V8 Series: Robert Cregan first Irishman to compete in V8 Supercars as he joins the Fujitsu series

Robert Cregan is known for his outstanding driving in the Maserati in the UAE GT series

Abu Dhabi Feb 12th, Yas Marina Circuit: Dubliner 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, from Dublin , Ireland , is teaming up with Matt Stone, son of Stone Brothers Racing’s Jimmy Stone, in the development Series after testing last year.

V8 Supercar Chairman Tony Cochrane said having Cregan in the Series was an important step for the sport when making the announcement that the drive had been confirmed. Cregan is in Abu Dhabi for the Yas V8 400, racing in the UAE GT Series.

“Hopefully this will lead in a few years time to a fulltime V8 Supercar drive for Robert,” Mr Cochrane said. “For us it’ an important part as we keep growing our influence outside of our home base in Australia and as we 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, who is in charge the Yas Marina Circuit for this weekend’s Yas V8 400.

Robert in action last year at Yas Marina

“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.

Cregan says that the Fujitsu Series – the development category – was an ideal place for him to start.

“The Fujitsu Series is the perfect stepping stone,” he said.

“It’s a very expensive hobby, but if you can get the sponsorship to do the Fujitsu Series for one year to see how we do … to get into the main V8 series would be a dream come true. Even to race in the Fujitsu Series will be amazing.”

Stone will prepare the Stone Brothers Racing-built Falcon BF chassis that Russell Ingall took to the 2005 V8 Supercars Championship victory (SBR BA3). Stone is leasing the car from SBR.  Stone has worked with the SBR team on and off for the six years, most recently acting as the number one mechanic on Shane van Gisbergen’s #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon.

“Matt has set his own team up as he has wanted to do his own thing for a while,” Ross Stone said. “He will be doing the preparation and we will oversee it with any engineering support and any other support he needs.”

Matt Stone said that he felt the time was right to branch out and take on his own racing endeavors.

“I wanted a bit of a change and be my own boss,” he said.

“The Fujitsu Series is a good place to start. I’ve seen a lot of the mechanical side of the car, and I start doing the other side of the racing, like management. I want to expand as well by running a couple of Carrera Cup cars in the future.”

He said Cregan looked to have the goods. “He’s a rookie, but I’m optimistic. I think he’ll go pretty good,” Stone said.

“Looking over his CV, he’s done a lot of good things and he’s always be 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, 21, has competed in a number of different sportscar classes over the past few years, including racing Porsches in Europe . He tested a V8 Supercar back in September last year, driving a Matthew White Motorsport Falcon at Wionton Motor Raceway.

© 2011, Editor. All rights reserved.

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