TEAM VIP PETFOODS' BAIRD IN HIDDEN VALLEY REMATCH Team VIP Petfoods' Craig Baird has his eye well and truly fixed upon rival Alex Davison in Hidden Valley this weekend -- with the Carrera Cup front-runners ready to battle for round three of the...
TEAM VIP PETFOODS' BAIRD IN HIDDEN VALLEY REMATCH
Team VIP Petfoods' Craig Baird has his eye well and truly fixed upon rival Alex Davison in Hidden Valley this weekend -- with the Carrera Cup front-runners ready to battle for round three of the series in the face of a recently lost series lead and a rich history at the Northern Territory circuit.
Posting the second-fastest times in both of today's practice sessions just a hair's breadth from Davison, Baird has started off his campaign to reclaim the series lead in style ahead of tomorrow's qualifying.
Last month's wet and wild Winton weekend saw Davison snatch the series lead from defending champion Baird, who is now determined to snatch it right back again in his search for consecutive championships.
"Winton was a strange one, with the weather just acting up crazy," said Baird.
"It seems more of the same is on the cards for this weekend, with the temperatures, which would normally be something around 40 degrees only half of that which has been a bit odd for everyone here.
"It hasn't worried us too much though as we have done well today, so it will be 'all in' for sure over the next two days."
If having the series lead at stake wasn't enough to spur on this duo, Davison has something to prove with the 2006 round in the 'Top End' seeing the rivals trade places - and lap records - numerous times before Baird took outright victory to leave Davison behind in second place.
"There is a bit of a history there, and with the series lead in contest and all of that, there will be a bit of rivalry - there always is," said Baird.
"We will just dig in though and do our best, we qualified second and while that is not as good as first it's better than third.
"There is a long way to go yet -- you just have to go race by race and push as hard as you can and see what comes of it at the end."
In the meantime, Team VIP Petfoods chief Tony Quinn rounded the Hidden Valley circuit minus his usual on-grid side kick -- son and teammate Klark Quinn, pilot of the #28 Team VIP Petfoods entry.
An emergency breakdown yesterday afternoon at the family's Gold Coast business VIP Petfoods required Production Manager Klark to stay behind while the rest of the team travelled north.
With all now well at home, Klark is to make his way to Darwin to join his teammates - and with all going to plan he will grid up alongside Tony and Craig as per usual for tomorrow's qualifying at 9.30am.
Last year's round saw the trio qualify well, with Baird taking top team honours in second, followed by Klark with 12th and Tony with 15th -- who with a combined practice result of 16th today looks to be on par to build on that result this time around.