Coming off a spectacular incident at the Bathurst 1000 last weekend that saw him narrowly escape a serious inferno, V8 Supercar driver David Besnard will steer the Auto One Wildcard entry for Round 6 of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All at the Gold Coast 600, 21 - 23 October.
On lap 112 of the 161 lap race last weekend, Besnard had brake failure after a pad change in pit lane, and his Jim Beam Racing backed Ford (partnered with Steve Johnson) hit the tyre bundle backwards, fracturing the fuel tank and setting the car and track on fire. Fire Marshalls were quick to the scene and walked through fire to extinguish the flames and help Besnard who was caught inside the car for some time.
The Gold Coaster has recovered fairly well from the accident. "My back is a bit stiff, nothing too major though, I'm feeling pretty good and looking forward to racing a ute."
"I'm there to have fun and enjoy it but I'm also very competitive and would love to be up the pointy end," he said.
This will be the Queenslanders first time in a V8 Ute and will hit the track fresh for the one and only practice session on Friday (21st October).
"We don't have any testing locked in at the moment so I'll start fresh when I hit the track. I have a work Ute but I've never raced one, it's all new but a bit of fun."
Besnard has a long history of racing including Formula Ford USA, where he won the 1998 title. He raced an Indy Car at the Gold Coast event in 2004 with Derek Walker Racing and placed 7th, the highest ever result for an Australian and the highest debut result apart from Nigel Mansell in 1993. He has been a regular V8 Supercar enduro driver since 2000, with Stone Brothers Racing, WPS Racing, Garry Rogers Motorsport, Ford Performance Racing and Jim Beam Racing.
Besnard's last time on the Gold Coast track was in 2009 in an Aussie Racing Car, however isn't too worried about the change in the track.
"I haven't raced for a few years on the Gold Coast, and have no experience on the short track. It's all the same though, just shorter," he said.
Besnard will have his first practice in a V8 Ute on Friday, 22nd October before heading out for Qualifying later that day.
See below full race schedule for the V8 Utes at the Armor All Gold Coast 600:Friday, 21st October 7:50am PracticeFriday, 21st October 3:00pm QualifyingSaturday, 22nd October 10:15am Race 1Sunday, 23rd October 8:30am Race 2Sunday, 23rd October 12:30pm Race 3
Race 3 will be televised live on Network Seven and will decide the winner of Round 6 of the 2011 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All.
David Besnard will be the 6th driver in the Auto One Wildcard Ute this season, joining Charlie O'Brien, Marcus Marshall, Tim Blanchard, Dean Canto and Marcus Zukanovic.
The 2011 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All features 32 Ford and Holden production based V8 racing utes - covering 8 championship rounds, and 26 races through five states of Australia. The series is televised nationally on the SEVEN Network, through Fox Sports, TV3 New Zealand, Motors TV Europe and over 40 countries worldwide.
Make-A-Wish® Australia is the official charity of Australian V8 Ute Racing who will endeavour to assist the foundation with their mission, which is to "To grant the Wishes of Children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope strength and joy."
See below David Besnards Racing History: 1992 European Junior Kart Championship 1st
1995 Australian Formula Ford Championship 26th Van Diemen RF90 - Ford
1996Australian Formula Ford Championship1st Van Diemen RF96 - Ford David Besnard1998 United States Formula Ford Championship 1st Van Diemen RF98 Ford Van Diemen USA
1999United States Formula Atlantic Series15th Swift 008.a ToyotaHylton Motorsports
2000 GrandAm Sportscar Series83rd Riley & Scott -BuickDyson
2000Konica V8Supercar Championship5th Ford EL FalconStone Brothers Racing
2001Shell Championship Series23rd Ford AU FalconStone Brothers Racing
2002V8Supercar Championship Series8th Ford AU FalconStone Brothers Racing
2003V8Supercar Championship Series21st Ford AU FalconFord BA FalconFord Performance Racing
2004V8Supercar Championship Series30th Ford BA FalconWPS Racing
2004Champ Car World Series20th Reynard 03i Ford Cosworth Walker Racing
2005V8Supercar Championship Series25th Ford BA FalconWPS Racing
2006V8Supercar Championship Series45th Ford BA FalconWPS Racing
2006/07 New Zealand Touring Car Championship 4th Ford BA Falcon
2007V8Supercar Championship Series27th Ford BF FalconStone Brothers Racing
2008V8Supercar Championship Series30th Ford BF FalconStone Brothers Racing
2009V8Supercar Championship Series33rd Holden VE CommodoreGarry Rogers Motorsport
2010V8Supercar Championship Series47th Holden VE CommodoreGarry Rogers Motorsport
2010Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series30th Ford BF FalconPeters Motorsport