V8 Supercar driver Warren "Rockdog" Luff will make a return to the V8 Ute Series as the Auto One Wildcard, for Round 1 of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All.
Luff has been absent from the Series since he took out his second V8 Ute title in 2003, and went on to drive in the V8 Supercars Championship in 2004 with Dick Johnson Racing.
"The great thing about the V8 Ute category is that it teaches great race craft, and as it's a control category, the closeness of the competition is very similar to V8 Supercars. Whilst they are vastly different to drive, they are both big, heavy, rear wheel drive V8's, and the basic race craft that you learn at the V8 Ute level is a great training ground for the intensity of V8 Supercar Racing," explained Luff.
The Queenslander debuted in the V8 Supercars in 1999, and in 2005 came second in the V8 Supercar Development Series driving with Paul Cruikshank Racing. From 2005 - 2009, he raced in the V8 Supercar endurance races with Stone Brothers, Dick Johnson Racing and Britek Motorsport, and also had a dabble in the Australian MINI Challenge Series. Last year, he picked up another full-time drive with V8 Supercars, this time with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
Since stepping away from the Dumbrell team, Luff is now a hot target for front running V8 Supercar endurance drives, and will also drive full-time in the Australian GT Championship with Mark Eddy in an Audi R8.
Luff was the first V8 Ute driver to win back to back Series (2002 and 2003), he was soon joined by Damien White who won the Series in 2004 and 2005 in a Holden and Ford, and Grant Johnson claimed two titles in 2007 and 2010.
He stepped back into the Ute series as the 2008 Driver Standards Advisor, however is excited to finally drive one again.
"Apart from the odd test day, I haven't been in a Ute for a long time, and I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the Auto One Wildcard Ute. I'm expecting a good result for the team, however the series is much more competitive than when I last raced," said Luff.
"The downside is that being the former Driving Standards Advisor, I am sure there's a number of driver's ready to square up for previous on track penalties I have applied, and I will have to practise what I preached, well at least to a point!"
The 2012 Series consists of 24 races over eight rounds raced throughout Australia covering six states and one territory and is televised nationally through-out Australia on Network Seven and 7 Mate and internationally through Motors TV Europe, TV3 New Zealand and SPEED online in the USA.