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KIWIS CLEARED FOR FLIGHT

Shane van Gisbergen and Andre Heimgartner are clear to return for Supercars pre-season testing.

Greg Murphy will also be able to fly if he is confirmed on this year’s broadcast crew for the Supercars series.

There was doubt about the Kiwi clearances for return flights to Australia when the ‘bubble’ between the two countries was shut down because of a Covid-19 episode.

The suspension of the New Zealand travel bubble has now been lifted, allowing quarantine-free travel to resume.

SvG and Heimgartner returned to their home country over the holidays and also raced in the New Zealand Grand prix, which van Gisbergen won.

Now they are preparing for Supercars testing, with SvG set to go first at Queensland Raceway and Heimgartner to follow at Winton.

Heimgartner’s race livery for the 2021 season with the recently restructured Kelly Grove Racing has just been revealed, with NED whisky returning as the naming-rights sponsor.

TRIPLE TREAT AT DAYTONA

Cadillac was the pre-race favourite and the early pace-setter, but no-one could stop the vastly experienced Wayne Taylor Racing taking its third straight win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The margin of victory was just 4.7 seconds after the twice-around-the-clock contest, as Filipe Albuquerque held on his Acura (read Honda) ARX-05 against a late charge by Kamui Kobayashi in a Cadillac Dpi.V-R.

It was the first Acura victory at Daytona, but the fourth in five years for WTR, as the winning car was shared by Ricky Taylor, Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves.

Wealthy Australian, Kenny Habul, was second in the GTD class sharing his Mercedes-AMG GT with Raffaele Marciello, Mikael Grenier and Luca Stolz.

SETON STARS AT BASKERVILLE

Trans Am champion Aaron Seton had his biggest payday at Baskerville when he claimed the Roadways Tasmania Ten Thousand.

He drove a Mustang to victory in the Trans Am battle at the Hobart circuit, as the Australian Racing Group also staged events and demonstrations for S5000 single seaters and TCR Australia hot hatches.

The best action was in the Trans Am battles and Seton had to fend off local hero Owen Kelly and Nathan Herne for victory, breaking into tears after claiming the $10,000 prize.

FIGHTING FOR ADELAIDE

South Australia’s opposition leader, Peter Malinauskas, has not given up on the Adelaide 500.

He led a protest rally attended by hundreds of Supercars supporters including South Australian drivers Nick Percat and Tim Slade.

“I am committed, if elected at the next election, to bring it back to Adelaide,” Malinauskas tweeted.

“Bringing with it jobs, tourists and millions of dollars in economic activity for South Australia.

“And we’ve already signed an agreement with Supercars to work together to do exactly that!”.

COLOURS ARE CLEAR FOR MCLAUGHLIN

Everything has flipped for Scott McLaughlin in the lead-up to his first IndyCar season in the USA.

He raced a red car for the blue team in Supercars and has reversed things to drive a blue car for the red team in 2021.

The reveal of his IndyCar livery for the coming championship reflects major sponsorship from the PPG paint company, which has chosen blue despite the traditional red of engine supplier, Chevrolet.

It’s a total backflip from the years in Supercars, where his Ford Falcon and Mustang carried the predominantly red racing colours of Shell despite the corporate blue used by Ford.

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