Shane van Gisbergen's Kiwi roommate, Daniel Gaunt has been confirmed as Stone Brothers Racing's final driver in their 2009 enduro season line-up.
Currently contesting in the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series under the McElrea Racing entry, Gaunt is the second co-driver confirmed beside fellow Kiwi John McIntyre for this year's L&H Phillip Island 500 and Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 endurance events.
Twenty-four year old Gaunt got his first taste of V8 Supercars last year when he made his debut for Team Kiwi Racing driving the all black falcon in the final two events of the season, Symmons Plains and Oran Park.
He currently races a SBR BF chassis in the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series and recently scored his first podium result, finishing third overall at this year's Sandown event.
The two-time New Zealand Grand Prix Trophy winner is thrilled to be confirmed as the fourth driver in SBR's 2009 endurance campaign.
“I grew up watching Bathurst so it's pretty exciting to think that now I am actually going to be competing in it myself and racing against some of my childhood heroes!” said Gaunt. “Shane [van Gisbergen] and I spend a lot of time racing each other on the simulator at home, now it's the real deal and we will actually get to race against one another.
“John [McIntyre] is obviously a very well established driver in New Zealand. He has great experience and is very professional so I will be looking to learn from him.
“I did a driver evaluation day with SBR a year ago which was an awesome opportunity, it's hard to believe that twelve months later I am racing for them in the enduros. I am so grateful for all the support I have been given by both SBR and McElrea Racing.”
SBR team principal, Ross Stone is confident Gaunt will do well: “In 2007 I went to Mansfield in New Zealand to watch Shane [van Gisbergen] race in the Formula Toyota single seater series and his teammate at the time was Daniel Gaunt. On that day while Shane qualified well Daniel went on to win both races and since then I have kept a close eye on him,” Stone added.
“Daniel really proved his ability that day and I am confident that he will do well in the IRWIN Racing Falcon at Phillip Island and Bathurst. Having Daniel join the team for the enduros is all part of our relationship and ongoing support of Andy McElrea Racing.”
SBR meanwhile will run both Gaunt and McIntyre at an upcoming driver evaluation day to be held at Queensland Raceway on August 31. The day will allow for both drivers to get some experience behind the wheel of the SBR FG Falcons as part of their enduro season preparation.