Queensland Raceway pre-race notes

QUEENSLAND V8 SUPERCAR CLASH Queensland Raceway will host round seven in the V8 Supercar championship this weekend on the circuit affectionately known as the ''Twisted paper clip'' referring to the fact most of the ...

QUEENSLAND V8 SUPERCAR CLASH

Queensland Raceway will host round seven in the V8 Supercar championship this weekend on the circuit affectionately known as the ''Twisted paper clip'' referring to the fact most of the corners turn right, with just two turns facing the other direction.

Spectators certainly get their moneys worth at the 3.12Klm Ipswich circuit with views of the entire complex at any one time in an amphitheatre setting, not unlike another famous sunshine state venue, the old Lang park in Brisbane, used by Queensland for rugby league state of origin clashes, which the league boys found a little intimidating and the Supercar drivers, south of the border find the Queensland race track venue equally unnerving.

Most of the leading Ford teams including Stone Brothers Racing, Triple 888 and Dick Johnson Racing call Willowbank Raceway home and that equates to a huge advantage over their southern state rivals, this time around the southern state teams will be out to extract some revenge and save any further embarrassment after the 2-1 loss to Mal Meninga's boys in the recent origin series in what could amount to mechanical mayhem as the northerners look to inflict a little more pain on their south of the Tweed rivals.

The flat nature of the track is extremely hard on left hand side tyres, although lap times between the leading teams are very close, with long straights, where V8 Supercars can achieve around 270 km per hour and sweeping curves, braking points vary with the courage of the driver, teams that are well prepared from the moment the racecar rolls off the transporter usually gain the upper hand at Ipswich as dialling the car in to suit the circuit and the ever changing weather conditions can become difficult.

Ford holds the upper hand at Ipswich winning five out of the last six clashes and have the form on the board at the moment with Triple 888 driver Craig Lowndes, winning his first round for 2007 at Hidden Valley and will want to repeat his 2005 Round win at Queensland Raceway and close the gap on the championship front runners Rick Kelly and Garth Tander.

Stone Brothers pair Russell Ingall and James Courtney will prove difficult to beat on their home track, SBR have a formidable record at the Willowbank circuit scoring two wins and former star steerer Marcos Ambrose scoring five straight pole position starts on home soil.

Mr consistency Rick Kelly will be out to maintain his lead in the series after finishing on the podium in Queensland in 2005, team mate Garth Tander stormed to an unexpected round win on the track last year with two race victories and Mark Skaife back in form for HRT, team mate Todd Kelly and Greg Murphy could all cause an upset for the ''General'' and balance the ledger after Holden's lean run at Ipswich in recent years.

-credit: qr

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Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Todd Kelly , Dick Johnson