Fourth-generation racer ready to join Turtle Wax Trans Am ranks
James Simpson’s family has a long history in motorsport, four-generations to be exact and he’ll step up to national level at Bathurst next month when he joins the highly-competitive Turtle Wax Trans Am Series.
Simpson’s father Michael raced in V8 Supercars, Development Series, Formula Ford, HQs and a number of other categories, grandfather Ian won numerous titles in Formula Vee, while great grandfather Cyril did his racing on two-wheels marking four eras of motorsport involvement.
The youngest Simpson steps up to the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series after completing an apprenticeship in the fiercely fought Queensland Excel Series during the past three years.
A first-year apprentice builder, the 18-year-old is excited to join the growing grid for what will be his first trip to Mount Panorama in his brand new Seven82Motors Dodge Challenger.
“Bathurst will be my first round and I hope to do one or two practices before we head there,” said Simpson.
“It will be a nice challenge, never been to Bathurst or raced the car and there are a few differences to get used to. Right-hand to left-hand-drive, front-wheel to rear-wheel-drive, it’ll be pretty interesting, but will be a lot of fun.
Simpson also joins a couple of his previous Hyundai Excel rivals in making the jump to Turtle Wax Trans Am.
“I raced against Jett (Johnson) a fair bit and Nash (Morris) as well,” he explained.
Simpson’s entry is supported by Seven82Motors, an auction house specialising in American and Australian classic cars making it the ideal partner for the program.
“We were looking at a variety of different classes, but we’ve been watching Trans Am since it came out to Australia and we just fell in love with it,” Simpson said.
“Ever since we started racing I wanted to get into Trans Am, so I did a couple seasons in the Excel and I’m ready to make the step up, then Seven82Motors has come on board to give us a hand too.
Anticipation is building for Simpson as he awaits his first test day, but the Dodge has already made an impact after briefly sitting in it at the team’s launch a week ago.
“It is such a cool car, you feel even sitting in it not even moving that it will be awesome to race,” he described.
“I can’t wait.”
Simpson will debut at Bathurst, which will host the third round of the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series during the Easter long weekend on April 15-17 as part of a massive Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour weekend.
The next event for the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series is at Phillip Island featuring as a bumper seven-category opening to the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships on March 18-20.
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