Reigning V8 BrUTES champion Warren Luff has signed for Dick Johnson's Shell Helix Racing team to contest the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Luff will drive the #18 Shell Helix Racing Ford Falcon, previously campaigned by Max Wilson, alongside regular Steve Johnson, after a series of outstanding co-driving and Konica series performances this season. The 27-year old replaces Wilson, who returns to the Betta Electrical Ford team that gave him his debut in V8s.

"Shell Helix Racing is on the way back after a couple of disappointing seasons," general manager Steve Chalker said after Wilson, ironically, put the team on the podium at Sunday's finale at Eastern Creek.

"Making up the numbers is simply not an option for us, we're in the business of winning, and we believe Warren's natural pace combined with Steve's experience will give us the best possible opportunity to do just that. We think Warren has been tremendously impressive and has a big future.

"This is a tough business and many people in it forget we were the leading Ford team just two years ago - in fact, the only one winning - and our form over the past few events of 2003 certainly suggests we're heading back that way."

Along with a sensational debut aboard Dick Johnson Racing's Konica Series Falcon at Bathurst, where he finished second and was unlucky not to win, Luff also co-drove Johnson in the season's V8 Supercar two long-distance races. He also won the supporting BrUTES series and, in a one-off appearance, dominated the Oran Park round of the MGF Trophy series.

"This is a dream come true, I can't quite believe it," Luff admitted, "I was hoping to stay with the team and maybe do the Konica series, plus some of the long-distance races. I certainly wasn't expecting this!

"Dick was one of my childhood heroes and it's a real honour to be driving for him, and a fantastic opportunity to finally make a career of my race driving. I know there will be a lot of expectation and pressure on me, but I'll be having a big go. The team's on the way back and I want to be a part of that."



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