BARGWANNA SEARCHING FOR ANOTHER SYMMONS PLAINS PODIUM WPS Racing's Jason Bargwanna already has two trophies in his cabinet from the Tasmanian round of the V8 Supercar Championship and the Melbourne-based driver is hopeful of securing a third...
BARGWANNA SEARCHING FOR ANOTHER SYMMONS PLAINS PODIUM
WPS Racing's Jason Bargwanna already has two trophies in his cabinet from the Tasmanian round of the V8 Supercar Championship and the Melbourne-based driver is hopeful of securing a third this weekend at Symmons Plains.
Bargwanna first competed at the 2.2km circuit in a Formula Ford in 1995 against the likes of now Formula One star Mark Webber and many current V8 Supercar drivers including Jason Bright.
Bargwanna's first V8 podium came at Symmons Plains in 1998 when he finished third behind Mark Skaife and Russell Ingall.
"The round here in 1998 was pretty special. It was my very first V8 podium in only my second round in the V8 Supercar Series and we were very competitive throughout the weekend," said Bargwanna
"It was the first time I was able to mix it with Skaife and Ingall, hopefully we can return to this form this weekend."
He backed his podium performance in 1998 up with another strong performance the following year to finish second behind Skaife.
"In a very wet weekend it came down to a battle during the final race between myself and Skaife to see was going to win the round. Unfortunately he just got the better of me but it was great to finish on the podium two years in a row," said Bargwanna.
In the corresponding round last year Bargwanna made his 100th Championship start joining an elite band of drivers in the process. He became the 20th driver the 100 club alongside such icons of the sport as Peter Brock, Dick Johnson, Glenn Seton, Mark Skaife and Bargwanna's team principal Mark Larkham.
"Although it my 100th round last year it was probably a weekend I'd rather forget, it was one of those weekends when nothing went right and to make things worse I had the chicken pox and hardly enough energy to get out of bed," said Bargwanna.
This year Bargwanna and the WPS Racing outfit have shown significant signs of improvement and the 34-year-old has finished inside the top ten in five out of the past six rounds contested in the 2006 championship.
"The team has certainly made some good steps forward throughout the year and making up ground on the front running teams and drivers but there is still a fair bit of work to do," said Bargwanna.
"Hopefully this weekend Max (Wilson) and I can have a clean run and get both cars close to the top of the points at the end of the round."
During this afternoon's practice session for the Ferodo Tasmania Challenge Bargwanna was unable to find the right balance aboard his WPS Racing Falcon and as a consequence set the 26th fastest time. Wilson had similar issues on his way to setting the 20th fastest time. Skaife was fastest ahead of Jason Bright and Garth Tander.
Qualifying, the top ten shootout and opening race will be contested tomorrow. The round will be highlighted by a pair of 58-lap races on Sunday.