TRIPLE EIGHT CHASING DESERT TREASURE Team Betta Electrical drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have vowed to leave their bad luck behind when they take to the multi-million dollar Bahrain International Circuit for the first time tomorrow at...
TRIPLE EIGHT CHASING DESERT TREASURE
Team Betta Electrical drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have vowed to leave their bad luck behind when they take to the multi-million dollar Bahrain International Circuit for the first time tomorrow at the penultimate round of the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series.
After the disappointment of the previous round in Tasmania where a first race incident sidelined Whincup and destroyed Lowndes' championship lead, both drivers are looking forward to the fast, free flowing Bahrain circuit which will provide a level playing field.
With the V8 Supercar Championship making its first visit to the Middle Eastern Kingdom, no one team or driver will have a distinct advantage and all teams will start with the same tyre bank.
Lowndes who is currently second in the championship, 73 points behind Rick Kelly acknowledges that while he will have his work cut out for him the championship was far from over.
"I have spent the past week in Bahrain acclimatising and checking out the circuit so I am quite eager to actually get the car out on track tomorrow," Lowndes said.
"It is great to be going out on a level playing field this weekend. Like Shanghai last year no one will have a clear advantage in Bahrain."
"We are confident we can get up to speed quickly as the track is very similar to Shanghai where we showed we had good pace and car setup."
"I have swapped from being the hunted to the one doing the hunting and with 640 points still available I am looking forward to the challenge," Lowndes commented.
After the disappointment of being sidelined in Tasmania, Jamie Whincup said he will be looking to boost his points tally in Bahrain and regain some Championship positions.
"It should be a good weekend," Whincup said."I enjoy the wide, fast flowing circuits and they seem to suit the Triple Eight cars as does the heat."
"We have had a tough run in the past couple of meetings but we need to turn that around this weekend and collect as many points as possible."
"Practice will be interesting as we will all be on the same tyres so we will get a true indication of car speed right from the first session."
"I don't feel I could have done any more in preparing for this round, I have watched a lot of Formula 1 footage, run through some simulated data and even gone as far as changing my sleep pattern to the Bahrain timezone before I left Australia to prevent jetlag."
The V8 Supercars will race on a modified version of the Bahrain International Circuit and will get their first look at the 3.6km track at 1.15pm (7.15pm AEST) tomorrow in an extended 2-hour practice session.
On Friday, the V8 Supercars will qualify at 11.00am (6.00pm AEST), the Top Ten Shootout will follow at 12.00pm (7.00pm AEST) with Race 1 (100km - 27 laps) to get underway at 3.20pm (10.20pm AEST). On Saturday Race 2 (150km - 37laps) will start at 11.00am (6.00pm AEST) with Race 3 (150km -- 37 laps) to commence at 3.00pm (10.00pm).