British Sports Car International, Martin Short, will join former V8 Supercar team owner John Briggs in a Mosler MT 900 sports car for Round 1 of the Australian GT Championship at the Clipsal 500 (March 1- 4).
Short's UK based business, Rollcentre Racing, designed and built the Mosler which competes in the Dutch Supercar Challenge, Super GT and Spanish GT series in Europe, as well as the Australian GT series. Short won the 2003 British GT Championship for Mosler and also went on to win the inaugural Britcar Silverstone 24 Hour race.
Short's first Australian appearance was the inaugural Bathurst 24 Hour race in 2002, the Mosler finishing second to the Monaro 427 driven by Cameron McConville, Garth Tander, Steven Richards and Nathan Pretty. He returned again in 2003, to finish 5th outright.
"I can't wait to be back in Australia, especially for an event such as the Clipsal 500. John Briggs has given me the opportunity to co-drive with him, and given that the Mosler has been pretty competitive in Australia over the past few years, we are really looking forward to the challenge," Short said.
Brigg's racing CV is also pretty spectacular. The Brisbane based entrepreneur has raced sports cars, Formula 5000, Formula Holden, and won the 1996 Australian Sports Sedan Championship before moving into V8 Supercars.
He stepped down from racing fulltime when he purchased the Caterpillar team, which included the driving services of John Bowe. Briggs then expanded the team to three cars, and went on to build a state of the art workshop facility at Bowen Hills, which in many ways, set a new benchmark for Australian motorsport.
His two car Betta Electrical backed team caught the eye of Triple Eight Engineering's Roland Dane, who saw the facility as world class, and in 2003 made an offer that Brigg's couldn't resist. Triple Eight Engineering has now been the dominant force in the V8 Supercar paddock for a number of years, a fact which makes Briggs very proud,
"It's been great to see the team develop into such a powerhouse, and it's a nice thought that I have contributed in some form," Briggs stated. "I have been in and out of motorsport a number of times over the years, when business commitments allow, however I am really looking forward to sharing the Mosler MT 900 with Martin at the Clipsal 500. I plan to do a number of rounds this year, and given that Klark Quinn was the series runner-up last year in a Mosler, I hope that we will be competitive."
The Briggs/Short Mosler MT 900 was purchased in July last year, and was a factory raced and prepared entry in the British GT Championship, under Momo colours. Briggs tested the car at Snetterton in the U.K., before importing the vehicle to Australia.
Hong Kong based driver Jackie Yeung will add more international flavour to the Clipsal 500, entering a Ferrari 360 Challenge. Yeung has driven in the 2011 Asian Carrera Cup series, Asian GT and the Macau GP.
Round one of the re-born series will also feature the series race debut of Tony Quinn's new Ferrari 458 GT3, James Brock's Mercedes - Benz SLS AMG GT3, Roger Lago's Lamborghini LP 600, the Rod Wilson/Jim Manolios Chev Corvette Z06R, and the Dean Koutsoumidis Lamborghini LP 520, newly imported from Asia.
The Australian GT Championship is a 7 round series, based primarily on cars eligible for the FIA GT3 Championship. The series is televised on free to air in Australia and New Zealand, and to over 40 countries worldwide.