International contender in the Touring Car Masters, Keith Kassulke is bringing the famed Jim Morton Ford XB Coupe back to life at Phillip Island next weekend after eyeing off the stunning entry last season during Glenn Seton’s short but successful race campaign.
Having seen the machine come together for its series debut, Kassulke had been keenly watching the Ford while taking to the track for a full season in his Outbound Racing 1971 Holden HQ Monaro, coming home with consistent results and closing season 2011 with the Rare Spares Hard Charger award win at the Homebush finale.
Getting the XB back on the tarmac, Kassulke has completed two successful test days at Winton to get his eye in with his new purchase, one accompanied by reigning series champion John Bowe. Kassulke is looking forward to debuting the Coupe in just ten days time. It is expected that Kassulke will use this season as a long term test, before completing a full 2013 campaign, when he hopes to be fighting for outright victories, explaining,
“While I am ecstatic with my results in the past year with the HQ, I feel that I can do better and with this new car, I hope to be able to work with it to improve my driving skills and, ultimately, my finishing position to hopefully one day, have a podium finish.
“I’m now going to debut the XB at Philip Island, no doubt one of the best circuits in Australia, so this next week will be going by very quickly, even with another trip home to PNG before we go racing.
“I’ve always been a GM man, but I was impressed from the outset at the build quality of Jim Morton’s XB Falcon so, when it became available for sale, I thought about it for a few months then went to inspect it, and it really is a beautifully built car so full credit to Jim for that.
“We had a very good test again yesterday, and after my second day in it, I’m getting a feel for the way it handles now, being quite different of course to my Monaro. With some minor set up changes and with overnight seating, pedal box and steering wheel position changes, I managed a best time of 1.32.4 which I think rates fairly well.”
Kassulke has also been proud to announce support from Air Nuigini, the national airline of this home, Papua New Guinea, meaning things are certainly moving forward for his third season with the series.
In the excitement of the growing garage, the Outbound Racing HQ has not been forgotten, with Kassulke set to get back behind the wheel of his Monaro in Darwin, explaining that the other side of the Outbound Racing garage is seeing progress, saying,
“My #52 Monaro has had a major makeover with the cabin interior, boot, engine bay and underbody being straightened and painted, and having the hood lining and rear seat replaced as per the TCM regulations. It is sure to look the part once completely back together and, with the new engine too, I’m very much looking forward to some good results in it too this year.”
The Touring Car Masters is proudly supported by Shannons Insurance, Rare Spares, Unique Cars Magazine and the 2012 Australian Muscle Car Masters, with official suppliers Hoosier Tires and Australian Sports Marketing.