Chris Alajajian to represent Australia in Spain

By | Monday, 21 December 2009

Armenian-Australian motorsport talent Chris Alajajian, who finished the 2009 Mini Challenge Series in overall second place as part of the Jack Hillermans team, has been granted the honour to represent Australia in Spain next year.

Alajajian started 2009, after a one-year break, in the V8 Development Series at Adelaide's Clipsal 500, and was quickly approached to race in the star-studded Mini Challenge Series in its 50th Anniversary year. He raced alongside names such as Grant Denyer (Channel 7 personality), Sam Newman (Channel 9 personality), Steven Bradbury (Winter Olympic Gold Medalist), Glenn Seton (former V8 Supercar Champion), and partnered with Paul Morris in the Townsville duel-driver race.

"It's exciting to have been part of the two milestone events in this year's racing calendar," exclaimed Alajajian, referring to being a part of the first fleet to race on the two new tracks at the Townsville 400 and the Sydney 500 events.

"Townsville was overall an awesome weekend, having the privilege to race side-by-side with a legend like Paul Morris, and Townsville is a great town ... and it's always special coming back to race in your own backyard, with the Sydney 500 event. You have the comfort of knowing your fans are there cheering you on."

Alajajian has raced all over the world and recorded many milestones along the way, however some of his most memorable races have occurred in his home state of New South Wales. He holds the record for the youngest Bathurst winner ever, as well as numerous fastest lap records on home soil; and this year in the Mini Challenge, it was no different.

His season started off extremely well, recording the fastest ever lap time at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne back in March, and he was viewed as the favourite to challenge defending champion Paul Stokell of Decorug Racing. The seasoned Stokell had Mini Challenge rookie Alajajian breathing down his neck early in the championship, and as 'The Chris' started to gain experience with the dynamics of the Mini Coopers, it looked as though the championship challenge was going to be nail-biting. Alajajian and Stokell appeared on the podium race-in and race-out.

Alajajian's aspirations for taking out the title in his debut year looked like it came crashing down in one horrific moment during a dewy morning at the Sandown Racecourse in Victoria. Hearts went into mouths as stunned viewers watched Alajajian's #9 Mini Cooper slide off the track at top speed, barrel-rolling over the safety barrier to have his car land upside down and race marshals stretcher him into an ambulance.

Remarkably, Alajajian came out of the accident unscathed, and his dogged attitude took over as Alajajian and the Jack Hillermans team re-built the written-off Mini Cooper from scratch, aiming to be on track for a Championship revival.

With three rounds remaining in the competition, and Alajajian slipping to 5th spot on the ladder, the livewire Armenian from Willoughby NSW was back to take everyone's breath away.

With a total of 9 races from the 3 race weekends remaining, Alajajian eyed out the title with an 'all or nothing' attitude. He put on a stellar performance, achieved a top two finish in 5 of the last 9 races of the season, which catapulted him back up the ladder, eventually finishing in second place behind the defending champion Stokell.

With an incredible comeback and phenomenal charge to close in on the championship leader, Alajajian is already planning for next year.

He said: "[the Mini Challenge series] is such an exciting racing category, and the Coopers pack alot of punch. I'm happy with the season overall, and I'm looking to better my performance in 2010 both in Australia and Spain."

'The Chris' is eager to hit the world racing scene yet again, and showcase his electrifying racing ability.