The Team Behind The Team
When the V8 Supercars hit the track there are 35 drivers that the have the opportunity to become the winner of each race.
Behind each of these drivers is a dedicated crew working as hard, if not harder, than the drivers themselves. A finely tuned pit crew is just as important as the driver performing at his peak in every race.
Larkham Motor Sport continually stepped up to the plate throughout 2004 with the Orrcon Racing Falcon's Jason Bargwanna and Mark Winterbottom making a presence throughout the 2004 Championship.
The improvement by the team is highlighted with their best result in the Championship in their 10-year history with Jason Bargwanna finishing eighth in the highly competitive Championship. Bargwanna's result also sealed the team's spot as the second highest placed Ford team in 2004.
The long hours put in by the 15 crew members throughout the year is a pure sign of their dedication towards to ensuring that the team becomes a serious Championship contender over the coming years.
Along with the pace of the Orrcon Racing Falcons having been improved courtesy of the technical aspects including the suspension and brake packages the focus on faster, cleaner, smoother pit stops has also assisted the team to gain good results in 2004.
With the competition so close in the V8 Supercar Championship if a team can gain one second in a pit stop many times it can translate to an improvement of up to three or four positions in the race.
As with most teams in the Championship Larkham Motor Sport has a full understanding of the opportunity to gain ground during a pit stop. This year they implemented a gym program for each of their pit stop mechanics.
Along with the training throughout the year the team dedicated over 100 hours to practice pit stops in the workshop. This is in addition to the 392 pit stops made during practice and qualifying over the 13 rounds held across Australia and New Zealand.
The gym program and practice stops provided the team with the platform to perform at their optimum during each of the 66 stops made under race conditions during the 13-round Championship. It has also assisted to trim the time that the Orrcon Racing Falcons are stationary in the pit area during these stops by up to four seconds.
The time that the crew has saved in their pit stop routine equates to over 150 metres for Bargwanna and Winterbottom on the circuit at race speed, this can provide the drivers with the opportunity of moving up the order by up to five positions in the tightly fought races.
"The guys in the team are a very tight knit bunch, they really enjoy what they do and work hard to make sure that our drivers have the best possible chance of a good result," said team owner Mark Larkham.
"At the start of the year we all sat down and worked on the plans for the team for the next few years, every member of the team dedicated themselves to the team to ensure we grow to become a force in the Championship.
"For us the success isn't about a driver taking the glory, it is about human achievement and the team moving forward to succeed and grow as one."
With the 2004 Championship campaign completed the team have the opportunity to spend several weeks away from the workshop before returning mid January to begin preparations for another intense year of V8 Supercar competition.