V8SDS: Optima Bathurst preview

THE MOUNTAIN IS CALLING FOR OPTIMA SPORT When Optima Sport joined the ranks of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at the start of the year they set themselves a goal of being competitive in the second half of 2006. Given Optima Sport's...

THE MOUNTAIN IS CALLING FOR OPTIMA SPORT

When Optima Sport joined the ranks of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at the start of the year they set themselves a goal of being competitive in the second half of 2006.

Given Optima Sport's performances at Queensland Raceway where David Clark qualified third, Oran Park where the 27-year-old recorded a race win and Mallala where he was closing in on a top four finish before a delaminated tyre ended his charge, the team has been on track to achieve their 2006 goal.

As the rookie team lines up for the penultimate round of the championship next week at Bathurst Clark is not daunted by the challenge which awaits him around the famous 6.21km circuit.

"Bathurst is the round I've been waiting for all year long, I can't wait to get there," said Clark.

"I would be confident in saying it is the dream of every young Australian racing driver to compete at Mount Panorama in a V8 Supercar, next week I'll be living out that dream.

"Earlier this year I competed in an Aussie Racing Car at the Bathurst Festival, so I know a little bit about the characteristics of the track. In saying that though I'm fully aware that driving a V8 Supercar will be a lot different to steering a pocket rocket Aussie Racing Car around Mount Panorama and I'm looking forward to it."

With a huge field of over 40 V8 Supercars set to contest the sixth round of the series Clark understands the importance the role of a good qualifying position will play towards achieving Optima Sport's best result in its debut year.

"Over the past three rounds we seemed to have been off the boil slightly during the opening session, with so many cars we simply will have to be on the top of our game from the outset at Bathurst," said Clark.

"With only two races it is going to be vital to take advantage of every opportunity during the races without taking too many risks.

"Over the past couple of rounds we've shown we have got some good horsepower and are continually improving the set up of the car, both factors which will be important around Mount Panorama."

Team owner David Macdougall has been impressed by his team's performance during the opening five rounds of the series, however he fully understands the importance of achieving a good result on the biggest stage in Australian motorsport.

"At the start of the year I realistically thought we would be knocking on the door of the top ten by midway through the year and I'm pleased to say the team has exceeded my expectations during our first year in the series," said Macdougall.

"For a team which was put together at the start of the year the guys have done a magnificent job and a top result at Bathurst can really put Optima Sport on the map.

"I have absolute faith in David and the entire team that they have what it takes to be amongst the front runners, hopefully this faith can translate into a solid result come Saturday afternoon."

Practice for round six of the 2006 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series begins on Thursday October 5 followed by qualifying and the opening 14-lap race on Friday. The second and final race for the round will be contested on Saturday afternoon.

-credit: www.optimasport.com.au

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Series CAMS
Drivers David Clark