Mercedes not in

V8 Supercars and Erebus Racing have both failed to entice Mercedes-Benz joining Nissan at Kelly Racing into launching a V8 Supercars Championship assault next year.

Mercedes-Benz Australia yesterday confirmed that it had elected against becoming a part of the category’s new Car of the Future era following extensive deliberation on the matter.

Erebus Racing had been pushing to secure an engine and technical assistance package for a Supercar assault from the German-based AMG Customer Sports program.

The arrangement was said to include Stone Brothers Racing, although Mercedes-Benz Australia confirmed that it had not dealt directly with the currently Ford-supported squad.

Support for the deal was reportedly forthcoming from Germany.

Another For Gentleman Jim

One of Australia’s most accomplished drivers Gentleman Jim Richards will take on the rest in an East-West contest for the 2012 Targa West Rally this weekend.

Richards, the 2007 winner in Western Australia and seven-time Targa Tasmania Champion is returning to the west with long-time co-driver Barry Oliver in their Porsche GT2 RS as the leading East Coast contender for the eighth annual event.

Richards quest to lift the trophy after 215 kilometres of competition will be met by a strong local line-up in the Modern Competition category, including Nissan GT-R35 drivers Peter Rullo and Jean-Paul Van Loenhout.

A total of 79 cars will start Targa West in Competition and speed-restricted Challenge categories for Modern and Classic cars.

Richards and Launceston-based Oliver have competed in dozens of rallies together since 1993 with more success than virtually any other crew in the country, so to beat the rest in the West will be another huge achievement for the experienced duo.

F1 Driver For Bathurst

An Australian team running an American muscle car has drawn on an Italian former-F1 driver to help them claim a strong result at the Bathurst 12 hour.

Melbourne-based Trofeo Motorsport has entered their Chevrolet Corvette FIA GT3 in Class A and has confirmed that former Ferrari F1 driver Ivan Capelli will join regular drivers Jim Manolios and Rod Wilson in an attack on the 24 hour classic.

Capelli competed at 98 Grand Prix for Tyrell, March, Ferrari and Jordan between 1985 and 1993, with 3rd in the 1988 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps his best result.

He currently works for Italian broadcaster RAI as a specialist Formula 1 commentator but continues to keep his eye in behind the wheel, having recently raced in the European V8 Superstars Series, amongst other categories.

No Basic Black

The basic black tyre which has been around since horse drawn carriages got the flick as man's favourite mode of transport will undergo a major change if international tyre manufacturer Michelin proceeds with recently developed new tyre colour schemes which will feature several different shades.

Michelin is hinting Formula One may be the first to try the new coloured rubber and could hit the race track bitumen early next season.

This scribe will certainly be placing an order as soon as they become available to the public. A set of orange white wall beauties would look very nice on my lime green Valiant wagon!

Safe Motoring

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