Wednesday, 25 February 2015 00:00

Tomas Enge relishing chance to race on Adelaide streets





During this weekend’s opening round of the Australian GT Championship, a former Formula One driver will make his debut on a circuit that until now, he has only previously seen during television broadcasts of the Australian Grand Prix.

“I well remember watching Michael Schumacher claim his first ever Formula One title here in 1994,” Tomas Enge admitted with a smile.. “He did it after running into Damon Hill at turn six. I’m not planning anything quite so dramatic, but I have to say, I’m really looking forward to making the Camaros Australian debut here this weekend.

“It’s not my first visit to Australia - I was here last in 2007 for A1GP - but it is my first visit to Adelaide, all I’m focussing on right now is trying to prefect the accent..!”

Enge will be paired with M-Motorsport team-leader Justin McMillan in the team’s new Interlloy liveried Chevrolet Camaro GT3, the pair unveiling the 7.9-litre V8 powered retro muscle car at Interlloy’s Adelaide base just 24-hours after Enge flew into Australia.

“From what I have seen of the Australian GT Championship, of all the circuits the series races on, this one is best suited to the Camaro, and best suited to my driving style,” Enge admitted. “Like all street circuits, it rewards commitment and precision, and there’s no margin for error - I like that.

“I’m also a fan of the V8 Supercars and I usually watch the Clipsal round, so I feel a little in awe of the circuit on my first visit, because I’m so used to seeing it on TV.”

“It will be a pretty busy weekend for us with the Camaro only having cleared customs late last week,” McMillan added. “We had a shakedown at Winton on Friday and suffered a few little teething issues that you experience with any new car, but we sorted those pretty quickly, then it was straight into the truck and across to Adelaide for the unveil at Interlloy.”

For the M-Motorsport team, Clipsal 2015 represents a very different scenario to their maiden visit to the circuit in 2013.

“That was my first street circuit race in the Gallardo,” McMillan reflected. “And we did pretty well, I qualified fifth and ran strongly in both races, however two years ago we ran just one car, this year it’s four!”

The M-Motorsport team, with assistance from Reiter Engineering, will manage the Camaros of McMillan/Enge and Dale Paterson/Steve Richards, whilst they will also oversee the Lamborghini entries of John Magro (in the Gallardo FL2 that McMillan campaigned in 2014) and Trophy Class front-runner Jan Jinadasa.

“There will be plenty going on, but we’re prepared for that,” McMillan admitted.

“The Australian GT Championship has really evolved over the last couple of seasons,” Enge acknowledged. “It has certainly become one of the best GT3 championships in the world, and like many of the other leading GT3 series, it’s going to be tough against such competitive teams and equipment.

“Together with Reiter Engineering we’ve had good success with the car in Europe and in Thailand, however it is still relatively new so there will be a steep learning curve for the whole team this weekend.

“Regardless of how it plays out we will try our best. We know the car can be quick, Justin really impressed me with his pace at Bathurst in the Reiter Gallardo, and I hope I can help him come to grips with the Camaro more quickly.

“The weather will obviously play a big part this weekend too, with the affect it will have on car reliability, on driver concentration and on tyre wear. We’re pretty comfortable with the heat after all the miles we’ve done with the Camaro in Thailand, so I don’t think that will be a big problem for us, but with a field of 34-cars, our focus will be on bringing the car home in one piece, whilst enjoying the experience at the same time!”

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Rnd#1 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli

Adelaide Parklands Circuit, South Australia

Thursday, 26 February

Practice#1 - 10:25am (20-minutes)

Practice#2 - 5:45pm (20-minutes)



Friday, 27 February

Qualifying - 12:20pm (20-minutes)



Saturday, 27 February

Race#1 - 8:55am (30-minutes)

Race#2 - 5:40pm (60-minutes)
 Sunday, 1 March

Race#3 - 9:35am (30-minutes)

Every qualifying session and every race of the 2015 Australian GT Championship will be broadcast live in Australia on the Foxtel network. Check guides for details.

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Keep up to date with further announcements from the M Motorsport/Interlloy race team by visiting; www.facebook.com/MMotorsportGT3



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2015 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli

Rnd#1 - 26 February-1 March, Clipsal 500, Adelaide, SA*
Rnd#2 - 22-24 May, Phillip Island, Victoria**
Rnd#3 - 10-12 July, Townsville, Queensland*
Rnd#4 - 21-23 August, Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW*
Rnd#5 - 11-13 September, Sandown 500, Melbourne, Victoria*
Rnd#6 - 13-15 November, Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell, NZ
(* with V8 Supercars, ** with the Shannons Nationals)

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M Motorsport is proudly supported by Interlloy Engineering Steels and Alloys, Australian Post Tensioning and Vibrabody. About Interlloy

Interlloy Pty Ltd is Australia’s lead supplier of Engineering Steels and Alloys to engineering machine shops both nationally and internationally. Founded in 1987and now employing over one hundred and forty (140) people in five states of Australia, Interlloy has become the major supplier of Special Steels to the General and Heavy Engineering Industries, Toolmaking, Mining, Gas & Oil Fields, Automotive, Manufacturing, Petrochemical, Pump, Power Generation and Transport Industries. For more information, please visit; www.interlloy.com.au

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