The countdown has begun for 2001's epic race at Mount Panorama and Super Cheap Auto driver Steve Ellery says he's as ready as he's ever been to join the list of champions who have won at Bathurst. Ellery has more reason than most. As the only...
The countdown has begun for 2001's epic race at Mount Panorama and Super Cheap Auto driver Steve Ellery says he's as ready as he's ever been to join the list of champions who have won at Bathurst.
Ellery has more reason than most. As the only team owner/driver in the top ten, Ellery wants to prove that the little guy can still beat the big factory teams and believes his team has the best chance of any to do it.
"We've got a real position of strength in the championship. We're sitting in tenth just a couple of points behind Tander, and its got to worry a couple of the corporate owned teams that we've got the goods to overtake them," Ellery explained.
"It's quite nice to take a look at history and see some of the underdogs of the sport that have come through the ranks to win at Bathurst. Everyone loves those stories and we hope the Bathurst crowd will get right behind us and cheer the little guy on to win."
While Ellery wouldn't necessarily be classed as "a little guy" there are some epic notes to his V8 Supercar success that paint him as David in a Goliath struggle, the least of which was outrunning Mark Skaife to win at Sandown last year. He believes his rivals need to take the team seriously in this weekend's race.
"There's no doubt there are a couple of favorites to win at Bathurst. Johnson and Radisich are a strong combination, both have got better and better all year and after driving with the team, I'd have to say they are the number one threat.
"But I still think that Geoff and I will be there. Our car's proven to be quick and this new car is even better than the winning car from last year. We've sorted out qualifying, Geoff and I have spent a lot of time in the car and even when the track conditions are bad, we are still quick," Ellery said of his chances for a win.
"We might not be a favourite at the TAB, but there's no doubt our chances for a podium are as good as any of the guys in the top ten."
Ellery's confidence is a mark of belief that his team will be able to match the entire field both in and out of the pits. He knows the race can be won and lost in the pits and says there is no weakness in any part of the team.
"As I've said before, you've got to go to Bathurst to win or you're cheating yourself. It is still the people's race and when you win at Bathurst, you also win it for the fans," Ellery philosophized, "That's why its such an important race.".