Warren Luff is looking to break into the big time, writes Paul Gover
SUPERSUB Warren Luff has translated race-leading pace alongside James Courtney this year into a full-time V8 Supercar championship drive next year.
Luff jumps into the Gulf Western Commodore fielded by Lucas Dumbrell’s rookie team in Tasmania next week for the final races this year before a full season in the main game next year.
It’s his big break after two unproductive runs in the past – first with Dick Johnson’s team during its unproductive years and then with Jason Bright at Britek – and Luff knows he must make it work.
‘‘The main game is unfinished business,’’ says Luff. ‘‘ I’m grateful to Lucas for this chance and I intended to be successful.’’
Luff is aiming for top 10 pace next year but will be happy to stay out of trouble in the run to this year’s grand final at the Sydney 500.
‘‘This year is about learning, so we can go forward next year.’’
Luff is recognised as one of the country’s top co-drivers and is the first to confirm a full-time deal for 2011.
Steve Owen, who starred with TeamVodafone alongside Jamie Whincup, is soon expected to get a break with Paul Morris in the Castrol Commodore raced by Greg Murphy. Dumbrell says he wants Luff to drive in his team. ‘‘I’m not in V8 Supercar racing to make up the numbers at the back of the field,’’ Dumbrell says. ‘‘We want to improve and build a base for a longterm future.’’
Dumbrell says the decision to move quickly with Luff is intended to give his team a springboard into next year.
‘‘It’s a bit like the pre-season footy competition. There is no point in getting to Abu Dhabi next year and then taking four races for Warren to get used to a Walkinshaw Commodore and a new team and a new engineer. We want to hit the ground running.’’
Big break: James Courtney (front) and Warren Luff during the Gold Coast 600 drivers parade. Picture: Mark Calleja