V8SDS: Protecnica Racing Queensland debut preview

PROTECNICA RACING READY FOR FUJITSU SERIES DEBUT After many months of planning and hard work, it's showtime for Protecnica Racing and Chris Alajajian this weekend, when they make their debut in the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series at Queensland ...

PROTECNICA RACING READY FOR FUJITSU SERIES DEBUT

After many months of planning and hard work, it's showtime for Protecnica Racing and Chris Alajajian this weekend, when they make their debut in the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series at Queensland Raceway.

It has been all systems go for the Sydney-based team since making the decision to enter the series. As part of the preparation, Protecnica Racing team owner Scott Anderson estimates in excess of 350 hours of work have been completed on the ex-Team Dynamik Commodore since it was purchased in April.

"The results you get on the track are only as good as the work you put in off the track," he said. "The work that's gone into this weekend really goes back months before we bought the car, in planning how we would attack the series, and looking at what we would need in order to be competitive.

"Since we picked up the car, we've been working extremely hard, checking and re-checking every part, every measurement, really just to learn about the car if nothing else."

While Protecnica Racing have amassed a vast amount of experience in rallying, off-road racing, Production-based classes and open-wheelers, this weekend will be their first outing with a V8 Supercar.

To aid the progression, the team have enlisted experienced V8 Supercar engineer Oscar Fiorinotto on a consulting basis.

"It's a very different animal to anything we've ever run before," Anderson said. "There is a lot that you need to learn before you can even think about taking the car onto a track. Even with little things, such as the life on the different components, it's knowledge that we need to build with time.

"I think our preparation for the weekend has been good; I think we will go to Queensland with a competitive package and certainly a good starting point for the future."

Continuing his climb through the motorsport ranks after success in Production-based classes and Formula 3, Alajajian is eagerly anticipating his Fujistu Series debut aboard the #43 Jack Hillermans / Elf Lubricants Commodore. He enters the weekend with two V8 Supercar test days in the car at Oran Park under his belt.

"It's been a long time coming," the 19 year-old enthused. "It's been a long and complex process to make sure everything is right for this weekend, but it has turned out really well; I'm pleased with it and I know the guys are too.

"We're competing to an extent, but not competing for the Championship, so this weekend will mainly be about learning as much as we can.

"Obviously we'll be looking to keep it clean in each race, and hopefully make up some ground along the way as our understanding of the car, knowledge and pace improves.

"I think we've got a lot of potential to achieve good things in the series, this weekend is another step on the steep learning curve."

Alajajian has raced twice before at Queensland Raceway, recording podium finishes in each instance. In 2003 - his debut season of car racing - Alajajian finished second in each of the two Australian Production Car Championship races at the circuit.

Last year, he maintained his good run of form, finishing each race of Protecnica Racing's Australian Formula 3 debut on the podium.

"It's not a really hard circuit to learn from a drivers point of view, but the most simple tracks are often the hardest from a technical point of view," he said.

"I enjoy racing there, it's a good circuit and I've been fortunate enough to have some good results there in the past.

"It's a bit funny with how it all works out. It was July last year that Protecnica were just starting out in F3 in Queensland, now we're going up there this weekend for our V8 debut too. I can't wait."

Round 3 of the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series kicks off on Friday at the Ipswich circuit, with a pair of practice sessions, before Qualifying on Saturday morning. Race 1 will be contested over 16 laps on Saturday afternoon, with Race 2 (reverse grid, 16 laps) and Race 3 (28 laps) on Sunday.

-pr

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Series CAMS
Drivers Chris Alajajian , Scott Anderson