QUEENSLAND CLASH Queensland Raceway will host round six in the V8 Supercar championship this weekend (July 21-23)on the circuit affectionately known as the ''Twisted paper clip'' refering to the fact most of...
Queensland Raceway will host round six in the V8 Supercar championship this weekend (July 21-23)on the circuit affectionately known as the ''Twisted paper clip'' refering to the fact most of the corners turn right, with just two turns facing the other direction.
Spectators certainly get their moneys worth at the 3.12Klm Ipswich circuit with views of the entire complex at any one time in an amphitheatre setting, not unlike another famous sunshine state venue, the old Lang park in Brisbane, used by Queensland for rugby league state of origin clashes, which the league boys found a little intimidating and the Supercar drivers, south of the border find the Queensland race track venue equally unnerving (The southern based teams will be fired up to extract some revenge after the 2-1 loss to Mal Meninga's boys in the recent origin series) in what could amount to mechanical mayhem as the northerners look to inflict a little more pain on their south of the Tweed rivals.
The flat nature of the track is extremely hard on left hand side tyres, although lap times between the leading teams are very close, teams that are well prepared from the moment the racecar rolls off the transporter usually gain the upper hand at Ipswich as dialling the car in to suit the circuit and the ever changing weather conditions can become difficult.
Ford holds the upper hand at Ipswich winning the past five clashes run as 300Klm mini-enduro races and have the form on the board at moment with Triple 888 driver Craig Lowndes looking towards a trifecta of round wins this year after victories at Winton and Hidden Valley as well as taking out the corresponding round in 2005.
While the format has changed from an enduro event to three shorter races this year, Lowndes and team mate Jamie Whincup and the Stone Brothers pair, defending Supercar champion Russell Ingall and James Courtney will prove difficult to beat on their home track. Stone brothers have a formidable record at the Willowbank circuit scoring two wins and former star steerer Marcos Ambrose scoring five straight pole position starts on home soil.
Mr consistency Garth Tander will be out to maintain his lead in the championship after finishing on the podium in Queensland in 2005, team mate Rick Kelly and Mark Skaife back in form for HRT and Steven Richards could all cause an upset for the '' General'' and put an end to Holden's lean run at Ipswich and the expectations of another 'home town' Ford victory for one of the many Queensland-based teams.