Eastern Creek: WPS/WOW Racing preview

PRODUCTIVE TEST GIVES WILSON AND BARGWANNA EASTERN CREEK BOOST A successful test day has given new confidence to WPS/WOW Racing and drivers Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna ahead of Round 7 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Eastern Creek...

PRODUCTIVE TEST GIVES WILSON AND BARGWANNA EASTERN CREEK BOOST

A successful test day has given new confidence to WPS/WOW Racing and drivers Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna ahead of Round 7 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney, New South Wales this weekend.

WPS/WOW Racing tested both its cars at Queensland Raceway last Thursday (May 31) and came away from the productive test pleased with the development and set-up progress achieved on the #8 WOW Racing Falcon and #10 WPS Racing Falcon.

The team's endurance driver Michael Caruso also drove at the test and impressed the team with his ability and technical feedback. Caruso, who hails from Collaroy in Sydney, will be a part of the WPS/WOW Racing team at this weekend's Eastern Creek round.

Eastern Creek was the scene of Wilson's sole V8 Supercar podium in the season finale of 2003, where the Brazilian finished third for the round.

Wilson is a fan of the wide and fast Eastern Creek circuit, which more reflects the circuits of Europe where he learned his trade working his way through open-wheel racing on his way to becoming a Formula 1 test driver. Wilson has qualified in the top 10 at the western Sydney circuit on three occasions, including his first visit to Eastern Creek in 2002.

Bargwanna agrees with Wilson's fond thoughts towards the track and has also enjoyed success at the 3.93-kilometre circuit with four top 10 round finishes including both Eastern Creek rounds in 2004.

Bargwanna grew up in Sydney suburb of Engadine, making the Eastern Creek round a homecoming of sorts for the 35-year-old, who now resides in Warragul, Victoria.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Max Wilson -- #8 WOW Racing Falcon

"Eastern Creek is definitely one of my favourite tracks," said Wilson.

"I'm happy that the series is going back there because it is one of the faster tracks in Australia and for me I like the fast corners like Eastern Creek's Turn One.

"It was a long time ago that I stood on the podium at Eastern Creek but it still gives me good memories. But even without that podium I still count this track as one of my favourites.

"It's a nice circuit to drive and there are a good mix of corners. I think it should produce good racing for the fans and I hope that there are lots of them with this new Monday format.

"I have been lucky to do a lot of racing in my life, but I think this will be the first time I race on a Monday!

"At our recent test we made a real step forward. It will be interesting to see how we do at Eastern Creek and how the new developments we have made to our cars translate into results and progression up the order."

Jason Bargwanna -- #10 WPS Racing Falcon

"The test last Thursday went well and it was a very productive day," said Bargwanna.

"It always hard to count your chickens before they hatch in this game because it's just so tough, but I think we can turn the progress we made over the day into improved speed and results.

"We worked hard on the new braking package and sorting some issues we've had there and I think we can have more confidence in our brakes for Eastern Creek and beyond.

"I love the Eastern Creek circuit. I've had success there and it's one of the driver's circuits in the championship.

"It's an enjoyable track to drive and I think with the improvements that we will take into this round after testing we should be in line to get the results we deserve."

Michael Caruso -- WPS/WOW Racing Endurance Driver

"It was great to have a run in one of the team's cars and get to know the WPS/WOW Racing crew at QR on Thursday," said Caruso.

"Overall it was a good, solid test day and I was pleased with how I worked with Max, Bargs and all the guys at setting up the cars.

"I had two runs in the car and found it to be different to the car I am used to driving in the Fujitsu Series. It felt different and was also set-up differently so I'm really looking forward to my next test with the team so I can work at driving the car and adapting to it's handling.

"I wasn't too far off the times and I felt comfortable in the car straight away. The team are a great bunch of guys and I think we did well at the test and can really look forward to Sandown and Bathurst this year."

Craig Gore -- Team Owner

"The team came away from Thursday's test day very pleased with the progress achieved," said Gore.

"We've seen some progress with our cars this year and after a productive test at Queensland Raceway on Thursday we are aiming for further improvement this weekend at Eastern Creek.

"Both our drivers are big fans of the Eastern Creek circuit and the team is working very well. Our aim this weekend is to capitalise on that momentum and make it our best round so far this season.

"With the way the points system is this year one good weekend can really have a big effect on your championship position."

WPS/WOW RACING -- TEAM TALK

WPS/WOW Racing went testing last Thursday, so we took the time to speak with Team Manager Keith Evers about just what goes on at a test day.

The team joined Stone Brothers Racing and Paul Cruickshank Racing at Queensland Raceway on May 31 for the test, where Jason Bargwanna, Max Wilson and newly-signed endurance driver Michael Caruso drove the team's #8 WOW Racing Falcon and #10 WPS Racing Falcon.

"We arrived at the track at about 7am," said Evers.

"When we arrived it was still raining so we didn't rush to get onto the track as it did not dry out until about 9am.

"It was Michael Caruso's first day with us and he did a very good job. We told him that we were not interested in fast lap times from him. What we wanted was for him to learn our car and pump out a solid lap time consistently and he did that very well. His technical feedback is also excellent and he felt comfortable pretty quickly.

"The boys on Car 10 had a busy day. We tried a lot of things on Bargs' WPS car and there were a lot of bits that we ran throughout the day, giving the crew a lot of work to do and not much time to rest.

"The satisfying thing about a test day is when you work hard at trying new things and it pays off. I'm pleased to say that was the case for Bargs at the test. He was happy with the direction and improvement the changes made so all the boys efforts were well worth it.

"Shocks and chassis development are the priority and that was where a lot of our efforts were directed at testing. In terms of the improvement we made it was a very good day. Obviously racing is always another thing but in terms of Thursday's work the team put in a big effort and we made progress.

"We did some pit stop practice throughout the day and tried some new things in this important area, so we feel we can make some gains here as well.

"There isn't a lot of difference between the number of crew attending a test day versus a race weekend. We probably have 80 percent of the race weekend crew at a test day and in a lot of ways we have to put in a lot more effort and have a busier schedule on a test day.

"The cars can do up to 500 to 600 kilometres on a test day and run three or four sets of tyres. We are limited in the testing we are allowed to do so when you do use one of your allocated days you want to maximise your track time, so the car is running practically the entire day.

"It is very easy to just focus on the car and the timesheets at testing and not look at what is going on around you. You definitely have to keep an eye on the track conditions and the weather because the track, Queensland Raceway specifically, can change and 'go off' or 'goes away' as we say, meaning that regardless of what you do to the car you will run slower. So it's important to realise what is happening with the track conditions so you can understand each set-up change and how it actually affects the car."

-credit: wps

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Max Wilson , Jason Bargwanna , Michael Caruso , Paul Cruickshank