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Super2 champ’s H-pattern history lesson

RISING star Kai Allen has gained new respect for the Supercars stars of his childhood by sampling a pair of ex-Rick Kelly HSV Dealer Team Commodores.

Allen, 18, joined his Super2 squad Eggleston Motorsport at the weekend’s Repco Adelaide Motorsport Festival, where the team ran a fleet of iconic cars.

They included Kelly’s 2006 V8 Supercars Championship-winning Commodore VZ and the VE model in which he attempted to defend the crown the following year.

The two ex-Kelly Commodores side-by-side. Pic: an1images.com

Allen and EMS owner Ben Eggleston swapped between the two cars in Adelaide, with the former also having driven the VZ the previous weekend at the Phillip Island Classic.

The Walkinshaw Racing-built cars had not turned a wheel in almost a decade prior to Phillip Island and made for a stunning pair in their original black and orange Toll colours.

Allen aboard #1. Pic: an1images.com

“The VZ is a year younger than me, so it’s pretty cool to drive that,” Allen told V8 Sleuth. “I drove a VE in Super3 (in 2022), but that was a 2010 Triple Eight car and these are a lot different.

“It’s cool to drive some cars that I used to watch when I was really little and see what the boys had to go through back in the day.”

The biggest difference between the two HSVDT Commodores and the 2010 Triple Eight car was the move from a H-pattern to a sequential gearshift, which occurred in 2008.

“It’s tricky trying not to miss any gears, because they’re quite brutal,” Allen said of the H-pattern.

“I love the sequential! The (Triple Eight) ZB that I’m driving this year in Super2 is probably my favourite car I’ve driven, lots of aero, you’re hustling it the whole time.

“The new Gen3 is really good… but getting to drive the older cars and seeing what they went through, a full Bathurst 1000 in these cars with a H-pattern would have been brutal.

“I’ll leave that for the old boys!”

Over a dozen classic V8 Supercars took part in the Adelaide festival, at which sprint sessions are run on a shortened version of the parklands circuit.

Allen and Eggleston swapped between the two cars. Pic: Supplied

Utilising the Victoria Park loop and a section of Wakefield Road, the 1.4km course turns hard right out of the Senna Chicane.

“The first lap I had to bring myself back from going through the chicane like I normally would, it was like ‘oh crap’,” Allen laughed.

“But it’s good. For these types of events, it’s all they need. It’s all about the crowd for these things, they can see most of the track and the cars are coming around every 30 seconds.”

Allen is this year attempting to defend his Super2 crown with Eggleston Motorsport and will compete in the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 with Dick Johnson Racing.

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