Barbagallo: IRWIN Racing preview

SOFT SERVE RETURNS TO THE V8 RACING MENU IN PERTH The return of the soft option Dunlop race tyre this weekend at the BigPond 300 at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway has IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison confident of a strong result. Back in June the IRWIN...

SOFT SERVE RETURNS TO THE V8 RACING MENU IN PERTH

The return of the soft option Dunlop race tyre this weekend at the BigPond 300 at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway has IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison confident of a strong result.

Back in June the IRWIN Racing team made best use of the soft tyre to charge through the field and finish second in the Sunday 200km race.

Not since the Queensland Raceway event in August have teams been able to make use of the softer Dunlop race rubber; that was five race meetings ago.

Each team will get just the one set of soft tyres, which can only be used in either race, but not in qualifying. With the Barbagallo Raceway renowned as one of the hardest tracks on tyres, choosing the right time to use the soft tyre will be crucial to scoring a top result.

Over the past few years the V8 event in Perth has featured three separate 100km races. This year's program is a 100km race on the Saturday, including a mandatory 50 litre fuel stop; and a 200km race on the Sunday with two fuel stops to total 100 litres.

With Davison not hunting a championship, he can use an aggressive offensive strategy to chase a race win and not have to defend from his rivals.

Despite this being Davison's first start in a V8 Supercar in Perth, he does have plenty of experience in the west aboard a Formula Ford and in the Porsche Carrera Cup.

WHAT ALEX DAVISON HAS TO SAY:

"I believe Barbagallo Raceway is the type of circuit where the addition of the soft tyre will really come into effect. As we have seen in 2009, the soft tyre will provide outstanding grip, but its life in Perth will probably be the shortest of any track that we run. So choosing the right strategy will be critical to making the most out of the softer tyre. At some races this year we have been able run the entire 100km race on the Saturday with them, I doubt we will be able to get anywhere near that distance in Perth. I enjoy driving the IRWIN Ford on the softer tyre. If there is one thing that has worked in our favour this year it is that our IRWIN Falcon seems to react better to the softer tyre than a lot of the others cars. There were three cars in Darwin that used the same strategy as us, but we were the only ones to really put ourselves in a position to challenge for victory."

WHAT IRWIN RACING ENGINEER WES McDOUGALL HAS TO SAY:

"Perth does create a lot of challenges for the IRWIN Racing team; with braking important plus excellent drive out of the bottom corner. Barbagallo Raceway is hard on tyres both because of the layout and the sandy surroundings means it is slippery on the track surface. The trend this year with the soft tyre has been that if you qualify towards the front on Saturday your will run the option rubber then; I expect that will be the same in Perth. The fact is that you will use the soft tyre when it best suits you to score a result. So in effect you sacrifice one race for the other. However, if you use the soft tyre and then a safety car is called onto the track you will be a sitting duck if the option tyre has gone past its prime."

-credit: irwin

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Series Supercars
Drivers Alex Davison