we’d work together in a racing sense. But it turned out really well, his match fitness and engineering understanding were outstanding, he was able to actually provide a lot of feedback on the set-up during his practice sessions which was a big advantage and in a lot of those sessions he was the quickest co-driver out there.”
“So no doubt he’s one of the best guys out there for this job, and with the Castrol Mustang this year I think we’ll be even quicker as a team and hopefully have some good results.”
KR is still yet to lock in a co-driver for Andre Heimgartner, while both Team Sydney cars and two of the four Brad Jones Racing entries (Macauley Jones and Jack Smith) are also without confirmed co-drivers.
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