Both Orrcon Racing drivers Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bargwanna grew up in the suburbs of Sydney and are aiming for nothing less of a good result in their home town when the V8 Supercar Championship comes to Sydney's Eastern Creek ...
Both Orrcon Racing drivers Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bargwanna grew up in the suburbs of Sydney and are aiming for nothing less of a good result in their home town when the V8 Supercar Championship comes to Sydney's Eastern Creek next weekend.
Winterbottom grew up in the suburb of Doonside, approximately two minutes from the Eastern Creek circuit.
As a very young lad Winterbottom watched his father, Jim who was a dual Australian Super Modified Champion, race around the Newcastle Speedway.
"My first memories of Dad racing are at Newcastle when I was very young and I would always be getting told off by Mum for playing in the dirt," said Winterbottom.
While his first memory of racing comes from his father the racing genes in his blood run much further than that. Winterbottom's mother June also raced when Jim turned his hand to circuit racing.
At the time Winterbottom was just starting school and June raced a Mini while Jim raced a Mazda Rx3 before upgrading to a Mazda Rx-7 that later got sold to Harry Bargwanna, the father of Winterbottom's Larkham Motor Sport team mate, Jason Bargwanna.
"It was cool having both Mum and Dad racing, I loved being a part of it all," said Winterbottom.
"Years ago it was me watching Mum and Dad race and it is funny how things change with them now watching me race. They have always been a part of my racing and being so supportive of me throughout my career."
Both of his parents were at the opening round of this year's Championship in Adelaide last weekend to witness Winterbottom's debut with the Orrcon team.
The 22-year-old showed great pace throughout the weekend, setting the fastest time in Sunday's warm up and running strong in the second race before being eliminated in a multi-car accident 12-laps from the finish.
"All throughout the weekend we showed that the hard work put in by the guys over the off season is beginning to show," said Winterbottom.
"Unfortunately now the team has a very busy week ahead of them repairing a damaged car before Eastern Creek but they are a great bunch of guys and I'm sure will put their heads down and get the car back to being 100%.
"Although I lived so close to Eastern Creek I have only raced on it once when the Konica's raced there last year I have however spent a fair bit of time on the Playstation of late."
Winterbottom began his motorsport career in the early 90's in karting but his other love was always soccer. He is an avid soccer fan and played his soccer for his local club, the Doonside Hawks and also represented New South Wales in a junior representative team.
Bargwanna also grew up in the suburbs of Sydney at Engadine, a part of the Southern Shire graduating from Heathcote High. Like Winterbottom he too has been a part of the Sydney motor racing scene almost his entire life.
The Bargwanna name was synonymous around New South Wales circuits with the likes of his father Harry and uncle Alf being amongst the thick of the action at circuits such as Amaroo and Oran Park.
Now in his seventh year of V8 Supercar competition 31-year-old Bargwanna is also continuing the family motor racing tradition.
In his second year for Larkham Motor Sport Bargwanna began 2004 with a great fifth place at the non-championship Grand Prix and continued this form into the Championship opener at Adelaide where he again recorded a fifth place finish.
"Late last year we began to show some real promise and the Orrcon team have worked real hard over the off season and our results are beginning to show that," said Bargwanna.
"We have now had four fifth place finishes in a row which proves our consistency is there now we have to make that next step onto the podium.
"I have had success at Eastern Creek in the past racing Formula Ford, Holden and touring cars. It is a circuit that means a lot to me as I was around Sydney when it was first built.
"At Eastern Creek our realistic aims are to make the shootout and move a couple of spots up the order in the race to step up onto the podium."
Prior to the weekend's action at Eastern Creek the Orrcon Racing drivers will be visiting Orrcon's state of the art distribution centre and sales office that was built in 2002 servicing the Sydney Metropolitan area, North to the Hunter Valley and South to Canberra and the South Coast.
Practice for the second round of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship will begin on Friday April 2 followed by qualifying on Saturday and a 300km race on Sunday.