Footy TV star, Sam Newman, will resume his motor racing career in a deal announced with Gibson Motorsport to race a Holden Vectra in the GT/Production Car category.
Joining Sam in the two car K-Mart sponsored Vectra team will be female speedster, Melinda Price, a top V8 Supercar finisher at Bathurst in the last two years.
Dubbed "The Beauty and the Beast", the duo will contest major events commencing at Darwin's Hidden Valley raceway on June 6, culminating at Bathurst in November - where Newman and Price will share driving stints.
Newman, who campaigned a Ford Falcon last year, is eager to mix it with the Ferraris and Porsches in the Australian built Holden Vectra 2.2 model. "Well, I won't be beating them, will I?" he said. "But the Vectra is a nimble midsize car and will be a strong mid-field class contender. My main mission will be to keep ahead of Melinda, who is a far more experienced steerer than I am."
Team Manager, Fred Gibson, said he was delighted at the K-Mart sponsorship and intended to involve Newman in full racecraft training through the season. "Sam will be as much a part of the team as our Wynns V8 drivers, Steven Richards and Greg Murphy."
"In fact, Steven will have the role of teaching Sam the tricks of the trade at our regular Calder test sessions." Gibson said.
Melinda Price returns to racing after finishing 12th at Bathurst last year in a V8 Holden Commodore. "The Vectra has a competitive race heritage in Europe and should perform well here in its standard production guise. Although Sam and I will be teammates for K-Mart Team Vectra, there will be no favours given on the track." she said.
"I'll be out to win our class and uphold the reputation of women in motorsport."
"Who knows, I might even have to run over him in the pits!" she added.
Newman will fit his Motorsport commitments into his busy football radio and TV schedule, and is hoping to run some practice laps in his new Vectra prior to Darwin
For further information
Contact Paul Burfitt
At Gibson Motorsport
On 03 9791 9899
Known best for his long and distinguished football career (both on and off the field!), Sam Newman is a man with a passion for motor racing. Now in his second year of race driving, Sam has already raced at Bathurst.
Born in Geelong and educated at Geelong Grammar School, John "Sam" Newman began his football career at Geelong Football Club in 1963 where he played 303 games over 18 years.
Sam captained Geelong and was a State and All-Australian Representative, playing in the ruck and centre-half forward.
Since 1981 Sam has worked at 3AW where he still works as a football commentator alongside piscatorial crusader Rex Hunt. Their broadcasts have made 3AW the number one football station for the past six consecutive years.
A regular on television since 1985, Sam has worked on the Seven Network with "World of Sport" before joining the Nine Network as a reporter on "Melbourne Extra" in 1992.
1992 also saw Sam's debut on "Wide World of Sports Sunday Edition" before launching "The Footy Show" on Sundays at noon the following year. This led to the introduction of the "Footy Show" that Sam now co-hosts with Eddie McGuire on Thursdays at 9.30pm on the Nine Network.
Newman, half roughish, half gentlemanly, admits that his laconic charm sometimes gets him into trouble, but to his fans, they wouldn't want him any other way.
Recently voted the Eighth sexiest person of 1998 by "WHO" magazine, Sam is now in the spotlight for all the right reasons. His blossoming motor racing career is on the up with a new car, new team and new co-driver. A win at Bathurst in November would suit him just fine.
Regarded as Australia's best female driver, Melinda Price has been a talented karter since the age of just nine. She first stepped into top line motor racing in 1991 racing production cars at Bathurst in the James Hardie 12 Hour with current Wynn's Racing V8 Supercar driver Steven Richards.
At just 27, Melinda is a driver with credentials ranging from Karts and Production Cars through to Super Touring (2 Litre) and V8 Supercars.
In 1996 Melinda raced in the Mazda Challenge, a production series around Australian circuits against other female drivers where she finished 2nd overall.
The following year came a long awaited breakthrough into the V8 Supercar series, running in two rounds plus the Sandown 500 and Primus 1000 at Bathurst as a member of the "Castrol Cougars" team run by Perkins Engineering.
1998 saw the team again compete in selected events including the Bathurst 1000 and Sandown 500. Melinda is Australia's highest placed female driver at Bathurst.
Recently Melinda made the world motor racing debut of a new VW Beetle in Germany in the Nurburgring 24 Hour race with former World Formula One Champion, Sir Jack Brabham.
Karting, Production Cars, Super Touring, Super Speedway (Auscar & Nascar) and V8 Supercar; Melinda is a driver of many talents. A Bachelor of Science with an Honours Degree in Immunology, Melinda was a semi-finalist in the 1997 "Young Australian of the Year Awards".
HOLDEN VECTRA 2.2
A nimble car well suited to motor racing, the Vectra has a long and proud pedigree in European motor sport.
Featuring a 2.2 litre, 4 cylinder multi point fuel injected engine, the Vectra provides good power through a five speed manual gear box and front wheel drive.
Regarded as one of the best stopping cars on the road, the Vectra features four wheel disc brakes and fully independent suspension.
Built at Holden's Elizabeth plant in South Australia, the Vectra is a world class mid size family car packed with features.
The GT Production race cars campaigned by Sam Newman and Melinda Price have been modified by Gibson Motorsport to suit the category rules but basically run as a standard car in class D.
|Team Manager:||Alan Heaphy|
|Marketing Manager: ||Paul Burfitt|
|(0418 823 475)|