Wayne Wakefield will make a return to national-level motor racing at Winton this weekend, competing in Round 7 of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series.
The former wild child of production car and V8 Supercars racing has teamed up with Big Gun Racing Team, steering the #51 car driven by Benn Wilson on the Gold Coast.
The race meeting will be Wakefield's first drive in a motor race since 2006.
“I've thrown myself in the deep end – the last time I drove was six years ago,” Wakefield said.
“I've been itching to drive for a while, but it's been a massive process to get my licence back. I only got it back on Tuesday so I've had a few sleepless nights.”
These days, Wakefield performs as a Brisbane-based DJ, but after meeting with series leader Ryal Harris on the Gold Coast, Wakefield got the bug back.
“I met Ryal at the Gold Coast and he gave me the inspiration to follow-through and here I am,” he said.
“I've never seen the car before so I'll need plenty of tips off Ryal. He said they were pretty hard to drive. I always have high expectations, so I hope to do well, I won't really know how I'll go until I get down there but I'll be pretty disappointed if I'm not competing in the top 10.”
Wakefield began his racing career in the Queensland Gemini Series before moving into his famous Improved Production Mazda 808 wagon. He became a crowd pleaser with his supreme car control, and the Mazda regularly out raced more fancied equipment.
After a stint in the Super Tourers, he made his V8 Supercars debut alongside Dean Canto in 1999 at Bathurst. He finished third in the inaugural Development Series (2000), before getting his big call up to partner Marcos Ambrose in the Pirtek Falcon in 2001. At Bathurst that year, Wakefield scored pole in the non-championship Development Series race, while Ambrose qualified the #4 Ford on pole for the 1000km event. The race, however, didn't go to plan, with mechanical problems ruling them out early in the race.
Since then, Wakefield has only featured in selected V8 endurance and Development Series events, ending his full-time driving in 2006, finishing 12th in the Development Series.
Wakefield will return to the track for the first time in a V8 Ute for two practice sessions tomorrow.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com's look back at Wayne Wakefield in our ‘Where are they now?' section …