Hamilton: Dale Wood preview

LEARNING NEW CIRCUITS ALL PART OF THE JOB FOR WOOD Hi-Tec Oils Racing driver Dale Wood says that the challenge of learning new circuits is all part of the job for a rookie V8 Supercar driver ahead of the Hamilton 400 in New Zealand this ...

LEARNING NEW CIRCUITS ALL PART OF THE JOB FOR WOOD

Hi-Tec Oils Racing driver Dale Wood says that the challenge of learning new circuits is all part of the job for a rookie V8 Supercar driver ahead of the Hamilton 400 in New Zealand this weekend.

Wood, who is in his first full season in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, has never raced at the 3.4-kilometre Hamilton street circuit.

Despite being a rookie in the top level of V8 Supercars, Wood has knowledge of many of the circuits on this year's schedule in either Fujitsu V8 Supercar or Formula Ford competition.

But that is not the case this weekend in Hamilton as he lines up aboard the #16 Hi-Tec Oils Holden Commodore, but Wood still enters this weekend's two races well prepared, having 'done his homework' on the tight, concrete-lined layout.

Techniques used to learn a circuit for the first time include:

- studying detailed track maps
- watching last year's race telecast
- examining 2008 set-up data and engineering notes
- a lengthy track walk on Thursday prior to the event

Importantly for Wood, he has one more vital resource to draw from -- the knowledge and experience of Bathurst winners Todd and Rick Kelly, who both raced in Hamilton last season, Rick finishing second in the opening race.

A new qualifying format will be implemented for Hamilton, with the usual Saturday, elimination-style qualifying session and Top 10 Shootout to set the Saturday race grid and a second, 20 minute 'all-in' qualifying session, held roughly one hour to Sunday's race, to decide the starting line-up for the second race of the weekend.

WHAT DALE HAD TO SAY ...

Dale Wood - #16 Hi-Tec Oils Holden Commodore:

"Learning a new circuit is always a challenge but coming up through the ranks you are always coming across new tracks," said Wood.

"You learn to adapt very quickly. After the first lap or two of practice you already know which way the track goes.

"After that it's important to gradually work your way up to it, especially at a street circuit, because there is no room for error.

"We've had time to work on our Hi-Tec Oils Commodore since the Grand Prix and we're really excited about this weekend.

"I'm looking to put two solid finishes on the board, learn a lot and keep the points ticking over."

-credit: bammedia.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Rick Kelly , Dale Wood