Shell Championship Series Ellery Will Step Back From Lead Role, For Victory At QLD500 Super Cheap Auto driver Steve Ellery will step back from his role as lead driver and hand the reigns to Geoff Brabham at the VIP Petfoods 500 if, he says,...
Shell Championship Series
Ellery Will Step Back From Lead Role, For Victory At QLD500
Super Cheap Auto driver Steve Ellery will step back from his role as lead driver and hand the reigns to Geoff Brabham at the VIP Petfoods 500 if, he says, that's what it takes for victory at the 500km race next weekend.
Declaring victory is a big call for any team in the championship, but Ellery says his Ford is fast, the partnership strong and his team-mate Geoff Brabham has the experience to be as quick as anyone on track.
"I'm hoping that when Geoff gets amongst it, he'll be as quick or quicker in the car than I am. He has a lot of experience and if he comes out of practice quicker than me, I'll have no reservation in handing over the qualifying to him, " Ellery explained.
"We all want to hold that trophy over our heads, and at the end of the day it doesn't matter how you get there.
"We'll be doing whatever it takes for victory and if that means taking a step back if Geoff is quicker and letting him do the tough stuff, then that's what will happen."
The tough stuff, Ellery says, is qualifying well inside the top ten against a field where at least 20 teams are capable of making the cut. Ellery has been running well inside top ten lap times all year but if he perceives Brabham will squeeze more out of the car on the day, then he'll give him the chance to improve the team's position.
"Queensland Raceway is not the easiest place to pass and that means starting up the front and staying up the front. We've been working hard on tapping in to that qualifying pace for the last couple of race meetings. We got close at Oran Park, just two tenths off pole, but here we need to cut that in half again."
"It's a long race and it's a tense few laps before you settle into it, but I like racing amongst the 'good guys. We've been there for the last couple of races and it's a better and a cleaner place to be in a long race, "Ellery said.
Ellery qualified and finished in 13th position in 2000 but says, this year, he and Geoff are chasing nothing short of victory. Brabham agrees and says he joined a team with winning form for that reason.
"If either of us came here chasing anything short of victory, we'd be kidding ourselves. We all race to win and I believe Steve's team is capable of achieving that goal," Brabham said.
Both drivers agree that a consistent pace and the strength of decision making on track will be major factors in their success.
Brabham is an expert at endurance races, having not only won Australia's epic race at Bathurst but taking victory at the ultimate endurance race the Le Mans 24 Hour.
Brabham brings experience to the team, but more importantly he brings knowledge that may prove useful in a race where strategy plays a major part in success.
"The one thing about doing a lot of long races is that you tend to get a feel for how the race will unfold and how to best to react to different situations as they arise. Making the right decision on the spur of the moment can make the difference between first or tenth," Brabham explained. Ellery and Brabham are doing some last minute testing today at Queensland Raceway and both are looking forward to the race next week.