QLD'S GREAT CHAMPIONSHIP HOPE: TEAM VIP PETFOODS' CRAIG BAIRD Team VIP Petfoods Craig Baird is Queensland's greatest hope for the 2007 Carrera Cup championship heading into this weekend's series round four at Queensland Raceway - and if there...
QLD'S GREAT CHAMPIONSHIP HOPE: TEAM VIP PETFOODS' CRAIG BAIRD
Team VIP Petfoods Craig Baird is Queensland's greatest hope for the 2007 Carrera Cup championship heading into this weekend's series round four at Queensland Raceway - and if there was anywhere to make his move his home track would have to be the place to do it.
Although the Team VIP Petfoods trio of Baird and Tony and Klark Quinn are only three of eight Carrera Cup drivers based in the Sunshine State, the defending series champion and former V8 Supercar competitor Baird is also currently third in the championship, only 48 points from current leader Alex Davison.
The next local chance behind Baird comes in the form of fellow Gold Coaster Marcus Marshall, currently fourth in the championship and 183 points away from the leading score following last month's Hidden Valley round three.
"It is great to be competing at home for round four of the Carrera Cup, especially after only recently heading over to Germany for the Nurburgring 24 hour and then saddling up in Darwin only two weeks later," said Baird.
"After Winton's round and then coming so close in Darwin (Baird finished second for the round behind a lightening quick David Reynolds) I am without doubt on the hunt to get back on top of that series ladder.
"With this weekend being held at home, I am confident of getting things right in relation to myself and the car, and in doing so seeing some strong results put down to climb my way back up there."
While 'Bairdo' is looking to continue the push for his second consecutive championship, Team VIP Petfoods boss Tony Quinn is looking to carry-on the good form which saw him take his best round result of the year to date in Hidden Valley, placing 11th outright.
History is on his side, with the last Carrera Cup round to be held at Queensland Raceway in 2005 seeing him win the round for the TAG Huer Carrera Cup Challenge -- a championship within the main championship for amateur drivers over 30 years of age - a highly fought contest in which he is currently placed 3rd in 2007 behind James Koundouris and Rodney Jane.
"It is always good to have a tilt at our home track, especially with all the travelling we have been doing of late," said Tony Quinn.
"Darwin was good for me without any major dramas except some early setup issues, so really we will just keep on chipping away and trying our best as we always do."
In the meantime, Tony's son Klark is sure to be looking forward to competing closer to home, with his Darwin adventures briefly put on hold last month when an emergency at the family's Gold Coast business VIP Petfoods required him to stay back, ultimately missing out on both practice runs for round three.
"Missing out on practice in Darwin was unfortunate, as I went into qualifying pretty much cold," said Klark.
"We still did ok though and I had a respectable weekend, managing to keep out of trouble, but I think the more time on track you can get the better no matter where you are competing.
"With this being our home track I have plenty of that up my sleeve, and so am looking forward to what will hopefully pan out to be a great weekend for all of us."
Klark and Tony are currently placed 13th and 15th in the championship standings respectively heading into the weekend, which will be the third home-state hit-out in two months for the team.
Before heading to Germany, Tony and Craig took the win in the QLD 500 Club Enduro in June, and Klark and Tony recently competed in Queensland's first ever classic tarmac rally -- the Suncoast Classic -- only two weeks after Darwin's Carrera Cup round three.
The inaugural rally saw the senior Quinn take home top five honours in both the Modern Competition and Outright, while Klark impressed by coming home tenth for the Modern Competition in what was only his third ever rally.