Prototypes perfect preparation for Russell

The Australian Prototype Series presented by Hot Wheels (APS) round two field has been boosted by the arrival of Supercars driver Aaren Russell.

The Novocastrian will take part in the two APS races at the second round of the Shannons Nationals for 2018 behind the wheel of a Radical SR3, which his family recently secured.

“It’s something that only came together a month ago,” Russell explained.

“We got Dad a Radical drive day voucher for his birthday. He took John from (Plus Fitness along and had the most fun! We saw it as another way we could service corporate clients – putting them in the passenger seat and having some fun.

“Personally, it’s also a great way to get some miles before the enduros as well.”

While the Radicals are significantly different a Supercars, the 26-year-old is focused to get good mileage ahead of the Supercars endurance season that begins in September at Sandown.

“They’re very different to a Supercar but they’re such nimble, cool little cars. I can’t speak highly enough about driving them; they do what you want them to, you drive them hard and they’ve got lots of aero,” Russell explained.

“We have purposefully left this car with the sequential shifter, rather than paddle shifters, so it’s all the same motions as the Supercar.

“Shane van Gisbergen is probably the perfect example of what we’re trying to do because he has his bum in something almost every week.”

While Russell’s APS debut this week will mainly serve as a way to clock up more time behind a wheel, the prospect of competing in future rounds of the series isn’t off the cards.

“It depends on how this weekend goes and how it pans out,” Russell said.

“This weekend worked out well given it’s at Sandown and I’ll be there later in the year with the Supercars.

“We’d love to do more but as always it comes down to money. It’s a tight industry.”

Russell has an impressive resume with five years in the Super2 Series, which saw him rewarded with Supercars stints in 2016 and 2017 with Erebus Motorsport and Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.

While Russell missed out on full-time ride this year in the championship, he will enter the Pirtek Endurance Cup alongside fellow Plus Fitness-backed driver Andre Heimgartner at Nissan Motorsport.

Russell’s debut in the Australian Prototype Series will begin with a practice round on Friday before competing in both the 25-minute first race on Saturday and the 35-minute second race on Sunday.

The Shannons Nationals will be held at Victoria’s iconic Sandown Raceway on 11 – 13 May.

Fans can watch Sunday’s race via the live stream on the Shannons Nationals website and Facebook page.