MICHAEL Anderson feels like he's just won the lottery and it's little wonder given his bid to compete in this year's Bathurst 1000 has been rubber stamped.
Anderson not only grew up in Bathurst watching on in awe of those who tackled the Great Race each year at Mount Panorama, but he went on to himself be a race driver.
He's raced in the Bathurst 6 Hour, he's raced in Historic Touring Cars and he's raced in the Super3 support category on the Bathurst 1000 program.
But to now know he'll get to compete on his home track in the biggest Supercars race on the calendar - well to say Anderson is excited would be an understatement.
"I grew up not only watching, it but it's everyone's ambition, whoever races a go-kart or a car in Australia their ambition is to race in that that race," Anderson said.
"I've given a lot of young blokes a shot who probably wouldn't have gotten a shot in a good car before, but it's generally all been leading towards something like this.
"But I didn't think I'd ever drive in the 1000 to be honest, to drive in the 1000 is almost like winning the lottery, it's a very exclusive thing. It is the pinnacle of racing in not only Australia, but the world."
On Monday the 37-year-old cut the first racing laps in the car he'll race in the Bathurst 1000 at the Queensland Raceway.
But it is a car that has already tackled the iconic Bathurst enduro. It's the former DJR Team Penske Mustang which Fabian Coulthard steered in the 1000.
"I wanted the car I bought to be a pedigree one, and the Penske era was an era that was unstoppable basically. He came here and conquered, so the car was definitely the pick of the cars," Anderson said.
"The way they do the car, every nut and bolt is anodised, like you could eat out of any part of the car, it is immaculate.
"The car is still 100 percent the same specification as the cars they run now.
"Scotty [McLaughlin] sat in it originally and then it went to Fabs' car. So the sister car to mine is the one which won the championship and won Bathurst."
While Anderson was initially looking to purchase a car his Anderson Motorsport team could race in the Super2 series - basically the reserve grade of Supercars - when he got in touch with DJR's co-owner Ryan Story about purchasing the Mustang he realised he could make his Bathurst 1000 dream come true too.
The process began in August last year, but it was only last weekend at Winton that Anderson's bid for a wildcard entry was rubber stamped by the Supercars Commission.
"We've known for a little bit now that we'd be racing, it's just been dotting all the Is and crossing all the Ts to make sure everything is a go. But finally I've been able to put a deal together, so it's very exciting," Anderson said.
"To be honest I didn't really understand how real it was until Friday because I hadn't even seen the car we purchased. We purchased the car at the start of the year, so it has been a dragged out approach.
"But it's out now and as you could imagine a million people have been ringing me, it seems like everyone from Bathurst has been ringing me.
"It's really exciting now, I think I must have had three-quarters of Bathurst message or ring me and say this is the biggest news to come out of Bathurst.
"I'll be the first team owner to debut at the Mount in their own car since Larry Perkins."
Monday's test at the Queensland Raceway is the first of four Anderson will get before making his Bathurst 1000.
He's already been working hard on his fitness in preparation and he'll get "minimal technical support" from Dick Johnson Racing during the 1000.
So who will be sharing Anderson's seat in the Great Race? Well he's had no shortage of offers.
"I've had a lot of drivers ringing me from all over the world now they know this is on. They are angling for a co-driver seat yes, that's 100 percent what they're doing, they know I've got something to offer that no-one else can give," he said.
"DJR and myself, we are working together on the co-driver, it's not going to be a nobody in the car, it's going to be a name person."
This year's Bathurst 1000 will be held on will be held on October 6-9.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: