The following is a detailed lap of Queensland Raceway to be used as the venue for the seventh round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series on July 18-20. Also find following thoughts, results and memorable moments relating to this venue from both...
The following is a detailed lap of Queensland Raceway to be used as the venue for the seventh round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series on July 18-20. Also find following thoughts, results and memorable moments relating to this venue from both Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall. Ambrose will be returning in his Pirtek Falcon for his third season with Stone Brothers Racing. Ingall is making his championship debut for SBR in the Caltex Havoline Ford after several seasons with Larry Perkins Racing.
QUEENSLAND RACEWAY -- A LAP WITH MARCOS AMBROSE
The Queensland Raceway may look like an easy track to drive, but it is actually one of the most technical tracks of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
You need to extract everything possible from your car to ensure a lap that will get you somewhere towards the front of the field.
We managed to get it right the last couple of years and grab pole position, but that's now history and we have all the work ahead of us.
The V8 Supercar Championship is just so close with less than a second separating the first 30 cars at some venues.
At the start-finish line at Queensland Raceway you are in fifth gear and travelling at around 220kph.
Turn one is the foundation of a really good lap and the secret is getting over a bump at the breaking point at about the 120m mark. You then drop to fourth gear and try to get your car as settled as possible.
You carry around 155kph through the corner and remain in fourth gear and get up to 195kph before dabbing the brakes for the next right-hander.
Your speed drops to around 145kph as you try and stick to the inside of the corner.
It is vital to get a good run in and out of this corner in qualifying and it is also a good place to pass if everything goes right during the race.
You jam it into fifth just after the exit and into sixth for a split second and a top speed of around 250kph down the back straight.
You brake at round the 170m mark for turn three, but you need to be careful because the track falls away a little and can easily grab you unawares.
You drop down to second gear for the slowest corner on the track and a speed of around 78kph.
It is then quickly back into third at the exit and up to fifth and a top speed of around 225kph.
The brakes get another workout at the 150m marker which is right next to the in-field flag points.
I maintain third through the complete corner, while I know some guys get down to second.
Speeds vary from 80km through to 135kph through this section of the track.
You jump into fourth and then fifth as quickly as possible and a top speed around 220pkh before lining up for the sixth and final corner.
Similar to turn three, turn six is a second-gear affair with a speed of around 80kph.
Again, it is imperative to get this section right so you can get a nice clean run on to the main straight.
If you get the power down early you can move back up to fifth gear and cross the start-finish line again at around 220kph.
Like anywhere, the trick to this place is being smooth and consistent.
That is even more vital during the race because the Queensland Raceway can be extremely hard on brakes and tyres.
Overall, QR is a place where you can have a real go because of the extended run off areas.
It is also a terrific place for spectators because you can see every part of the circuit from almost any vantage point.
I think we have seen the last couple of years what a terrific race Queensland Raceway is capable of producing and there is no reason why we won't see something similar this season.
THOUGHTS ON QUEENSLAND RACEWAY--..
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
I could race this track with my eyes closed. This is obviously the testing track for Stone Brothers Racing and I have done more miles around here than any other track in the world. The track actually looks quite simple, but it is quite technical and is hard to extract a great time from. Hopefully SBR can continue its recent success at the track when we return for the new 300km race format. It is possibly the toughest physical track of the year because you are constantly braking and changing gears. 300km is going to be a big test for one driver.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
At the 2002 Queensland 500 I was coming towards the end of my stint and the rain clouds were coming over. I then realised that in all the miles I had done at the circuit I had never turned one in the rain. So I came in and threw Paul Weel in at the deep end.
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX HAVOLINE RACING
Since I am a Queenslander now, I have to say it is one of my favourites. To be quite honest the amount of good results I have had there, it would not be far from the truth. It is not the most excitingly designed circuit in the world, but at least the spectators do have full view of the circuit from any vantage point. It also seems to produce great racing when you look at the last two Queensland 500s.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
That would have to be when we came second to DJR two years ago in the Queensland 500, while they were stuck knee-high in a gravel trap in the pouring rain. Don't ask me how that works, but those the rules. It was a moral victory in any case.