Phillip Island: TBE/Triple Eight preview

Triple Eight making the most of now Triple Eight Race Engineering's 2007 major sponsor Vodafone will make an early appearance on the Ford Falcons of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup at this weekend's final round of the...

Triple Eight making the most of now

Triple Eight Race Engineering's 2007 major sponsor Vodafone will make an early appearance on the Ford Falcons of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup at this weekend's final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Phillip Island, with a quirky, unexpected reference to the leading mobile communications company's branding statement; 'make the most of now'.

The sneak preview is set to whet the appetite of fans as the team revs up to reveal its actual race livery during the middle of January, with this weekend's scheme and statement proving extremely relevant to the title campaign of Craig Lowndes. The hot new look for this weekend's race will be a complete change, as speculation mounts around the final race livery for next season.

Lowndes is just 7 points away from leader Rick Kelly, and with 320 points on offer for the round, he will certainly be out to 'make the most of now' when the cars hit the track, with the Phillip Island circuit demanding drivers find a precise setup in order to get the best from their cars.

Triple Eight Race Engineering Team Principal, Roland Dane said he and the entire team were pleased to be able to introduce Vodafone into the V8 Supercar category earlier than anticipated, and hoped to reward the communications leader with a stellar result.

"Vodafone will make its first appearance on our Falcons this weekend, with their brand statement 'make the most of now' featuring prominently for the round," said Dane.

"It is great that we have this opportunity to provide them with a branding platform in the most crucial race of the year for the team, and I am certain both Craig and Jamie will do a fantastic job to round out the season, with the goal of winning our first championship firmly fixated in everyone's sights."

"We would like to welcome Vodafone on board this weekend and look forward to building a strong relationship in the exciting years to come with Triple Eight Race Engineering."

Lowndes was enthused at the prospect of campaigning the striking new teaser livery, and said he was fully-prepared for the challenges of the Phillip Island Grand Finale event.

"It's great to see strong support from our primary 2007 sponsor Vodafone already making its way onto the cars for Phillip Island, it will give the fans a taste of what is to come next season," said Lowndes.

"Phillip Island is a track that rewards a setup which allows the car to flow through the wide open corners, and accelerate strongly and smoothly onto the straights," he said.

"It's one of my favourite tracks on the calendar, and I feel I'm actually at my strongest here when it is raining, so I'm hoping for a wet race."

"This will be a true Ford versus Holden battle, and the pressure is really going to be on Rick and myself to get the job done."

"He will be hard to beat, and I think it will be the case of the last man standing at the end of the weekend, with both the Falcon and Commodore very evenly matched."

Also aiming for his share of the spoils at Phillip Island will be Jamie Whincup, looking to put the disappointment of the previous two rounds behind him and round out the 2006 season on a high.

Even after winning the two biggest events of the year, Whincup is not content to rest on his laurels, and is eager to see his Falcon -- featuring the 'make the most of now' livery -- be a strong contender when it comes to racing.

He has extensive experience at the picturesque track, with track knowledge from his Formula Ford days proving extremely valuable each time he takes to a round here.

"I'm really looking forward to this weekend's final round, Phillip Island certainly is a driver's track and is enjoyed by many," said Whincup.

"If you get the setup right for the races, you can give the car everything you have with the confidence that it will stick cleanly to the track, with the corners opening up onto some pretty fast straights."

"It tests all your skills as a driver, and is always a great event to be a part of."

"With a top 10 championship result on the line, I too will be out to 'make the most of now'!" added Whincup.

The event begins on Friday with an extended practice session, while Saturday will feature Qualifying, the Top 10 Shootout and the opening race (100km).

The season's 2 final races will be held on Sunday (2 x 140km), and every on-track placing, pit-stop and passing opportunity will be instrumental in deciding the champion for 2006.

As the new-liveried Falcons prepared to roll into the team transporter today, Craig Lowndes was paid a special visit by the main man of the festive season, with Santa Claus stopping by to talk tactics and work out a way to slow their other red rivals.

-credit: tee

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Rick Kelly , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Roland Dane , Phillip Island
Teams Triple Eight Race Engineering