Barbagallo: Irwin Racing preview

IRWIN RACING READY FOR THE BATTLE IN THE WEST IRWIN Racing's Marcus Marshall is confident that a strong qualifying run could give the team a result well inside the top-15 at the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the Bigpond...

IRWIN RACING READY FOR THE BATTLE IN THE WEST

IRWIN Racing's Marcus Marshall is confident that a strong qualifying run could give the team a result well inside the top-15 at the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the Bigpond 400 at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway on 9-11 May.

At the previous round in Hamilton New Zealand, Marshall was hampered by wet weather and late traffic during qualifying to start 26th. However, he was able to score back-to-back 16th place finishes, before being turned into a wall in the final race.

Although the final result didn't show it, Marshall is confident that the IRWIN Racing Ford is edging closer to the front half of the field.

"Importantly we know that we are getting better at each event," said Marshall.

"Against us has been the fact that a number of our competitors obviously don't believe our pace. They seem to prefer driving through our car -- rather than racing us.

"The best way to prove our pace is qualify a lot better. In Hamilton we had the pace for qualifying, but got caught out.

"Once we start in the top-20 I'm sure we can move up the order as our race pace is excellent.

"Perth is a short track, but still provides plenty of challenges. Really what I want is a clean weekend and I'm sure the reward could get us close to the top-10 by the end."

IRWIN Racing lead engineer Greg Foletta said the team turned the corner at the non-championship Grand Prix event in March.

"We are building our knowledge of the car and now we are confident with our baseline setup," said Foletta.

"The setup was achieved at the Grand Prix and it allowed us to work through Hamilton with relatively little changes. This allowed Marcus to concentrate more on getting the most out of himself and the demanding Hamilton street circuit.

"It will be a similar approach for Perth. So we are looking forward to a strong start to the weekend"

The IRWIN Racing team hit the track for extended practice on Friday ahead of qualifying and the opening race on Saturday. The final two races of the weekend will be held on Sunday.

-credit: bammedia.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcus Marshall