MAKE OR BREAK FOR LUFF AT MALLALA A good result at this weekend's fifth round of the HPDC V8 Supercar Series at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia is vital for Decina Racing's Warren Luff if he is going to clinch this year's ...
MAKE OR BREAK FOR LUFF AT MALLALA
A good result at this weekend's fifth round of the HPDC V8 Supercar Series at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia is vital for Decina Racing's Warren Luff if he is going to clinch this year's Championship.
Luff, who will partner Marcos Ambrose in the upcoming endurance races, has shown tremendous consistency to finish on the podium in all but one of the four rounds contested in this year's Championship to be a mere 20 points behind Championship leader Adam Macrow entering this weekend.
"This weekend is probably the most critical round in the Championship," said Luff
"Currently (Adam) Macrow has a handy lead in the Championship but over the last two rounds we have slowly pegged him back to now be in the position that if we can gain a good result this weekend he could really be under some pressure over the final two rounds.
"The circuit itself has got a bit of everything; it really highlights the need for outright speed along with the importance of a well balanced car under brakes, both factors that I think the Decina car has a good balance of."
In the corresponding round of the Championship last year the Decina Falcon owned by Jim Morton claimed the win with Greg Ritter at the wheel, Morton is confident that Luff can break through for his first victory of the year and continue Decina's 100% record at Mallala.
"Since the last round we have had a long think about several areas where we can improve the Decina Falcon added to the fact that Greg won here last year we are going into this weekend with a fair bit of confidence," said Morton.
"This weekend is the most important round of the Championship; we really need to narrow the gap to the top of the standings if we are going to take the Title. The rounds are running out and we can no longer afford to just finish one spot ahead of Macrow, we need to make a reasonable points pick up."
Team Principal Paul Cruickshank believes that a clean run by Luff this weekend is vital to surviving in the race for the Championship.
"I have been to Mallala as a team owner on two occasions, hopefully this weekend will be third time lucky," said Cruickshank.
"I think the biggest mission this weekend will be to keep out of trouble as in the past the circuit has been conducive to accidents.
"We are moving into the business end of the Championship and the battle for the top spot is still very wide open, I think that whoever uses their brains the most out of the Championship contenders this weekend will be in the box seat for the final two rounds.
"Obviously along with luck and keeping out of trouble to win we still need all of the major ingredients such as speed, handling etc and for a good result we will need to be on the mark with our set up early in the weekend."
While Luff's focus is currently firmly fixed on this weekend he also has in the back of his mind the fact that he will be partnering V8 Supercar Championship leader Marcos Ambrose in the upcoming endurance races at Sandown and Bathurst.
"For me personally, a good result this weekend is also vital to prove myself and give me more confidence leading into the endurance races in the main game where I will be partnering Marcos," said Luff.
"Last year I finished third at Sandown in my first time there in a V8 Supercar, now with more experience and teaming with the fastest driver in the Championship over the past two years I am really looking forward to both Sandown and Bathurst."
Practice and Qualifying will be held on Saturday with a pair of 16-lap races and one 28-lap journey on Sunday.