WPS Racing announces Sandown 500 lineup

WPS RACING MUSCLES UP WITH DRIVER PAIRINGS It was an excellent opportunity today for regular WPS Racing drivers David Besnard and Craig Baird to get acquainted during a weights session, as the team announced the pair as driving partners for the...

WPS RACING MUSCLES UP WITH DRIVER PAIRINGS

It was an excellent opportunity today for regular WPS Racing drivers David Besnard and Craig Baird to get acquainted during a weights session, as the team announced the pair as driving partners for the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 on September 9-11.

The move leaves Team Australia Champ Car team mates Canadian Alex Tagliani and Aussie Marcus Marshall to campaign the other half of the Gold Coast based teams endurance assault, which also takes in Bathurst's Super Cheap Auto 1000 on October 6-9.

For team management it was thought the best way to muscle up to the Sandown/Bathurst double header was to pair the two regular Championship drivers together.

"This is a great opportunity for Bairdo and I to have a real crack at a decent result. It's by far the best pairing I've ever had for the enduros and that's sure to show in a few weeks time at Sandown," said Besnard.

"We work well together and are good mates so there are no egos getting in the road.

"I'm sure we'll give each other the best possible shot at securing something special.

"Both of us are already speaking about it and the overall goal is to be there at the end and get a good result."

Both drivers have shown they're a capable proposition in race situations with each having to fight hard from difficult qualifying positions during the early stages of this season.

Besnard has recently found a racing rhythm in the Australian Championship while Baird's consistency and patience in traffic has held him well throughout the bulk of the opening eight events in the V8 Supercar series.

Such a formula is expected to create a positive environment for the WPS Racing endurance campaign.

"Our engine package is coming along nicely and we've shown in the past that once the field evens up a bit during racing we always move forward," said Baird.

"We've been getting a lot more consistent lately and the way the guys replaced my engine in the last round at Oran Park under difficult circumstances showed the entire crew is really starting to gel.

"In these endurance rounds the last thing you want to be doing is sacrificing the major strengths of each other while developing the cars set-up.

"Bezzy and I have compatible driving styles and the understanding between us is also a major positive.

"Just like I'm sure the understanding between Marcus and Alex will be a lot stronger from driving with each other out of the one workshop with Team Australia Champ Cars this year."

The competitive spirit of drivers always tends to peak at this time of the year as individuals, yet to sample the sweet taste of success, can draw inspiration from some worthy performances at Sandown and Bathurst.

Both Besnard and Baird will now focus their energies on such a scenario and transform a desire to succeed into some worthy results and in the process assist their climb up the Championship ladder.

"We've been trying a few different things moving away from the traditional set-up of the cars but in the long run we'll be happy to drive whatever is going to give us the best possible chance of success," added Besnard.

"That'll be the fun part as Bairdo, myself and our engineer Ian Walburn put our brains together to nut out the best possible options.

"Then it's a case of developing the appropriate race strategy and make sure we make no mistakes."

The WPS Racing, Team Australia move is a unique undertaking, involving two separate teams from different racing mediums and leaves the door wide open for greater synergy to develop between the relative motorsporting bodies.

Having full-time drivers from each of the featured categories of the Gold Coast's Lexmark Indy 300 carnival on October 20-23 join forces is bound to attract a lot of interest.

-wps-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Alex Tagliani , David Besnard , Marcus Marshall , Craig Baird