Pukekohe: WPS Racing preview

GLOBETROTTING TEAM BOSS CRAIG GORE LEADS WPS RACING INTO NZ FOR PUKEKOHE SEND-OFF WPS Racing team owner Craig Gore has surely been one of the busiest men in world motorsport over the past month and this weekend will be the busiest yet as Gore...

GLOBETROTTING TEAM BOSS CRAIG GORE LEADS WPS RACING INTO NZ FOR PUKEKOHE SEND-OFF

WPS Racing team owner Craig Gore has surely been one of the busiest men in world motorsport over the past month and this weekend will be the busiest yet as Gore and the WPS Racing team jet into New Zealand for the PlaceMakers V8 Supercar International at Pukekohe Park Raceway in Auckland.

The Queensland businessman has been jet-setting across the Pacific Ocean with activities in three major motorsport championships. This weekend, all three race teams that make up Gore's motorsport portfolio are in action, two in the United States, and of course, WPS Racing striving for success in the third round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in New Zealand.

Since attending Round 1 of the V8 Supercars at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide in March, Gore has launched his Aussie Vineyards wine range as the official wine of the Champ Car World Series from Laguna Seca in California, before jetting over to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to see Marcos Ambrose score his second consecutive top 10 finish in the NASCAR Busch Series in the Aussie Vineyards-backed Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion.

Then it was back to Australia for the second round of the V8 Supercars from Perth, Western Australia, where Gore is Team Principal. Soon after Gore was back in Las Vegas launching Aussie Vineyards' Au wine range into the region ahead of the Vegas Champ Car Grand Prix, which Team Australia driver Will Power won, giving him and the team a debut Champ Car win and Australia it's first ever Champ Car winner.

In the after race celebrations, downtown Las Vegas sold out of Au wine.

Gore returned to his home on the Gold Coast to spend Easter with his family, only to jet back to the US for the second Champ Car race of the season last weekend, where fellow Queenslander Power extended his lead in the Champ Car standings with his third podium in four races at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Long Beach.

All of this while running his hugely successful business empire and it's not difficult to see just how motivated Gore is.

Now Gore's attention has returned to V8 Supercars, with the team's Brazilian bullet Max Wilson driving the #8 WOW Racing Falcon and former Bathurst winner Jason Bargwanna behind the wheel of the #10 WPS Racing Falcon at Pukekohe Park Raceway this weekend.

Both cars have shown impressive speed this season and the entire WPS Racing operation is focussed on bringing home a solid haul of points from Pukekohe's last V8 Supercar round this weekend.

While Gore's primary focus will be V8 Supercars this weekend, his phone will be running hot with messages from the United States as Ambrose races in Phoenix, Arizona and Power and Frenchman Simon Pagenaud race the Aussie Vineyards Champ Cars in Houston, Texas.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Max Wilson -- #8 WOW Racing Falcon

"I really like the Pukekohe track," said Wilson.

"It's a fast and flowing track and that's the kind of circuit I really like most of all.

"Last year we had a really good start to the weekend. We made the Top 10 Shootout and finished the first race in sixth. Unfortunately from there we got caught up in some incidents.

"The car was fast in New Zealand last year and I think this year this could be a good round for us. We are always working at improving the cars and while we haven't tested between Perth and New Zealand we are aiming at moving forward and getting more points on the board."

Jason Bargwanna -- #10 WPS Racing Falcon

"In some ways it is disappointing that we are not returning to Pukekohe because it's a good little track," said Bargwanna.

"But at the same time we have a great event to look forward to in Hamilton. That event has a lot of potential and could grow into one of the big events of the season. Unfortunately our series has just outgrown Pukekohe Park.

"I've had a couple of good results in the past at Pukekohe and that track is a fast and interesting kind of circuit.

"We have some new, young engineers this year and they are doing a superb job. As they develop things can only get better.

"Craig is really excited at the moment with how well things have been going with Will Power in the Team Australia Champ Car. We will be giving it everything we've got to give him further reason to celebrate in New Zealand this weekend."

Craig Gore -- Team Owner

"All three teams in the Team Australia program are racing this weekend so it's going to be an exciting time for everyone involved in our motorsport program," said Gore.

"It's definitely been a busy few weeks. There have been lots of flights, that is for sure.

"We've enjoyed a lot of success of late, especially with Will Power, who has been doing an outstanding job in the Team Australia Champ Car.

"The win in Las Vegas was a superb effort from him and the Aussie Vineyards team and to back it up with third in Long Beach was just as impressive and meant that Will extended his championship lead.

"Marcos Ambrose has also been doing very well in the Aussie Vineyards-backed Kingsford car in the NASCAR Busch Series. He already has two top tens this year, is leading the rookie standings and continues to sit in the top 10 overall. For a rookie, especially a guy that only raced on an oval for the first time 12 months ago, that's a special achievement.

"This weekend at Pukekohe we are looking at getting both Max and Bargs in the points in all three races.

"We certainly have the car speed to do that and with a bit of luck we can make our last event at Pukekohe a good one for WPS Racing.

"At both rounds so far this year we have had the car speed to be in the front half of the field. The team is working very hard and we have an enthusiastic bunch of guys out there giving it everything."

-credit: wps

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Max Wilson , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bargwanna , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud