Dumbrell and Baird move on from monster NZ crash May 5 2005 -- Rival V8 Supercar Championship Series drivers Paul Dumbrell and Craig Baird have moved on following a monster crash in New Zealand just over two weeks ago ahead of this weekend's...
Dumbrell and Baird move on from monster NZ crash
May 5 2005 -- Rival V8 Supercar Championship Series drivers Paul Dumbrell and Craig Baird have moved on following a monster crash in New Zealand just over two weeks ago ahead of this weekend's Perth V8 400 at Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia.
The pair were the subjects of the spectacular incident that made headlines around the world. Neither was injured and now with the accident behind them both are solely focused on Perth.
"Naturally enough I'm pretty devastated to have that occur but all we can do is to keep our chin up and head to Perth and do a good job there," said 22-year-old Dumbrell.
For Baird it meant his WPS Falcon pretty much had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The Kiwi's WPS team was able to fix the damage after flying the car back from New Zealand.
"To have the finished WPS Racing Falcon on the road and ready to race in Perth is a great accomplishment for everyone involved," said team owner Craig Gore.
"We then took delivery of the car at our Gold Coast base the following weekend, where we quickly stripped the car and then had the chassis totally rebuilt."
Another spectacular casualty of New Zealand, Team BOC's Brad Jones, had similar problems when he rolled his Falcon in a separate incident, ironically following a nudge from his nephew Andrew Jones who drives for Garry Rogers Motorsport.
Brad Jones will race in Perth following an around the clock repair job by his team.
"I have to say that the crew has done an amazing job," Jones said.
"They worked out of a workshop in Auckland for a week with only the tools we took in our transporter. To repair a car that has rolled multiple times and landed on its side, with only a basic set of equipment, is just incredible."
While damage bills are prominent, celebrations will also be the norm in Perth. Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes celebrates his 100th event while his FPR team-mate of last year Glenn Seton, now with Westpoint Racing, celebrates his 40th birthday today (Thursday).
Making a brilliant V8 Supercar Championship debut in 1996, the then 22-year-old Lowndes became only the second driver in history to win Sandown and Bathurst as well as taking out Championship honours in one season - a feat no other driver has repeated since.
In fact, the only other driver to win Bathurst, Sandown and the series title all in the same year was the legendary Peter Brock; clearly, a very special talent had emerged in Australian motorsport.
"What an incredible milestone; I can't believe that this is my 100th round already... I'm very lucky to have had the opportunity and support to remain in the sport for so long," Lowndes said.
"I'll definitely be pushing hard... I'd really like to celebrate my hundredth round the same way I took out my first.... with a win. I love what I do; I'm still motivated and passionate."
Lowndes has a special bond with Perth. Between 1996 and 2000 Lowndes won all 12 races he competed in. It is largely one of the reasons the Holden Racing Team has such an impressive record at the track, even if it hasn't been lately.
Since 1995, HRT has won six times in Perth and had a further seven podium finishes while in 1997, 1998 and 2000 they finished 1-2.
Seton remains ultra-competitive in the category with his supreme fitness and dedication to perfection.
"I always said that I'll continue to race for as long as I am competitive," he said.
"I don't think age makes any difference when it comes to being competitive as long as you have the hunger, the passion and the drive for it. If you are fit, motivated and able to do the job it wouldn't matter if you were 15 of 50."
Ford Performance Racing's Jason Bright returns to Perth as defending V8 Supercar Champion, and following the car speed gains made in New Zealand, is confident of a strong team performance across the Nullabor.
His team-mate Greg Ritter will be making his V8 Supercar debut at Barbagallo, but he is no stranger to the Perth venue, having enjoyed podium successes there on his way to winning the 1999 Formula Ford Championship.
V8 SUPERCARS ROUND 3 -- BARBAGALLO RACEWAY PERTH MAY 6-8
Friday May 6
1.30pm - 3.30pm -- Practice Session
Saturday May 7
10.45am -- 11.30am -- Qualifying
11.45am -- 12.15pm -- Top Ten Shootout
3.00pm -- 3.50pm -- RACE 1 (120km)
Sunday May 8
10.00am -- 11.00am -- RACE 2 (140km)
1.40pm -- 2.40pm -- RACE 3 (l40km)
TV Telecast -- Network Ten
Sunday May 8
2.30pm -- 5.00pm