QUALIFYING CRUCIAL TO PERTH POINTS With the new-for-2007 V8 Supercar points system only awarding points to the top 15 finishers, WPS Racing drivers Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna believe that the new elimination-style qualifying session on ...
QUALIFYING CRUCIAL TO PERTH POINTS
With the new-for-2007 V8 Supercar points system only awarding points to the top 15 finishers, WPS Racing drivers Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna believe that the new elimination-style qualifying session on Saturday will be crucial for teams at this weekend's BigPond 400 at Barbagallo Raceway near Perth, Western Australia this weekend.
The 2.41-kilometre Barbagallo layout is one of the smaller and tighter circuits that the V8 Supercar Championship Series visits, meaning the first 15-minute segment of qualifying will be among the most hectic of the season.
With passing tough at Barbagallo, a strong qualifying result will be a key ingredient to a team's pursuit of vital points.
WOW Racing Falcon pilot Max Wilson has been a noted qualifying performer over his previous five seasons in V8 Supercars, but was unlucky not to progress to the second segment of qualifying at the Clipsal 500 three weeks ago.
The Brazilian showed his class to progress to a points scoring position in both races before being the innocent victim of incidents that dropped him out of the points.
Such progression through the field will prove tough at the tight and twisty Barbagallo circuit, making qualifying vital to Wilson's quest to open his points account for season 2007.
Bargwanna progressed to the second segment of qualifying in the #10 WPS Racing Falcon on the streets of Adelaide and the former Bathurst winner is looking for further championship points in Perth.
Bargwanna scored points in the opening race in Adelaide to open WPS Racing's account for the season and was unlucky not to add to his score in the second race when involved in an opening lap incident.
The BigPond 400 will be decided by three 50-lap events, the first held on Saturday with a further two races on Sunday. Practice begins on Friday afternoon with all-important qualifying being contested on Saturday morning.
Regular WPS/WOW Racing engineer Ian Brown will not be in Perth this weekend due to illness. His shoes will be filled by his under study Mark Fenning.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Max Wilson -- #8 WOW Racing Falcon
"The first section of qualifying is going to be really tough at Barbagallo," said Wilson.
"It's only a small circuit and there will be 31 cars all out there at once so getting a clear lap could mean the difference between getting a car through to the second stage of qualifying or not.
"We had a frustrating weekend in Adelaide because in both races we had a car that was good enough to finish in the points but through no fault of our own we were put back through incidents.
"With the new points system it is very important to keep your nose clean because one setback and you're out of the top 15 -- and that means no points.
"Adelaide showed that we are continuing the form that saw us move forward last season. Now we need to open our points account and start to move up the championship table."
Jason Bargwanna -- #10 WPS Racing Falcon
"It's going to be a very interesting weekend," said Bargwanna.
"In Adelaide we saw how crucial it was in the new qualifying format to use your tyres well and get a clear run. Barbagallo is one of the smallest circuits we visit so in the first part of qualifying you are going to have to work out a way to get a clear lap time.
"We scored a few points in Adelaide and this weekend we are aiming to add to that tally. There is no reason why we can't be inside the top 15, but you will certainly make things easier for yourself if you can qualify in the front half of the field."
Craig Gore -- Team Owner
"Adelaide provided highs and lows for both the WPS and WOW cars," said Gore.
"We took a lot out of the opening round and look to convert that into results in Perth this weekend.
"Our engineering will be depleted a little this weekend because Ian Brown is ill on the Gold Coast, but I am sure Mark Fenning will step up to the challenge.
"Bargs and Max are both racers and I am confident they will extract the best from our cars this weekend. They both desperately want to be in the points and that has to be our goal this weekend."