Queensland 300 preview

The Queensland 300 from July 18-20 at the Queensland Raceway could very well provide a nostalgic return for six of the current drivers in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. Last year's Queensland 500km enduro winners, Simon Wills ...

The Queensland 300 from July 18-20 at the Queensland Raceway could very well provide a nostalgic return for six of the current drivers in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Last year's Queensland 500km enduro winners, Simon Wills (Team Dynamik) and David Besnard (Ford Performance Racing) made their V8 Supercar debuts at Queensland Raceway in 1999 and 2000 respectively, while Dean Canto (Team Betta Electrical), Craig Baird (Team Kiwi Racing), Rick Kelly (Kmart Racing) and Jamie Whincup (Garry Rogers Motorsport) also return to where it all started in their V8 Supercar careers.

"Every time I go out to race is a memorable moment and I enjoy the challenge that each track presents, but I must admit Queensland Raceway holds a special place after securing victory there last year," said Besnard.

Besnard is hoping to turn his season around with a new car bringing renewed enthusiasm at the halfway point of the National series.

"I haven't enjoyed the greatest starts to the 2003 season but the Queensland 300 has been well timed to coincide with me driving our new BA Falcon, so it'll be something of a rejuvenated debut for me at Queensland Raceway on July 20."

As for Wills, last year's result also marked his first time at the top of the podium and he's been buoyed by recent results.

"Just two weeks ago in Darwin we were able to secure a top ten finish," said Wills.

"It only got better the more we got out on the track. We started with an 11th in race one, jumped to ninth in race two and then sixth to finish up so it all looks good for a welcome return to Queensland Raceway."

"The VY Commodore is in excellent shape and the entire team is working strongly so it augers well for a great showing at the Queensland 300."

Rick Kelly continues to master a top ten placing in the overall series standings and he'll be looking to get back on track after a mixed bag of results over the past month and a half.

He will also be hoping that it's third time lucky at Queensland Raceway.

Kelly made his debut two years ago, but his car broke a drive shaft on the warm-up lap. Drama also struck during last year's event in the Holden Young Lions car.

"I finished in the top 10 in all the races at Barbagello in round five but only managed to secure a seventh in race two at Darwin, so I've got to start producing more consistent results to cement a more stable place in the series," said Kelly.

"I'm confident the Queensland 300 can be a happy hunting ground and if I can secure valuable points it'll be looking a lot better towards the back half of the series."

"It's always good to come back to where it all started for me in V8 Supercars and I'm sure the team is shaping up for a big showing at Queensland Raceway. It will need to be third time lucky for me."

Kelly and team mate Greg Murphy, who is currently running fourth in the series, will be two of the stronger performers for Holden, as they try to wrestle away Ford's recent dominance, which has come courtesy of strong performances from Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose, who is shooting for a record equalling five straight round victories during the Queensland 300.

Queenslanders can sample one of the most fiercely contested V8 Supercar Championship Series, with tickets now on sale for the Queensland 300 through Ticketmaster7.com or by phoning 1300 888 086.

All pre-purchased tickets come at a 20% discount on the gate price and everyone purchasing via the internet or over the phone will automatically go into the draw for a V8 Race Experience at Queensland Raceway.

Tickets can also be purchased directly through the Queensland Raceway on (07) 54 619100

The three-day motorsport spectacular that begins on Friday, July 18 at the Queensland Raceway is certain to offer something for everyone. Formula Fords, Carrera Cup, Historic Touring Cars, Aussie Racing Cars and MGF Trophy, making up the support classes on a jam-packed weekend of racing.

Queensland 300 Fast Facts
Date - Friday to Sunday, July 18-20, 2003
Location - Queensland Raceway, Champions Way, Ipswich, Australia
Track - 3.121 km
Race Distance - 300km - 96 laps

Tickets can be purchased through www.ticketmaster7.com, by phoning 1 300 888 086 or purchased at the track

Ticketing (pre-purchased)
(Weekend - $53, with paddock $71), (Concession - $25, with paddock $46)

Ticketing (at gate)
(Weekend - $80, with paddock $100), (Concession - $50, with paddock $80)

Transport - Free buses will operate all day on Sunday July 20 from the Ipswich train station

Championship Cars:
The Holden and Ford teams use a 5L fuel injected V8 engine, which exert 480Kw of power at 7500rpm. The approximate fuel capacity of an engine is 120L and top speed is 300 km per hour.

Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series:
The premier Australian motor racing series pitting the popular Ford and Holden V8s together over 13 rounds. Teams start vying for crucial series points at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide in March, and will finish the series at Eastern Creek in November.

-www.queenslandraceway.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Marcos Ambrose , Greg Murphy , Rick Kelly , Dean Canto , Craig Baird , Jamie Whincup , Simon Wills , Garry Rogers
Teams Garry Rogers Motorsport