Defending Champion vows to retain Indy crown The Surfers Paradise Indy Carnival is the most glamorous event on the V8 Supercar Calendar, and Team Betta Electrical's Bathurst-winning duo Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup are determined to join...
Defending Champion vows to retain Indy crown
The Surfers Paradise Indy Carnival is the most glamorous event on the V8 Supercar Calendar, and Team Betta Electrical's Bathurst-winning duo Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup are determined to join the party and bring home another top result at the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge.
While there have been celebrations aplenty at the Triple Eight Race Engineering workshop, the entire team realises the importance of carrying over the momentum at the street circuit in order to maintain its strong championship charge.
Craig Lowndes currently leads the series by a handy 101 points over Holden's Rick Kelly, with Jamie Whincup well-placed in 5th.
Between them, the leading Ford drivers have finished on the podium at 8 of the 9 rounds during the season, and they are aiming to continue this top run of results and once again feature on the podium at Surfers Paradise.
Lowndes is the defending champ at the circuit infamously labeled the 'Concrete Canyon', and has a good handle on car setup going into the round.
Speed, precision and confidence in the racecar are all attributes identified by Lowndes as critical in determining the success of a driver.
"Now we have all dropped our worst round we know where we are in terms of the championship and which teams are going to pose the biggest threat," said Lowndes.
"There are still four rounds of the championship to go and it is all still up for grabs, we need to keep our focus on consistency and reliability."
"While there is always a great atmosphere at Indy, this weekend's event is the toughest of the four remaining championship rounds and it is a circuit that commands millimetre precision on track."
"We are in a good position heading into this round," Lowndes added"We are leading the championship, I love racing on street circuits and this is an event we won last year," added Lowndes.
Joining Lowndes at the front of the pack is teammate Jamie Whincup, still on a high after his spectacular breakthrough Bathurst win just over a week ago.
Whincup is based on the Gold Coast, and the Surfers Paradise circuit is familiar territory and a favourite for the 23-year-old.
His confidence in his Team Betta Electrical Ford Falcon is soaring, and he will look to capitalise on this from the outset of the event.
"It is extremely important to keep the ball rolling after the Bathurst success," said Whincup.
"Indy is one of my favourite tracks and is one that really suits the Triple Eight Falcons, the harder you attack the circuit and the kerbs the more you get out of the car."
"If we get some really hot weather, it may be the survival of the fittest."
Ford fans will delight in seeing the Triple Eight Falcons on-track from early Friday morning, with the opening practice session set to kick off at 9.10am.
A further practice session will follow around midday, with drivers chasing a good setup for the qualifying session at 3.10pm.
V8 Supercar action resumes on the Saturday at 12.25pm, with the quickest qualifiers set to contest what will be a scorching Top Ten Shootout, the last-minute dash for a prime grid position.
Three races will follow for the weekend, each consisting of 22 laps, a grueling task around the concrete-lined bends and unique chicanes.
320 championship points are again on offer for the event, and Team Betta Electrical are hoping to factor in the major placings as the final chequered flag is waved and the sun begins to dip behind the amazing Surfers Paradise skyline.