WPS RACING UPBEAT AT THE ISLAND
A rejuvenated WPS Racing will attack this weekend's BigPond Grand Finale three race assignment with added vigor following an upbeat, two hour opening practice session at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand prix circuit.
Drivers David Besnard and Craig Baird were both patient in their execution across the 4.45 kilometre circuit finishing 22nd and 23rd on the timesheets.
Personal expectation has been the key variable towards their approach to the 13th and final event on the V8 Supercar calendar.
Baird at one stage had entrenched himself into the top ten midway through the session, while Besnard's sector times gradually improved in the Team Australia #48 entry as he saved his best for last during a 25 lap stint.
"Today it was all about being patient and working through any issues, then being specific with what we wanted to do to set up a better race car," confirmed Besnard.
"I think we did that very well and when we made those wholesale changes we reaped some reward, albeit quite late in the session.
"There's no doubt we've got to make a few more adjustments overnight.
"But we didn't see the point of going too hard on the tyres, so we'll maintain our patience and are reasonably confident we can get a result here."
On completing his 31 laps today in the Wright Patton Shakespeare supported #8 car, Baird was philosophical about the team's overall chances, particularly in light of the valuable data collected by each of the cars as they matched it with their more fancied rivals.
"Early on the car was just brilliant and it was heartening just to know we had a car that can be competitive this weekend," added Baird.
"I'm happy with the balance of the car and judging by what we put out here today I suspect we can make adjustments and improve even more over the next couple of days.
"Who knows maybe we can even pick up some more speed.
"Either way we're going to give it a shot.
"The car's been set up well, very consistent and that showed when we put together some good laps early on and continued on through the session."
With nothing to race for but pride alone, plus the added incentive of putting together some good form as the off-season looms ever close, the entire WPS Racing team is focused on closing 2005 on a high.
It was a Ford trifecta at the top of the timesheets today among the 34 car field, with Jason Bright marginally ahead of Marcos Ambrose and Craig Lowndes. Holden's Steven Richards and Todd Kelly completed the top five.