Mike Stevens | Jul 22, 2009

TOP GEAR’S TAME RACING DRIVER The Stig may be poised to tackle Mount Panorama in October after his rumoured alter-ego, Ben Collins, agreed to compete in V8 Supercars endurance events this season.

Collins has been signed by Jack Daniel’s Racing to line up alongside Nathan Pretty in a Holden for the Bathurst 1000 and Phillip Island 500 rounds of the V8 season, making his racing debut on Australian soil.

“I'm very excited about the opportunity to race in V8 Supercars with Jack Daniel's Racing," Collins told News Limited.

"Phillip Island and Bathurst are two circuits that every driver would love to get the chance to race on, especially Bathurst, which is such a famous race.

"I drove a Holden V8 Supercar earlier this year and these cars are sensational. They're very demanding and the level of talent and professionalism in this category is very high."

Jack Daniel’s Racing driver and owner Todd Kelly said he was thrilled to have acquired Collins’s services for the endurance events as the team makes its debut.

"Ben comes to Jack Daniel's Racing with a wealth of experience," Mr Kelly said.

"Endurance races like Phillip Island and Bathurst require a combination of pace and consistency, especially when it comes to 161 laps at Mount Panorama.

"Ben has achieved a lot in endurance style racing and he will be a real asset to our team as we tackle our first endurance events."

Collins has already been behind the wheel of a Holden V8 Supercar after conducting a test for Autosport magazine at Winton earlier in the year.

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While the Briton came to worldwide attention after London newspaper The Times exposed him as the man underneath the all-white overalls, Collins has also managed to carve a solid racing career.

In 2001, Collins finished third in the FIA World Sportscar Championship when racing for Ascari, while he claimed the European Stock Car Championship in 2003.

Collins has also tested for the Red Bull Racing NASCAR outfit and was a stunt driver, doubling for Daniel Craig, in the latest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

In addition, the 34-year-old has made repeated on-screen appearances as himself on Top Gear.

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