THE GRAND FINALE BEGINS AT PHILLIP ISLAND
After 12 rounds the 2005 V8 Supercar Championship will come to a fitting finale at one Australia's most famous circuits, the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, in Victoria this weekend.
Larkham -- Orrcon Racing pair Jason Bargwanna and Mark Winterbottom contested a two-hour practice session this afternoon and are aiming to finish the year with a good result for the Gold Coast based team.
Despite being involved in two major incidents (1999 and 2002) at the high speed circuit Bargwanna rates Phillip Island as one of the best in the world.
"It is great to be back at Phillip Island on a circuit that has several massive highspeed corners and requires a lot of commitment. It is a challenge to get the car set up right. Unfortunately we are not even close to the perfect set up yet but we will work hard overnight to find a solution and some more speed," said Bargwanna.
The previous, and only, time Winterbottom has competed aboard a V8 Supercar at the Phillip Island circuit he finished second in the V8 Development Series round on his way to the 2003 championship.
"This is a fantastic circuit, it is one of the most challenging circuits in the championship, if not the world, with several slow and high speed corners, undulation and some good spots for passing opportunities," said Winterbottom.
"We had a numerous issues during today's practice session which is reflected in my time, but the positive is that we fixed several of them late in the session which should allow me to move up a heap of positions during qualifying tomorrow."
Bargwanna finished as the 24th fastest driver this afternoon with Winterbottom 34th.
Fellow Ford driver Jason Bright recorded the fastest time ahead of Marcos Ambrose and Craig Lowndes.
Qualifying and the Top Ten Shootout will be contested tomorrow morning followed by the opening 23-lap race. The round will be highlighted by a pair of 32-lap races on Sunday.