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A field of 19 V8 SuperUtes will line up for Round 5 of the season at the Repco Bathurst 1000 with multiple BTCC race winner Tom Oliphant joining the grid for his first attack at Mount Panorama this weekend (October 5-8, 2023).

The English racer – who has been regular in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series this year including winning a race at Winton in June – will compete in the #115 JKD Racing HiLux which was previously campaigned by team owner Dean Brooking; the same car that was involved in the Race 4 startline crash at The Bend Motorsport Park in August and has been completely rebuilt since.

Oliphant, 33, brings a wealth of experience to the V8 SuperUte Series following a four-year stint in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) – one of the world’s most competitive touring car championships – before making the move Down Under.

“Mount Panorama is a unique track and it’s definitely the last track on my bucket list that I’ve had since I started my motorsport career,” said Oliphant. “I’ve been lucky enough to race at Spa, Le Mans, Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Silverstone and some other fantastic tracks around Europe and the Middle East, but I’ve always wanted to drive here and in a V8. Now it’s not a Supercar but a V8 SuperUte is close enough in my opinion.”

Born and raised in Cheshire, England, Tom started his career at the age of eleven in karting before moving to circuit racing in 2012 in the Formula Renault BARC single-seater championship; dovetailing his racing by studying for a MEng in Automotive Engineering with Business Management and later a further Masters degree in Engineering Business Management.

A former BMW factory driver, Oliphant’s accolades include two race wins and 10 podium finishes in BTCC, as well being crowned the 2017/18 Porsche Middle East Vice Champion, 2016 Dubai 24 Hour SP3 Class Winner and the 2015 Ginetta GT4 SuperCup Champion.

“I actually own a dual cab as a daily driver so it’s going to be fun to race one of these. Inever thought I’d be racing a ‘truck’ per se in my career so it’s going to be a first but a lot of fun I can tell. It’s a completely fresh new challenge which I haven’t had for a very long time, so I think that’ll be awesome especially considering the championship looks like it’s going from strength to strength.

“I don’t think I’ve ever really driven a circuit close to anything like Mount Panorama. It’s got elements of a street track and elements of incredibly undulating corners, dips, steep inclines and all that kind of thing. I’ve kind of experienced a little bit of all of it but just not at once so I absolutely cannot wait. When I tell people I’m racing in Australia everybody asks me if I’ve raced at Bathurst and I’ll finally be able to say yes and hopefully can make some really racing good stories to tell in future,” said Oliphant.

Last round of the V8 SuperUte Series at Sandown Raceway saw reigning champion Aaron Borg claim round honours in the #1 ACDelco D-MAX after taking two race wins, followed by #15 Motion Team Triton Racing’s Adam Marjoram who scored his second round podium of the year. Leading category rookie Jimmy Vernon in the #50 Hunter Pacific Ceiling Fans Triton scored a hard-fought first round podium in third place after knocking on the door twice previously of a top-three round finish this year.

The top five in the championship standings with two rounds remaining is Adam Marjoram (758 points), Aaron Borg (730 points), David Sieders (718 points), Ryal Harris (715 points) and Craig Woods (687 points). Full championship points can be found here. The final round of 2023 will be run on the Gold Coast later this month.

Round 5 will be televised live on FoxSports 506 and Kayo, with Friday to Sunday’s rqacing also broadcast simultaneously on Seven.

Tickets to the event can be purchased at: https://www.supercars.com/calendar/

#1 – ACDelco Sieders Racing Team – Aaron Borg (Isuzu D-MAX)
#3 – Sieders Racing Team – David Sieders (Mazda BT-50)
#5 – Bendix Racing – David Casey (Isuzu D-MAX)
#8 – Western Sydney Motorsport – Ben Walsh (Toyota HiLux)
#15 – Motion Team Triton Racing – Adam Marjoram (Mitsubishi Triton)
#18 – Western Sydney Motorsport – Cody Brewczynski (Toyota HiLux)
#19 – Go Sunny Solar – George Gutierrez (Holden Colorado)
#41 – Go Sunny Solar – Adrian Cottrell (Holden Colorado)
#50 – Hunter Pacific Ceiling Fans – Jimmy Vernon (Mitsubishi Triton)
#58 – EFS 4×4 Accessories – Ryal Harris (Ford Ranger)
#64 – Western Sydney Motorsport – Craig Woods (Toyota HiLux)
#68 – World’s Best Technology – Gerard Maggs (Ford Ranger)
#76 – Best Leisure Industries – Ellexandra Best (Mazda BT-50)
#77 – City Rural Insurance Brokers – Richard Mork (Mazda BT-50)
#96 – World’s Best Technology – Jaiden Maggs (Mitsubishi Triton)
#115 – JKD Racing – Tom Oliphant (Toyota HiLux)
#707 – Roo Systems Australia – Lachlan Gardner (Mazda BT-50)
#777 – Holly Espray Racing – Holly Espray (Isuzu D-MAX)
#805 – JKD Racing – Jensen Engelhardt (Toyota HiLux)

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