Garry Holt and the Eastern Creek Karting V8 Supercar team are heading out to Oran Park to battle it out against the big boys in round 8 of the Shell Championship Series this weekend. This will be Holt's second appearance in the Shell Series for ...
Garry Holt and the Eastern Creek Karting V8 Supercar team are heading out to Oran Park to battle it out against the big boys in round 8 of the Shell Championship Series this weekend. This will be Holt's second appearance in the Shell Series for 2001, following the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
Due to the new format introduced by AVESCO this year, the team will have to go through Pre-Qualifying on Friday afternoon to secure one of the 32 places on Sunday's grid. Pre-Qualifying so far in 2001 has proved to be every bit as nail-biting, and exciting on the track, as the prospect seems on paper, with closely fought out sessions and only fingernail-width margins separating teams from an early shower, or hanging around for the weekend.
Given the pace shown by Garry Holt in the EL Falcon at a recent test session at Oran Park, hopefully the team won't be in the early shower bunch. But, one cannot afford to be complacent in such company -- one slip up and you are finished for the weekend.
Holt, as ever, is optimistic about events on Friday and for the weekend:
"I am confident that we can qualify come Friday afternoon. I was extremely happy with the performance of the car at Oran Park when we tested three weeks ago, and our race performance in the Konica Series at Lakeside, despite getting caught up in everyone else's accidents. Oran Park is probably the circuit that I know best, plus I really enjoy driving the circuit -- you have to work to get the setup right and the car does a lot of work there.
"When we entered, I figure that we have absolutely nothing to lose by entering, so we may as well have a crack at the big boys and see how we go. I would expect my performance to be far better than my last race in the Shell Series in Adelaide. Since then we have had a complete team re-structure, and welcomed a new race engineer on board, who has managed to get the car sorted out. We now have a synergy between myself, the car setup and the engine program."
If Holt qualifies, it will be the first time that the Eastern Creek Karting team has attempted the new format races introduced for the first time this year, including the compulsory tyre stop:
"I think the format will suit us better than a sprint race. I prefer to be in the car for longer, and build up a rhythm. Plus, if a few of the front runners wipe themselves out, as can so easily happen at Oran Park, or incur the wrath of the officials, we may be boosted up the order somewhat."
SPONSOR PROFILE: Radio 2SM Pty. Ltd.
Radio 2SM is the flagship station of the Broadcast Operations Group radio network. The conglomerate is privately owned and operated by Bill Caralis and his family. Of the 31 stations, many are the market leaders in the regional areas they are based. The stations owned by the group in Newcastle, Radio 2HD and New FM, are the market leading station (2HD) and the market leading FM (New FM). Radio 2SM in Sydney is currently undergoing an overhaul with a re-launch imminent. The Broadcast Operations Group boasts Australia's biggest radio news network, with stations all over Australia tuning into the radio news service.
Apart from the V8 Supercar team, the Broadcast Operations Group's other sports properties include the Sydney Kings Basketball team, the Newcastle Knights Rugby League team, Newcastle United Soccer Club, the ZZZ FM Lismore Speedway and Newcastle Speedway.