Australia’s fastest P-plater ready to go
ANY other day, Alex Rullo would have to display P-plates on Mount Panorama. But not this one. Today the 17-year-old Perth teenager – 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 road 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.”
Now driving for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, it was only two years ago Rullo was sweeping the same garage floor on Bathurst weekend.
“I came up here for work experience,’’ he said. “And that experience, it was great. I jelled with everyone straightaway 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.
“Oh, for sure,’’ Rullo said. “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.” Rullo has just finished Year 12 at Trinity Grammar in Perth, meaning his mates are now gearing up for Schoolies while he prepares for The Great Race.
“My mates, they do think this it’s 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 was not even alive when Craig Lowndes scored his three Supercars championships and was only two when Jamie Whincup joined the series.
Yet after taking up karting aged 10, the West Australian was in the national championship by 12 and winning his first V8 Touring car event by 14.