Eastern Creek: WPS Racing preview

WPS RACING'S EASTERN CREEK EVOLUTION WPS Racing drivers David Besnard and Craig Baird have the opportunity this weekend at Eastern Creek to continue the team's evolution as genuine contenders in the V8 Supercar Championship Series. Neither ...


WPS Racing drivers David Besnard and Craig Baird have the opportunity this weekend at Eastern Creek to continue the team's evolution as genuine contenders in the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Neither competitor has to look too far back to appreciate what it takes to propel themselves towards the pointy end of the field in Sydney.

Both managed competitive placings at Eastern Creek during the 2004 Series and now it's a matter of building on what was a successful outing in Perth three weeks ago.

"The idea was for both cars to finish all races and keep out of trouble and from that perspective we managed to keep to the program in Perth," said Besnard.

"Overall the pace we generated wasn't too bad but looking towards Eastern Creek we know there is still a lot more speed in both cars.

"There's no doubt the more track time we have the more data that can be collected to ensure we continue the forward momentum as a team."

Similarly Baird has his radar set for a good showing at Eastern Creek and is harnessing a positive mental approach towards the assignment.

That in itself continues to instil confidence among the entire crew and recognition of this are the progressive gains being achieved.

"The main thing for us is that WPS Racing had a good showing at Eastern Creek last year so it's important to carry on that sort of form this weekend," said Baird.

"Particularly after some reasonable gains at Perth, it'd be nice to put together back-to-back performances out on the track.

"I placed ninth last year at Eastern Creek which was my best result for the season so it's certainly a circuit that I enjoy coming to, but it's also one where it's very tight and you have to be on your game right throughout the journey.

"The way the Series is these days there's no race track where you'll have an easy ride. Once again we'll be looking for consistent reliability and 100% track time.

"People tend to forget that the WPS Racing team is still very young and it's obviously going to take us a little while to be right up there among the front-runners.

Besnard in particular is fully focussed towards securing some solid results during the Sydney round, that in some ways can be deemed as a home event for the ?? year-old.

More than a decade and a half ago as a young karting star hailing from the Sutherland Shire, Besnard regularly frequented the Eastern Creek site during the infancy of its construction.

Unfortunately, while the circuit has since provided many memorable moments for the elite of Australian motor racing, it hasn't been the same story for the WPS Racing campaigner.

"One of the most memorable things for me at Eastern Creek for all the wrong reasons was a major crash I had driving Formula Ford in May of '95," added Besnard.

"I suffered two broken legs and numerous internal injuries that laid me up in hospital for about a month. Luckily I recovered in time to compete at Bathurst in October of that year.

"People were asking me at the time whether I thought I'd ever race again but the way I look at it, many drivers have one major incident in their career and now that I've already had mine you're not likely to suffer the same fate twice.

"In this game you've got to remain positive and I'm fully focussed on ensuring we get the best results for the WPS team in 2005."

David Besnard Eastern Creek Raceway Record 2004 -- Qualified 10th;Race 1: 4th ; Race 2: 20th ; Race 3: 21st ; Overall: 13th Qualified 26th; Race 1: 17th 2003 -- Qualified 10th; Race 1: 28th; Race 2: 11th; Overall: 21st Qualified 27th; Race 1: 13th 2002 -- Qualified 9th; Race 1: 7th; Race 2: 18th; Race 3: 15th; Overall: 11th

Craig Baird Eastern Creek Raceway Record 2004 -- Qualified 18th;Race 1: 9th; Overall: 9th Qualified 35th;Race 1: DNF; Race 2: 16th; Race 3: 17th; Overall: 24th 2003 -- Qualified 28th; Race 1: 24th; Overall: 24th Qualified 26th; Race 1: 26th; Race 2: 20th; Overall: 25th 2002 -- Qualified 30th; Race 1: 26th; Race 2: 20th; Race 3: DNF; Overall: 29th

David Besnard thoughts on Eastern Creek:

"It's a track where car set-up is important and you can really have a go at recording some good times. Turn one especially can be a hair-raising experience but if you consistently nail it you can set yourself up for a good race weekend. We've been quick here in the past, particularly during the first race last year where I was able to secure a fourth placing starting from inside the top ten in qualifying. From a team perspective everything is positive after Perth but we do need more of the same for this weekend. I'm counting on developing our race pace and there's no doubt the crew at WPS Racing have got a few things happening at the moment that will make the cars even quicker at Eastern Creek. Getting through the weekend unscathed is priority one and that'll ensure we have plenty of data to work on that will see us at the pointy of the field sooner rather than later."

Craig Baird thoughts on Eastern Creek

"Getting the car set up right is going to be imperative to ensure a good qualifying position and having Bezzy qualified tenth at Eastern Creek last year I'm sure we'll be on track for a similar performance. We'll look to continue the momentum this weekend and I know everyone is aiming towards another good weekend. Personally I enjoy the Eastern Creek circuit with its challenging high and low speed corners. Last year we enjoyed an overwhelming amount of support from the locals due to the head office of Wright Patton Shakespeare being based in Sydney. We're counting on similar support this year and it'd be great to give all the WPS Racing fans something to cheer about."


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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Craig Baird