Phillip Island: WPS Racing preview

WPS DRIVERS AIMING TO FINISH 2006 ON A HIGH WPS Racing will be aiming to finish its year on a high when the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship comes to a close at the Caterpillar Grand Finale on Phillip Island this weekend. Looking back over the...

WPS DRIVERS AIMING TO FINISH 2006 ON A HIGH

WPS Racing will be aiming to finish its year on a high when the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship comes to a close at the Caterpillar Grand Finale on Phillip Island this weekend.

Looking back over the year WPS Racing has achieved a significant amount of improvement since reshaping itself at the start of this year.

The dedicated crew has lifted its two drivers, Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna, from 25th and 26th in the championship standings with one round remaining last year to currently be placed 13th and 14th in the 2006 standings from a field 31-cars.

This improvement has been highlighted by the Sidchrome Most Improved Award where Bargwanna and Wilson are currently third and fourth respectively.

WPS Racing is currently seventh in the Team Championship from the 17 teams contesting the 2006 Series, five spots higher than last year.

In the 12 rounds already contested in 2006 WPS Racing has recorded seven round results inside the top ten, 10 top ten race finishes and qualified for the top ten shootout on four occasions.

"When we all came together at the start of the year one of the goals we set ourselves was to get the team and its drivers from the lower half to finishing the season in the top half of the field," said Team Principal Mark Larkham.

"Currently we are achieving this with 13th and 14th in the championship, do we want go further? Of course we do. However, we are under no illusions there is still work to be done before we can consider ourselves serious contenders in the championship and constantly run further up the ladder. But I can confirm Craig Gore is providing the opportunity for us to pursue greater goals."

The 4.446 km Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is one of the 'real drivers' circuits in the championship and incorporates the fastest turn one in the 2006 championship which is negotiated at in excess of 250 k/mh.

"There is no doubt Phillip Island is one of the best tracks we go to in the championship. There is never a dull moment and with an average speed of over 150k's you certainly have to have your wits about you," said Bargwanna.

"I've had a mixed bag of results at Phillip Island in the past, with a bit of luck we can get it all together and be amongst the front runners this weekend. Throughout the year we have made a lot of progress with the speed of the car. Hopefully we can transfer this speed into results to reward the guys in the team for their continual hard work and finish the year on a high."

Wilson, who is currently enjoying one of his most consistent years since joining the championship, qualified inside the top ten on debut at Phillip Island in 2002 and is confident of a good result this weekend.

"Phillip Island is a great track, it is one of the best in Australia and is also situated in a very beautiful part of the country, not that I get much of a chance to admire the scenery doing over 250 km/h," said Wilson.

"By finishing the year with a good result this weekend it will give the team some momentum as we prepare for next year. If I can stay where I am in the championship it will be my best overall finish in five years which would be very pleasing and a nice reward for the team."

Entering this weekend's final round Rick Kelly leads the championship by a mere 7 points over Craig Lowndes. Bargwanna is currently 13th and Wilson 14th.

The V8 Supercars take to the Phillip Island circuit for the first time on Friday for a limited lap practice session. Qualifying and Race One will be contested on Saturday with the Grand Finale on Sunday consisting of two 32-lap journeys.

-credit: wps

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Series Supercars
Drivers Max Wilson , Rick Kelly , Mark Larkham , Craig Lowndes , Jason Bargwanna , Phillip Island