INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS WILL DECIDE V8 CHAMPIONSHIP: BRABHAM
IRWIN Racing's David Brabham believes the lack of V8 experience of the visiting international drivers at this weekend's ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 could decide this year's V8 Supercars championship.
With the top four drivers in the championship - James Courtney, Jamie Whincup, Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom - separated by less than 300 points, Brabham believes that they should all be extremely nervous.
"In terms of the international drivers coming down for one day and doing a test, it's going to be an eye opener on the weekend that's for sure," said IRWIN Racing's David Brabham.
"I think they'll find it tough, no doubt about it.
"V8 Supercars seem to be very sensitive to set up, you can see there are teams that have good consistency, they understand more, where the rest of the bunch are struggling every weekend, sometimes they are fast, sometimes that are not.
"If I was a James Courtney or Jamie Whincup going into the Gold Coast event I would be nervous, extremely nervous.
"This race could decide the championship basically."
Brabham believes that while one solitary test day is not enough, he congratulated race organisers who have given the overseas drivers the opportunity to drive a V8 Supercar prior to the weekend's race.
"They're going to need it! They'll need more than one day I think!" Brabham said in regards to the one-day test at Queensland Raceway.
"It is great that they even have the opportunity to do that test.
"Some of them would have raced at the circuit before, which will help, even though there is a slight change to the track.
"Some of them will have an advantage in terms of track knowledge, but in terms of knowledge of how the race cars work, they're going to have a massive learning curve."
Brabham was reluctant to suggest that there'll be carnage at the notorious street track, but didn't rule it out.
"Hopefully there's not a lot of carnage," he said.
"With all of those guys out there trying to fight for top position, it's going to be interesting.
"These cars are not the easiest cars to drive at speed. You've got to be in them a long time to really get the best out of them.
"We've got a very short period of time at Surfers Paradise. Everyone will be out there pushing, learning as much as they can leading up to the races, starting the race.
"Going through the whole format is going to be so new to them ^a Anything can happen!"
Both Brabham and his teammate, series regular Alex Davison, believe that they will have an advantage going into the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600, given they have raced together recently at Phillip Island and Bathurst.
"Now that David (Brabham) has done Phillip Island and Bathurst he will go to the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 well up to speed, which is a big advantage," said Alex Davison.
"I think it's going to be the world's greatest touring car race," Brabham concluded.
"It's going to be a fantastic time for IRWIN Racing because we will have a little bit of an advantage.
The international drivers will test at Queensland Raceway this Wednesday followed by the first practice session of the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 on Friday at 10.15am.
-source: irwin racing