Year 12 student to become youngest ever in Supercars
TEENAGER Alex Rullo is one of the hottest prospects on the Clipsal 500 grid - and on Friday he will reach boiling point as the youngest driver in Supercars history.
Rullo, 16, is set to take to the Adelaide street circuit for practice and qualifying in his V8 debut.
The Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport driver was keeping cool about joining the 26-car field in forecast 34-degree temperatures.
"Jumping into a Supercar for the first time and being in the main game so young is a dream come true for me," Perth-born Rullo said.
"But I'm not too nervous, just excited to get started.
"It's an awesome opportunity and one that no one else on the grid has had at my age.
"The younger you start the wider the window is for your growth."
Rullo will eclipse Paul Dumbrell's 1999 record for the youngest-ever V8 driver by 79 days.
The school student, who will fittingly race under Paul's brother Lucas's team, needed a provisional licence by CAMS to compete as the minimum age for a Superlicence is 17.
Incredibly, Rullo began competing in go-karts just six years ago and raced his first car aged 14, when he won the WA Hyundai Excel Cup in 2014.
"You probably couldn't script it," the VF Holden Commodore driver said.
"I'm just looking forward to making the most of it.
"The level of competition is the highest it's ever been and it will really push me.
"That's more motivation for me to perform."
To combat the sweltering conditions, Rullo will hydrate with electrolytes before, during and after each qualifying run and race over the weekend.
He will wear an ice vest on the grid, and use a cool suit and helmet fan during the action before jumping in an ice bath post-race.
"Being here in Adelaide it's always hot and always humid," he said.
"But I've had some pretty good preparation so I think I should be okay.
"The biggest challenge will be backing up on Sunday after race one on Saturday.
"The recovery phase will be the key."
A student at Perth's Trinity College, Rullo will juggle school work with competing on the Supercar circuit this year.
"My mates are giving me a bit of stick for not being at school," the Year 12 pupil said.
"They think I've got it easy only being there a third of the time.
"It's going okay but obviously Supercars is the main priority."
Rullo's V8 licence will be reviewed by CAMS at the end of each round this season.
He said "staying safe" was his priority this weekend.
"I think if we keep it off the walls here at Clipsal we'll get a top-20 result," he said.
"We've got the potential and if we get everything right we can definitely get some good results later in the year."