1995 British and Italian Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert has asserted that he is 'ready to take them all on' and 'kick a**e" in defence of his Speedcar Series crown.

Herbert lifted the laurels in the Middle East, Asian and Australasian stock car series' inaugural campaign in 2007/08, after seeing off the challenges of former Sauber Formula 1 team-mate Jean Alesi and erstwhile FIA GT and International F3000 front-runner David Terrien along the way.

Second time around, he is up against Alesi again, as well as fellow ex-F1 team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen, 1997 F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, Force India test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi, 1980s Ferrari and McLaren star Stefan Johansson, one-time Ferrari ace Gianni Morbidelli and 2001 DTM Vice-Champion Uwe Alzen amongst others. The 44-year-old, though, is confident of having the measure of them all once more.

"Absolutely!" he replied, when asked by Crash.net Radio about whether he is fired-up and - his words - going to 'kick a**e' in the series' sophomore season. "We did a test and it was very, very good for me. I was very quick, so I'm ready to take them all on!

"Jean will be strong, for sure. I think Heinz-Harald will actually be more competitive too than when he did those couple of races last year, and Uwe Alzen definitely, because Uwe has such a wealth of experience driving Porsches and other stuff that he does at the Nordschleife. He's always driven that type of car, so he will be a major threat for sure.

"I think they're probably the major ones that I've seen out of everybody. I'm sure we'll see Jean's Latin temperament come out, with the spanners flying and fireworks coming out of his garage sometimes, but that's great because it's a part of his make-up.

"Heinz-Harald has a very calm persona, because he's half-Spanish and half-German, so he is very opposite to Jean which is nice too, and then you've got Uwe who is a little bit like Jean - he's very emotional, and if things don't quite go his way he loses his temper and stuff. You see all these different emotions through the different drivers, but I think those three at the moment stand out."

by Russell Atkins



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