Published: 07 June 2006

Pictured: HSV.

Young race driver on the move, Taz Douglas, has received a welcome boost from Australia’s premier performance car company, Holden Special Vehicles.

Earlier this year, the company arranged for Douglas, 22, to work part-time with the Toll HSV Dealer Team this season to help him hone his race engineering and racecraft skills with one of the leading V8 Supercar outfits.

As part of the deal set up with HSV’s John Crennan, Toll HSV has first option on Douglas in his quest to break into V8 Supercars.

The former go-kart star won the junior Ford Kart Stars series in 2000, and is in his second Formula Ford season driving a Minda Motorsport Van Dieman managed by Graham Ryan and Bruin Beasly.

Douglas, from Cranbourne South, southeast of Melbourne, will be hoping to consolidate his lead in the Formula Ford Victorian State Series this weekend at Phillip Island.

Last weekend, Douglas blitzed the field in a non-championship Formula Ford round at Winton, winning all three races in the support program for the V8 Supercar round.

Douglas is doing his own car preparation when not helping out at Toll HSV’s Clayton workshop or his father’s earth moving business, where he turns his hand to a variety of jobs, from welding and engine building to concreting.

His dad, Stewart Douglas, a former Sports Sedan racer who owns Ron Harrop’s legendary EH Holden, has thrown his full support behind his son’s Formula Ford campaign. He not only sponsors the car himself, but also helped to broker a sponsorship deal with Caterpillar used equipment supplier William Adams.

Taz Douglas, who is a keen surfer when not racing at weekends, says he is grateful for HSV’s support at a critical point in his career.

“I am there (at Toll HSV Dealer Team) to learn as much as I can – about engineering and anything else that might help me,” he said. “It also helps me make connections with people in motor racing. As I was told, if you want to catch the bus, you have to be at the bus stop.”

Toll HSV Dealer Team Manager Rob Crawford said Douglas had fitted in well at the team, demonstrating a great thirst for knowledge and strong work ethic.

It is Douglas’s ambition to drive V8s like his one-time go-kart team-mate Mark Winterbottom and rival Jamie Whincup.

After success in go-karts at state and national level, Douglas took a year off to pursue his surfing dream in Queensland. He returned to racing last year, refreshed and ready to give it his best shot.

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