INTERESTING POINTS * Both Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall consider that this weekend's maiden race at the new Shanghai circuit could be a turning point for many drivers in the championship. * While Russell Ingall is sitting second in the ...
* Both Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall consider that this weekend's maiden race at the new Shanghai circuit could be a turning point for many drivers in the championship.
* While Russell Ingall is sitting second in the overall championship to Marcos Ambrose by 35 points -- he is actually leading the title chase by 1 point when you deduct the worst result of the opening three rounds. Each driver will deducted his worst round from the opening 10 rounds of the championship. The final three rounds will all count towards the final championship tally.
* For the first time V8 Supercars venture outside Australasia for the 349th Australian Touring Car Championship round to be held since 1960. Shanghai will be the 25th different circuit used in that time.
* Although Marcos Ambrose hasn't scored a Pole position in the four rounds so far, he does go to Shanghai with the best average grid position. He has had three second places and one third for an average of 2.25 while Craig Lowndes is next best with three Poles and a seventh for an average of 2.5.
* There may have been four different winners in the first four rounds but there has been one constant on the podium - Marcos Ambrose. He has finished in the top three in all four races and if he can do it again it will be the first time since 2002 that a driver has been on the opening five podiums.
* With their two drivers sitting 1-2 in the Championship going to China, it is no surprise to see that Stone Brothers Racing is the most consistent team in the series with 19 top ten finishes in the 10 races that have made up the four rounds so far. The only blemish was an 18th place for Russell Ingall after a gearbox problems and tyre blew out in the second race at the Clipsal 500, back in March.
THOUGHTS ON SHANGHAI CHINA--..
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
"I have been pretty excited about the China round since it was first announced. A lot of people have worked enormously hard to make this happen and hopefully it will be a great success for everyone involved.
"There is a lot at stake for a lot of people across a whole range of areas -- including myself. China could turn out to be the real Wildcard of this championship. I desperately want to win my third consecutive championship this season and I don't think I will be able to do that without a bag of points from next weekend. The track looks very interesting and is no doubt going to be fast. The event will be an adventure for everyone at Pirtek Racing, but it is going to be important to keep our eye on the ball with so many distractions."
"I think the reaction to Formula 1 and the 500cc bikes by the Chinese fans was pretty special. I think the local fans will really enjoy the different sights and sounds that are offered by V8 Supercars. I think we will have a lot more fans once we have visited China for our first race.
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING
"Over the years I have been in this situation a few times where the series I am participating in has gone to a totally new venue. There are just so many variables involved and whoever deals with them best will have the best chance to winning the weekend. The logistics of putting this first race together have been incredible. The language barrier, different food and traffic conditions are three of the main factors we are going to have to deal with on a daily basis -- and it won't be easy. If there is one thing Caltex Racing is good at, it is being prepared and I think that's why we head to China with a very good chance."
"A lot of companies are taking corporate groups, many fans have joined organised tours while other have made their own arrangements. I have not been to the circuit yet, but from the images I have seen and the stories I have been told, it is mind blowing. They tell me that we won't be running the full F1 circuit, but our course will still be around 4km long and the average speeds are going to be right up there. To win the first ever V8 Supercar race in China would be a pretty cool thing to achieve. I will be giving it a bloody good try."