NÃœRBURGRING EVE FOR TEAM VIP PETFOODS The time is now: Team VIP Petfoods' is currently counting down the final hours to their second Nurburgring 24 hour assault, with two qualifying sessions all there is remaining between them and the start of...
NÜRBURGRING EVE FOR TEAM VIP PETFOODS
The time is now: Team VIP Petfoods' is currently counting down the final hours to their second Nurburgring 24 hour assault, with two qualifying sessions all there is remaining between them and the start of the great event at 3.00pm Saturday (local German time -11.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time).
Since touching down in Germany on Monday, team owner Tony Quinn and team manager Craig Baird have had a busy few days making final preparations.
"This week there has been quite a bit of work for the boys in preparing the RSR (the team's new Porsche 991 GT3 RSR [Type 997])," said Baird.
"We have worked in a few upgrades, new engine programs, new clutches and a new gearbox, and also fitted a 120 litre fuel cell which was a day's work in itself.
"I have also been working hard to prepare our four drivers (those campaigning the 996) who are new to the circuit, as being familiar with the track and being able to grab your bearings from your surrounds is really a vital skill here.
"For example, knowing where certain restaurants are can be a real help when on track or in the pits to assist your understanding - I know it may sound strange but when you think of the great mass this track covers you begin to realise just how important bearings are.
"I mean the place goes through something like four forests and past a few castles just to start, so it has been a big part of our preparation to get everyone up to speed in this regard."
The extensive preparation seems to have served the crew well, with an upbeat feeling present in the Team VIP Petfoods squad as it draws closer to the weekend.
"Looking forward to today's qualifying and tomorrow's race, the feeling in the camp is positive.
"We have done everything we can to be as ready as possible and last year's effort proved we are a top ten chance.
"Realistically we are aiming to finish this year inside the top five, last year's overall winner was piloting a RSR so the outright win is not out of the question for us.
"Either way, we are comfortable going in and are just committed to doing our absolute best."
This weekend's race, which starts at 3.00pm Saturday (local time - 11.00pm AEST), will follow on from the team's remarkable ninth on debut in 2006, with last year's driver line-up of New Zealand's Baird and Kevin Bell and Queensland's Tony and Klark Quinn returning to pilot the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Type 997).
The Porsche 996 Turbo used in 2006 will make its return to the legendary circuit for the team, this time the driving duties will be shared between Max Twigg, Shaun Juniper, John Teulan and Paul Kelly. Meanwhile, the Team VIP Petfoods flag will continue to be flown at home in Australia with Aussie Racing Car driver Paul Kemal looking to defend his 2006 title and current series lead aboard his #1 Team VIP Petfoods 'BA Falcon' at this weekend's Eastern Creek ARC round four.