Queensland: Dodo Racing preview

Missing nothing in the engine department for Queensland Raceway A test session last week at Winton Motor Raceway has left Dodo Racing confident it has solved the engine misfire problem that has afflicted the team over the past few rounds...

Missing nothing in the engine department for Queensland Raceway

A test session last week at Winton Motor Raceway has left Dodo Racing confident it has solved the engine misfire problem that has afflicted the team over the past few rounds of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, which heads to Queensland Raceway in Ipswich this weekend for round seven.

Both Jason Richards and Jamie Whincup, in addition to endurance signing Tony D'Alberto, tested the team's Holdens at the rural Victorian layout on a day where the team solved a bugbear that had been hampering its progress over the past few rounds.

Team technical advisor Ron Harrop explained the problem as being caused by EMI (electro magnetic interference) with the electronic control unit and the car's wiring loom.

"The source of the misfire that has plagued both cars has been extremely difficult to trace," said Harrop.

"The fact that it mysteriously appeared in the first place, with seemingly no change to the vehicle wiring or engine specification, made it all the more confusing. With all the chassis dynamometer testing of the engines, we have been unable to reproduce the misfire symptoms that we were experiencing in the cars.

"We now feel that we have eliminated this effect by changing to a sensor that is less susceptible to EMI. Our testing at Winton was positive as we were able to prove this."

The test has left both drivers champing at the bit to tackle this weekend's 280-kilometre 96-lapper at Queensland Raceway.

"The vibe around the team is really good after our test and our well- documented engine misfire is gone - we won't 'miss' it that's for sure!" said Richards.

"We know how to get it back again and get rid of it so we haven't just fluked a solution and it could come back.

"Now we can go into the weekend and know it won't plague our weekend and allow us to focus on the job of going fast! "At the Winton test day all of the teams who regularly test there (Castrol Perkins, Garry Rogers Motorsport and Team BOC) were present and by our calculations we were quickest. That's encouraging given our performance over the last few race meetings and the speed that we've had.

"We've shown we're quick and hopefully we can give those Queensland-based teams a run for their money on their home track. We debuted our current model car there last year but, in all honesty, we were miles away from the pace. At least for this year we know where not to go with our setup, which can be just as good as actually knowing where to go!

"This race is the longest race of the year we've had so far. It's a mini Bathurst. It puts a lot of pressure on making sure you're there at the finish. You need to stay out of trouble and keep calm, which is going to be a good approach to look after the tyre wear."

Team-mate Jamie Whincup, who sits 13th in the series and on the brink of breaking into the top 10, is just as enthused about the next round.

"Finding the engine misfire problem has resulted in an engine that is running a lot more cleaner and faster, which means more power!" he said.

"That can only help us in Queensland with its long straights. It's a huge relief to have it solved and we can place our energy in making the cars go faster than fixing little problems.

"It will be a testing weekend because Queensland Raceway is a tricky place to set-up a V8 Supercar for. The track changes even when the weather only changes minimally so you have to be on your toes to re-dial your car in.

"While it looks quite boring on paper and on TV in terms of its layout, the track actually has turned on some good races in the past. The crowd can see the whole track and there's plenty of passing opportunities."

Richards has made four starts at QR and finished a best of 13th in the 2001 Queensland 500. Whincup has made two starts, making his V8 Supercar category debut in 2002. He finished 16th in 2003.

Round seven of the V8 Supercar Series will be made up of a single 280- kilometre race. There will be two compulsory pit stops, one each for tyres and fuel. Network Ten will telecast all of the action from 2.30pm to 5.00pm on July 24.

-dr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Richards , Jamie Whincup , Garry Rogers , Tony D'Alberto
Teams Garry Rogers Motorsport