V8 Supercars Trading Post Perth Challenge Preview

V8 Supercars Trading Post Perth Challenge Preview

Barbagallo Raceway

Event 4, Trading Post Perth Challenge, Barbagallo Raceway, Western Australia

Races 7, 8 & 9 Of The 2011 International V8 Supercars Championship

Point of Interest: There are three Western Australian drivers competing full-time in the V8 Supercars Championship in 2011. Former series champion Garth Tander (Toll Holden Racing Team), Karl Reindler (Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing) and Dean Fiore (Triple F Racing) all get the chance once again to compete on their home circuit. Tander won the event overall with a clean sweep of all three races in 2007.

Circuit Length: 2.42 kilometres
Circuit Direction: Clockwise

Circuit Description: Tough and tight, the Barbagallo circuit (formerly known as Wanneroo Raceway) was resurfaced a few years ago and initially gave very good grip. However, as the years have ticked by, the surface remains a difficult one for drivers and engineers alike. Passing opportunities are generally limited to turns one, six and seven under brakes, with the surrounding sand keen to catch out any driver who strays from the bitumen. The circuit was absent from the 2010 schedule but returns with a range of improvements planned over the next few years.

10 FAST FACTS


1. If ever there’s a man who has a strong record at a particular circuit on the V8 Supercars Championship, TeamVodafone’s Craig Lowndes must be that man and Barbagallo must be that track.

Craig Lowndes takes out the win for Team Vodafone
Craig Lowndes takes out the win for Team Vodafone

Photo by: Chris Von Wieldt

- The three-time champion has a monumental record in Perth in V8 Supercar racing and won the last race in the Championship’s last visit in November 2009 (right).
- In 13 previous events at Barbagallo, Lowndes has won an incredible 13 races from 37 started (35%). Twelve of those he won in succession from 1996-2000 (he missed 1997 while racing overseas) before taking his 13th win last year in the Sunday race.
- He’s only qualified outside the top 10 in Perth once – 2002 – and has four pole positions at Barbagallo.
- Lowndes now sits third in the V8 Supercars Championship, 102 points - and within striking distance - of teammate Jamie Whincup.

2. The three-race format returns this weekend in the V8 Supercars Championship for the first time since 2008 – and a range of tyres will be used as well as a different qualifying format for Sunday.

- Saturday will be run entirely on Dunlop’s Hard tyre option. There will be a 20-minute qualifying session and a 50-lap race (Race 7 of the V8 Supercars Championship).
- Sunday will be run entirely on Dunlop’s Soft tyre option. There will be a single 20-minute qualifying session, where a driver’s fastest time determines their grid position for Race 8, and their second fastest time determines their grid position for Race 9. Both Sunday races will also be over 50 laps.
- The last time a three-race format was used in Perth, Mark Winterbottom won all three races.
- There will be podium presentations for all three races.

3. Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen is still on a high after his first-ever V8 Supercars Championship race win at the ITM400 Hamilton in his native New Zealand (right).

Race winner Shane Van Gisbergen, second place Lee Holdsworth, third place Garth Tander
Race winner Shane Van Gisbergen, second place Lee Holdsworth, third place Garth Tander

Photo by: Toll Holden Racing Team

- The 21-year-old became the 61st different race winner in the history of the Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars Championship since 1960.
- It was the first race win for Stone Brothers Racing since James Courtney won at Queensland Raceway in 2008. It broke a drought of 76 races and was also the first win for Ford this year.
- He became the first Kiwi to win a V8 Supercar race in New Zealand since Greg Murphy in 2005.
- Turning his attention to Barbagallo might just bring van Gisbergen back to earth. In two previous visits (2008 & 2009), his best qualifying result and race finish is 10th.

4. Sunday’s Race 8 of the season is a special milestone in the history of the Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars Championship.

- It will be the 750th ATCC/V8SC race since the first in 1960 at Gnoo-Blas in Orange.
- Jim Richards won the 250th race (Oran Park 1993) and Mark Skaife won the 500th (Pukekohe 2002).
- Of the 748 races held to this point, Barbagallo has hosted 66 of them. It hosted an event of the ATCC/V8SC every year from 1978 to 2009.

5. There have been five different winners from the first six races in this year’s V8 Supercars Championship, as well as five different pole-sitters from the six pole positions on offer.

- The last time the first six races were won by five different drivers was 14 years ago in 1997 at Calder and Phillip Island (Glenn Seton two, Wayne Gardner, Greg Murphy, Russell Ingall and Larry Perkins).
- The race winners this year have been Jamie Whincup (twice), James Courtney, Garth Tander, Rick Kelly and Shane van Gisbergen.
- The last time there were five different pole sitters from the first six available poles was 2007.
- This year’s pole positions have gone to Jamie Whincup (two), Craig Lowndes, Garth Tander, Will Davison and Rick Kelly.

6. Less than one race win covers the top eight drivers in points in the V8 Supercars Championship with six of 27 races completed – making for a much tighter points battle than this time last year.

Race winner Rick Kelly
Race winner Rick Kelly

Photo by: Kelly Racing

- Jamie Whincup leads by 81 points over 2006 champion Rick Kelly (right), who took Kelly Racing’s first race win in New Zealand.
- But it’s the tight 51-point spread between Kelly and eighth-placed Alex Davison that sees seven drivers less than one race win (150 points) off the championship lead.
- This time last year after six races, just three other drivers were within one race win of Whincup’s title lead. This year that number has more than doubled to seven.

7. A range of drivers have historically struggled – or had results weaker than their overall record - at Barbagallo Raceway and plenty of them are keen to improve those statistics this weekend.

- Reigning champion James Courtney has never finished on the podium at Barbagallo in four previous visits. His best race finish remains fourth on Saturday in 2009 and he’s never qualified higher than fifth.
- Pepsi Max Crew’s Greg Murphy hasn’t qualified in the top 10 in Perth since 2006.
- Bottle-O pilot Paul Dumbrell hasn’t finished in the top 10 in a race at Barbagallo since his first competed there in 2003 – that’s a spell of 20 races! His best result is an 11th in the first race in 2006.
- Jana Living Racing’s Jason Bargwanna hasn’t qualified in the top 10 in Perth since 2000.
- Last year was the first time Russell Ingall had qualified in the top 10 at Barbagallo since 2002.

8. Toll Holden Racing Team and Jim Beam Racing (Dick Johnson Racing) are locked in a close battle for the most podium finishes in championship history at Barbagallo.

- Both teams have enjoyed great success over the years in Western Australia, with DJR taking a total of 14 podium results away from Barbagallo since Dick Johnson’s first in 1981. His son Steven scored the team’s latest podium there in 2009 with a second-place in the Sunday race.
- On the other hand, Toll HRT has collected 16. Peter Brock took their first in 1995 with a second-place and Garth Tander their most recent with a third-place in the Sunday race in 2009.

9. Three drivers are making their first start in a V8 Supercar at Barbagallo Raceway in the Trading Post Perth Challenge.

Jonathon Webb
Jonathon Webb

Photo by: John Maricic

- James Moffat (Jim Beam Racing), Jonathon Webb (Mother Energy Racing Team) and Karl Reindler (Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing) are all having their first look at the circuit in a V8 Supercar.
- Moffat has raced there previously in Formula Ford (winning the round in 2007) and Porsche Carrera Cup (finishing third in 2008).
- Webb (right) has raced at Barbagallo in Carrera Cup (finishing third in 2005), while Reindler has competed in a range of categories there in the past given it’s his home circuit.
- The last time the V8 Supercars visited Barbagallo in 2009, Reindler raced a MINI Challenge car with his brother Chris.

10. The Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series will be the main support to the Trading Post Perth Challenge and is making its first-ever appearance in Western Australia.

- A field of 24 cars has entered for the second round of the series, led by points leader Nick Percat in the #222 Coates Hire Racing Commodore.
- Paul Morris returns to the Fujitsu Series for the first time this year. His Commodore will run under the ‘Green Machine Racing’ banner promoting Perth boxer Danny Green’s upcoming title fight in Sydney in July.
- Of the drivers entered for this weekend’s round, only Morris, Andrew Thompson (Monster/Triple Eight) and Jack Perkins (Supercheap Auto/Sonic) have previously raced a V8 Supercar at Barbagallo.
- A range of Western Australian drivers are among the field, including Todd Fiore (Triple F Racing) and Nathan Vince (Batavia Coast Motorsport). Brett Stewart makes his debut (Formula Tech Racing) in an ex- Paul Morris Motorsports VE Commodore to bring the number of local drivers to three.

-source: v8 supercars

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Series V8SUPERCARS
Tags ausv8ss, gisbergen, lowndes, perth

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