Youngster cleared to race in Perth endurance classic
THE age of drivers getting opportunities to compete in high-powered race cars is one that gets general media jumping – and no doubt they will again with the news 14-year-old West Aussie Alex Rullo is making his V8 racing debut.
Yes, that’s not a typo – 14-year-old Alex Rullo.
The teenage son of tarmac rally competitor Peter Rullo, the lad from Jane Brook in Perth has been granted the necessary signatures on his CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) licence to compete in this weekend’s Wanneroo 300.
Driving a Falcon V8 formerly used in the V8 Supercar Development Series by Matthew White’s team, Rullo will also compete against his father and become the youngest-ever driver to compete in a V8 touring car.
He’ll be joined by Dunlop Series driver Jack Le Brocq in the 300-kilometre endurance race, which has plenty of history at Barbagallo Raceway dating back to 1976.
Peter Brock and brother Phil won the inaugural Wanneroo 300 in 1976 in a Torana with Peter repeating the dose in 1977.
The event, run for a variety of different cars over the years, has also been won by V8 racing legends Larry Perkins and Glenn Seton, acting as co-drivers for local Perth drivers in V8 tourers.
Rullo competed in a variety of cars and categories to gain the necessary signatures on his licence from race officials, who confirmed he was a competent and safe driver who understood the rules of the track.
He secured his final signature on October 26 in an Historic Formula Vee and has also competed in the WA Excels Championship and Suzuki Swift Series in Queensland.
“The experience of upgrading my CAMS licence was great,” Rullo said.
“I learnt more about driving and car setup from every meeting.”
It’s not the first time this year the topic of a teenager in a V8 had raised its head.
Karter Jake Kostecki had planned to compete in the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car round at Phillip Island in September.
However those plans were scrapped when it emerged that private practice on the Friday of his planned debut round was not enough to satisfy officialdom for his participation in the weekend proper.
Young pilots in V8 Supercars are not a new thing.
Current Volvo star Scott McLaughlin made his Dunlop Series debut in a V8 Supercar at age 16, while 2012 Bathurst champ Paul Dumbrell made his V8 Supercar Championship debut as a 16-year-old schoolboy in Tasmania in 1999.
The Wanneroo 300 will be held this Sunday at Barbagallo Raceway.
VIDEO: Here’s Glenn Seton winning the Wanneroo 300 in 1994 with Claude Giorgi.