Queensland: Round six preview

Supercar Battle hots up in Queensland Anyone want to buy a slightly used V8 Supercar? Jason Richards has a new one while Mark Skaife and Glenn Seton are getting one. Greg Murphy likes his old one. Approaching halfway in the V8 Supercar ...

Supercar Battle hots up in Queensland
Anyone want to buy a slightly used V8 Supercar?

Jason Richards has a new one while Mark Skaife and Glenn Seton are getting one. Greg Murphy likes his old one. Approaching halfway in the V8 Supercar Championship Series has entered a mini mid-season model runout.

Kiwi Richards will race a new Holden Commodore at Queensland Raceway this weekend while Seton (Ford Falcon) and Skaife (Commodore) will run out their current models before switching to new cars for the ensuing round in Victoria.

Skaife has identified the next three rounds as critical to the series, including his own fortunes as he battles to rescue a disappointing season. To that end a new car may prove his salvation, particularly when it comes to the big one at Bathurst in October.

Unlike the events so far that have had multiple races that combine for points each weekend, Queensland Raceway has just one single race for all points. It means poor qualifying, a bad tyre change, pit stop, engine trouble or a crash can end the weekend.

"These next three rounds are critical to the Championship as Queensland, Winton and Oran Park are all single-race rounds," Skaife said.

"A poor result for any of the series leaders could mean no points and have a major impact on their chances, whereas a little bit of luck for the Holden Racing Team could improve things no end.

"I believe our performance is improving race by race and we were leading at Willowbank last year before an engine drama sidelined us so don't count us out."

Kmart Racing's Murphy pulled out the Commodore that won he and Rick Kelly Bathurst last year. He will run with it again this weekend.

"Our move to the Bathurst winner for the last round in Perth looked to be spot on; my Kmart Commodore was quick straight out of the 'box'," Murphy said.

"Like a few others, we got caught out in qualifying in Perth with rain and that meant starting 14th, while a spin at the pit lane entry in race three kept us to seventh overall for the round -- it should have been a whole lot better.

"What worked in Perth may not necessarily work well at Queensland Raceway, but we were encouraged by the speed we found with the older car and we're hopeful of a strong result."

Tasman Motorsport's Richards is taking an opposite tack to Murphy who reverted to his trusty Bathurst winner from last year. Murphy raced the "old" car in the last round Perth where he finished seventh for the event.

"I was really happy with the pace out of the box," Richards said.

"There's definitely a different feeling from one car to the other, and this a better car than what we've been using, there's no doubt about it," he said. "There's an inherent feeling there that is very familiar to me."

Seton and his Ford Performance Racing team have endured nightmare engine problems all year. He will unveil a new engine this weekend and then a new car after that.

"We head to Willowbank with a new lease of life with our engines which should provide some much needed reliability," Seton said.

"Racing in a 280 kilometre endurance race as opposed to the sprint formatted races could be good for us.

"Considering how well balanced our cars have been straight out of the pit garage at the last two rounds though, we shouldn't take too long to get up to speed."

Defending champion Russell Ingall is back on home turf following his win over team-mate and series champion Marcos Ambrose last year. Skaife's team-mate Todd Kelly was third.

Round Six Facts

Queensland Raceway
Ipswich, QLD
July 2-4, 2004

Track Length: 3.12 km
Avg Speed: 161 kph
Max Speed: 246 kph

Round Format: 1 X 280km race
2003 result -- 1st Russell Ingall, 2nd Marcos Ambrose, 3rd Todd Kelly

Schedule

Friday 11 June
2:30pm - 3:05pm - Practice 1

Saturday 12 June
10:35am -- 11:10am - Practice 2
1:35pm - 1:55pm - Qualifying (Lower 50%)
2:00am - 2:20pm - Qualifying (Upper 50%)
4:15pm - 4:45pm - Top 10 Shoot Out

Sunday 4 July
10:00am -- 10:20am Warm Up
1:45pm - Race (90 laps)

-avesco-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Mark Skaife , Jason Richards , Glenn Seton , Todd Kelly
Teams Holden Racing Team