The following is a detailed lap of Symmons Plains Raceway to be used as the venue for the12th round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series on November 12-14. Also find following thoughts, results and memorable moments relating to this venue from...
The following is a detailed lap of Symmons Plains Raceway to be used as the venue for the12th round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series on November 12-14. Also find following thoughts, results and memorable moments relating to this venue from both Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall.
* Marcos Ambrose has never raced at Symmons Plains despite growing up in Tasmania and starting his go-kart career there.
* Russell Ingall will be one of the most experienced Symmons Plains drivers in the field having driven at the track four times previously. The last time was in 1999 when he finished on the podium in third place.
* Marcos Ambrose has the chance to wrap-up the 2004 championship this weekend. He needs to finish with 27 points more than Jason Bright and with two more points than Greg Murphy over the weekend's three races. This would give him the 192-point buffer he would require heading into the final round at Eastern Creek.
* Russell Ingall still has his sights set on second place in the championship. He is currently 81 points behind Jason Bright, who currently sits second.
SYMMONS PLAINS -- A LAP WITH RUSSELL INGALL
Symmons Plains is not one of the most technical tracks in the country and for that reason it takes more effort to drag that extra fraction of a second out of the place and give yourself an edge over the opposition.
There is every possibility that the entire field could be separated by less than a second in qualifying this weekend and that could throw a couple of unexpected players into the mix.
The circuit is going to be a bit of an unknown for a lot of drivers, including my SBR team mate Marcos Ambrose, but I don't think that is going to affect anyone for any great length of time.
As yon come over the start finish line in front of the new pit facilities you hit third gear, but then shift down to second and get on the brakes as you go over the rise and into the left hander.
They tell me it is from this point that the new resurfacing on the track starts.
You need to get the car balanced out of here for the slight right hander on to the main or front straight.
You hit fifth gear and reach about 240km before you are hard on the brakes -- and I mean hard!
The hairpin is one of the few first gear corners in the entire series and well will get to as slow as 50kph through here.
It is vital to get to the power down as quickly as possible out of here and set up your run down the back straight.
While this is called a "straight" it really is a long slight right hander on which you hit top gear at about the mid-way point.
Coming into the back part of the straight you need to ensure the car settles well under brakes.
You then click down to third gear for the long left hander which basically connects the front and back part of the circuit.
You go through the first part of this in third gear, but then hit fourth mid-way through the corner for the finishing burst to the start finish line. The tell me that the resurfacing ends mid-way through this corner which will be interesting.
The V8 Supercar lap record at Symmons Plains is held by Craig Lowndes after he notched a 54.5805-second lap in a Commodore in 1999 -- if the weather is fine, that record will be smashed this weekend.
I think there is every chance we will be in the 51-second bracket and maybe quicker.
The big target will be the track's outright lap record which was set in the mid 70s by Alf Costanzo in an F5000 car.
I doubt we will get down to that time of 50.4 seconds, but I am sure there will be plenty trying to give it a crack.
THOUGHTS ON SYMMONS PLAINS RACEWAY--..
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
It is pretty hard to give any thoughts on the actual track because I have never raced there. While saying that I think the couple of long straights and the general layout of the track will suit the SBR cars.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
I guess my fondest memories of Symmons Plains are sitting at the hairpin watching everyone like Brock, Johnson, Lowndes, Ingall and Bondy locking their brakes. It probably won't be too much different this time around, although some of the names have changed.
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX HAVOLINE RACING
Because of the simplicity of the track and the fact that we will be well under one minute per lap, the whole field could be split by a single second. There could be a few surprise runners at the front because it is not too technical. I think that could mix things up a bit, especially with a few drivers who are not in championship contention towards the front. The secret will be lots of horsepower and lots of brakes. You will need a strong right foot.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
I think that would have to be having our cars towed from the pit "tents" by a tractor because the rain had bogged everything down. The tents were then filled with woodchips which was not too good for the backs for the mechanics under the cars or for the balance on the air jacks. Thankfully plenty of changes have been made down there since those days.