Previous category champion James Ward will make his first start in a decade after confirming his return to the driver’s seat at Queensland Raceway.
The round supporting the Australian Superbike Championship on April 28-30 will mark 2004 championship winner Ward’s first start since2010.
Ward was a consistent frontrunner in the series during the2000s as he not only took the title in 2004, but finished third for the following three seasons driving the Yokohama Racing Holden VY Commodore-bodied entry.
Having been away from the category for many years, Ward has made a return in recent times to the Battery World Aussie Racing Car Super Series paddock in the form of aiding teams with pre-event preparation and on-site support.
Not having raced for a considerable amount of time, Ward has had to re-apply for his racing licence and update his driving equipment during the lead-up.
ASAP Marketing’s Scott Gore is unable to compete at Queensland in his Ford Mustang allowing Ward to be installed as super-sub, with support also coming from Eloma Care in addition to Phillips and Co Automotive.
A stacked grid of 33-entries have been received for Round 2of the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Super Series at Queensland Raceway, with the driver to catch being Joel Heinrich holding a narrow one-point margin from Josh Anderson in the standings.
ASAP Marketing, Ford Mustang
“It should be fun,” said Ward.
“Scott Gore owns the car and he couldn’t do the round, so he asked me if I wanted to race it. Also, the generosity of a few other small sponsors has given me a hand and has let me get there.
“The support has been pretty good, it’s mostly been people that have been around the category for a while, who have given me a hand to be able to do it and now it’s up to me to try to do a decent job.
“There are a few guys I have raced against, but there are a lot of new names and a lot of young drivers, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it is racing against those guys.
“The drivers I used to race with, some of them moved into Supercars such as Nick Percat, Garry Jacobson and Paul Morris I competed against pretty much the whole time I was in it. I knew how those guys raced, but now it’s a bit harder because you don’t know who races courteously and whogives a push out of the way.
“One of my main goals is to keep the car straight. It’s always good to go well, but it’s definitely more of an enjoyable weekend if you bring the car back in one piece!
“I started helping a few guys fix their cars and get them prepared through my race car engineering business, so that’s how I started to end up getting back involved and talking to people. I ended up going to Newcastle and working on one of the teams, so that’s how I’m back in the circles of it all.
“I’ve enjoyed being back in it because it’s got a good vibe and buzz in the pits because the racing is so close, providing a different environment to other categories. There’s a bit more intensity about the racing and to me there are not many other categories that have hard, legitimate racing yet end up knowing each other well off the track.
“After attending Newcastle I started to realise how much I’ve missed it, so I’m pumped to drive.
“I haven’t had a chance to go do any practice or anything, but we’ll just have to get into it.”