Orrcon Racing Steeling For Sandown Spectacular When this weekend's ninth round of the V8 Supercar Championship kicks off at the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 it heralds a return to the track where the V8 Supercar careers began for Orrcon Racing...
Orrcon Racing Steeling For Sandown Spectacular
When this weekend's ninth round of the V8 Supercar Championship kicks off at the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 it heralds a return to the track where the V8 Supercar careers began for Orrcon Racing drivers Jason Bargwanna and Mark Winterbottom.
As he readies himself for the 161 lap race this Sunday Bargwanna, who debuted aboard V8 Supercar in 1997, believes that the development and improvement of the Orrcon Racing Falcons by the Larkham Motor Sport team this year will provide him and his team mate Mark Winterbottom with a realistic chance of being on the podium.
"So far this year there hasn't been a round that we this year where we haven't continually made progress with the development of our cars, we are always gaining on the Championship leaders and this weekend will be no different," said Bargwanna.
"Mark made his debut at Sandown last year and showed that he is a very talented young driver, this year he has continued his development and I think we will be a force come race day.
"We had a test day recently where along with the testing on the track the team practiced brake pad changes and we made some very fast driver changes to get in readiness for the endurance races.
"With my height it is always tough to make compromises for the endurance races but teaming with Mark has been the least compromised in my career with our seating and pedal positions being similar."
Winterbottom, who won in a Formula Ford in 2002 at Sandown and qualified a tenth of a second outside the top ten shootout in his V8 Supercar Championship debut last year rates the circuit highly.
"It is one of those tracks where you can really push the envelope to get more out of the car but have got to careful not to push too hard," said Winterbottom.
"In the Formula Ford the races were only sprint races where we went 120% for the entire race, in the endurance race last year I learnt it was a case of consistent pace without wearing out your tyres.
"So far this year our cars have been really good on tyre wear which is great for the longer races.
"Sandown has always produced a very exciting race and I can't see this year being any different with the Championship so close, then you add the fickle Melbourne weather and it makes life extremely interesting.
When Mark Larkham exchanges his team owner's hat for his helmet this weekend it will be his 103rd start in the V8 Supercar Championship.
For the first time in his illustrious career Larkham will not be aboard the Number 10 Ford Falcon but rather partner V8 Supercar debutant Matt Halliday in the Number 20 Orrcon Racing Falcon.
"Until we were looking at driver pairings I had never even given the number a thought, it's no longer about my driving career it is about Larkham Motor Sport succeeding," said Larkham.
"The only number of interest to me this weekend is the finishing positions of the two LMS cars."
Practice for round nine of the V8 Supercar Championship begins on Friday with two practice sessions. Saturday will include a further practice session in the morning followed by qualifying and the top-ten shootout in the afternoon. The 161-lap race around the historic 3.10km Sandown layout will begin at 1pm on Sunday.