Clipsal: Caltex Racing preview

INGALL SAYS SOME TEAMS MAY BE UNDER PREPARED Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall believes that reliability could be a major factor for a lot of teams in this weekend's Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide -- the opening round of the V8 Supercar ...

INGALL SAYS SOME TEAMS MAY BE UNDER PREPARED

Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall believes that reliability could be a major factor for a lot of teams in this weekend's Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide -- the opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

The defending V8 Supercar Series Champion, Ingall says that a lot of teams will struggle in this weekend's two 250km events without the traditional non-championship events at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix as a pre-season hit out.

The Melbourne Grand Prix events have been moved to a week after the Adelaide event this year because of a clash with the Commonwealth Games.

"The grand prix usually give you a great opportunity to iron out the bugs," said Ingall.

"How many times have you seen teams have a rough time in Melbourne and then come out and have a strong result in Adelaide? This year they won't have that luxury.

"I think this situation actually gives me more confidence going into the weekend because I know how much work and effort from the Stone Brothers Racing team goes into the preparation of my Caltex Falcon.

"We have only had one test, but the work that has gone on behind the scenes has been nothing short of fantastic.

"There are just so many factors you need to look at heading into the Adelaide event, which really is vital to everyone's championship chances.

"The heat is certainly always a factor and the eagerness of some of the new guys into the category can also play a role in the outcome.

"At the end of the day you just need to take a deep breath and remember there is a long season ahead of us."

Fellow Ford driver Craig Lowndes, who will drive his Caltex-backed Team Betta Electrical Falcon this weekend, agreed with Ingall's pre-event assessment.

"With no AGP prelude to the Clipsal 500 this year our recent test day became all the more important as we are now don't have the luxury of a non-championship event starting our season," said Lowndes.

"Besides Bathurst, the Adelaide circuit is without a doubt the hardest on our cars.

"Car reliability is paramount as these two races are a sprint from start to finish."

This weekend will also see James Courtney make his debut in the Caltex-backed Jeld-Wen Falcon and Jamie Whincup make his first appearance alongside Lowndes at Team Betta Electrical.

The V8 Supercars will be on track for the first time for a 35-minute practice session at 9.45am on Friday with 78-lap races on Saturday and Sunday.

-cr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Russell Ingall , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup