V8SDS: Howard Racing Queensland preview

Thompson and Sharpe revved up for a win at home Every bump, every ripplestrip, every braking zone and every passing opportunity are embedded in the minds of Howard Racing's Fujitsu V8 Supercar stars as the reigning champions prepare for this ...

Thompson and Sharpe revved up for a win at home

Every bump, every ripplestrip, every braking zone and every passing opportunity are embedded in the minds of Howard Racing's Fujitsu V8 Supercar stars as the reigning champions prepare for this weekend's round 4 battle at their home track, Queensland Raceway.

With countless laps of testing experience at the 3.12km circuit under its belt, the Gold Coast-based operation will look to convert its impressive practice pace to the cars in race trim, and is eager to record back-to-back round podiums.

And despite setting encouraging times at last Wednesday's pre-round hitout, Andrew Thompson, Adam Sharpe and Mark Howard will need to throw caution to the wind as a huge field of cars is once again entered to do battle, 39 to be exact.

Thompson is looking to get more good runs on the board after a hard-fought second place at Winton in round 3.

With pace to burn and a win in the opener, he was looking unstoppable until the heavens opened, forcing a hasty setup change which sent him spiralling in the wrong direction.

He bounced back in race 3 to snare another victory, and wants to keep the run going at home.

"Winton was a turning point for us and last week's test showed that we have what it takes to carry over the momentum to Queensland Raceway," said Thompson.

"We've made some really positive changes to the car to make it a good qualifier and race car, it's definitely one of the quickest out there and it would be great to convert this speed to a home track win."

Team Manager Warren Davis was similarly pleased with the progress that the team made, and said the test had yielded the best results that had ever gotten.

"We're at the stage now where both Andrew and Adam are in the running for podiums, they tested very well, Adam went almost seven-tenths quicker last week and Andrew was over a second quicker than his best time," said Davis.

"This kind of improvement is just fantastic we're aiming for the win on home soil."

Sharpe's performance at Winton was an eye-opener for the Fujistu series fraternity and fans alike, with the immensely-experienced British driver holding his own in the top 5.

He is eyeing another competitive outing at Queensland Raceway, and is confident of being able to match pace with the frontrunners as the weekend gets underway.

"The team has been hard at work over the break to further improve the car after a really good round at Winton, it's handling very well and is quick in both qualifying and race situations," said Sharpe.

"This is my first home round with the team so I'm really chasing a good result, I'm pretty confident and I found myself making up a lot of time at the test session which will be valuable during the round."

Hard at work on the new Sphere Southport Living project in the heart of the Gold Coast, Mark Howard is keen to get back behind the wheel of his V8 Supercar this weekend.

A solid round at Winton saw Howard join Thomspson and Sharpe in points-paying positions, and he is confident that the local track knowledge will allow him to factor within the top-half of the field once again.

"It's been a long break between rounds and has given us time to be fully prepared for Queensland Raceway. Last week's test saw a lot of laps completed and some good progress made in terms of setup for the #71 and #32 cars," said Howard.

"Both Andrew and Adam are at the top of their game, it should be a great weekend for the team and we can't wait to put on a good show for the home fans as well as friends and family."

This weekend's round 4 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series shares the spotlight once again with regular V8 Supercar contenders in the main game, and Queensland Raceway's typically large and enthusiastic crowds will be on hand to catch all the action.

Howard Racing will contest 3 races - 2 x 16 laps, 1 x 26 laps - following the initial practice and qualifying sessions.

-credit: hr

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Series CAMS
Drivers Andrew Thompson , Adam Sharpe , Mark Howard