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V8 Wire (Jason Whittaker)

This year's V8 Supercar championship will have an exotic flavour, with Brazilian single-seater ace Max Wilson joining Briggs Motorsport.

A former test driver for the Williams F1 team, Wilson, 29, joins John Briggs' multi-national three-man squad of Kiwi Simon Wills and local veteran Tony Longhurst. Longhurst and Wilson will pilot Briggs' two Betta Electrical-sponsored Falcons, while Wills will man the CAT car.

German-born Wilson beat Europeans Pedro Lamy and Marcel Tiemann, as well as a host of local drivers, for the seat, impressing Briggs with his ability to quickly adapt to the foreign right-hand-drive car and his superior technical knowledge.

Wilson told Australian Auto Action that, after an aborted season in the CART World Series last year, the V8 Supercar category looked an impressive proposition.

"I think the series is great and there are good cars, good drivers, good people involved with the teams," he said on signing a one-year deal with the Brisbane-based team, with the option of a second year.

"They're the things I'm looking for so I'm happy to have this opportunity to go there and I can't wait to start.

"I looked at some tapes of the races and I was very impressed by the things that I saw, and I also liked Australia very much."

Wilson rose from the South American karting ranks to Formula 3000 in Europe, where he was a front-runner for three seasons. His Formula One experience also included testing for Michelin's F1 tyre program.

Briggs told the magazine that the two Betta Electrical cars were ahead of schedule, to be ready for a pre-season shakedown at Queensland Raceway early next month.

A fourth car is still on the agenda, but not until mid-season. It is expected a young local driver will get the ride.

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