Perth P-plater youngest gun

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - NICK WALSHAW

ANY other day Alex Rullo would have to dis­play P-plates on Mount Panorama. But not this one. To­day the 17-year-old Perth school­boy – a teen who dou­bles as the youngest driver in Su­per­cars his­tory – is set to con­test his first Bathurst 1000.

Nor­mally re­stricted to driv­ing 100km/h, Aus­tralia’s fastest P-plater will in­stead be push­ing his V8 Com­modore al­most three times that speed around the famed Mount Panorama cir­cuit.

“Which all still feels a lit­tle bit sur­real,’’ Rullo said. “I only got my first go-kart aged 10.

“So I guess things are hap­pen­ing fairly quickly for me.” Aren’t they what? Now driv­ing for Lu­cas Dum­brell Mo­tor­sport, it was only two years ago that Rullo was sweep­ing the same garage floor on Bathurst week­end.

“I came up here for work ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ he ex­plained. “Was the s--t-kicker for a week.

“Pass­ing span­ners, sweep­ing floors, putting fans on cars when they came in . . . all those lit­tle jobs every­one else is too busy for.

“And that ex­pe­ri­ence, it was great. I gelled with every­one straight away and ended up driv­ing for them last year in the Dun­lop Se­ries.”

And now this year, Su­per­cars. While still on his P-plates.

Which must have his ri­vals tak­ing pot-shots, surely?

“Oh, for sure,’’ Rullo said with a grin. “Although things are ac­tu­ally a lot bet­ter now.

“For the first half of this year I was rac­ing while still on my Learn­ers. That was awk­ward.”

Mean­while, Rullo has just fin­ished Year 12 in Perth, mean­ing his mates are now gear­ing up for Schoolies while he pre­pares for Bathurst.

“And my mates, they do think this is all pretty cool,’’ he said. “Although they also give me plenty of stick when­ever I put the car into a wall.”

Born in 2000, Rullo wasn’t even alive when Craig Lown­des scored his three Su­per­cars cham­pi­onships and was only two when Jamie Whin­cup joined the se­ries.

Yet af­ter tak­ing up go-kart­ing aged 10, the West Aus­tralian was in the na­tional cham­pi­onship by 12 and win­ning his first V8 Tour­ing car event by 14.

And as for how the school­boy cel­e­brated that one?

“I think I just went school,” he said. to

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