Shanghai: WPS Racing preview

WPS RACING SHOOTS FOR INTERNATIONAL STATUS For any athlete the prospect of International competition is one always held in high regard and that same distinctive feature will be firmly entrenched in the minds of WPS Racing drivers David Besnard...

WPS RACING SHOOTS FOR INTERNATIONAL STATUS

For any athlete the prospect of International competition is one always held in high regard and that same distinctive feature will be firmly entrenched in the minds of WPS Racing drivers David Besnard and Craig Baird, when they touch down in China to begin preparations towards the inaugural V8 Supercar event in Shanghai.

This weekend's showcase is one aimed at developing the worldly status of the Series and for all competitors it marks an opportunity to be a part of motor racing history.

The significance of it all isn't lost on the Gold Coast based team who are making steady progress in just their second season, competing in Australia's number one motor racing category.

"It's always exciting heading to another country to race where the variables are foreign to everyone," said Baird.

"This will be a total change as it's usually groundhog day for the drivers when we head to the numerous circuits that have been a part of the series since its inception.

"It's refreshing and a challenge I've been looking forward to for some time.

"To date probably my most memorable racing experiences abroad were the two Daytona 24 hour events I contested.

"There were so many driver's competing they had the briefing in a footy stadium.

"It's occasions like that that really stick in your mind and I'm sure China will provide something special for every driver."

Besnard too has savoured many overseas successes in various racing formula as he's progressed to the elite levels of the sport.

More recently his catalogue of achievements have included a feast of firsts and the China experience will add yet another notch to an already impressive belt of accomplishments.

A foundation driver for the WPS Racing team at the start of last season, Besnard also steered a Champ car to seventh place during the Gold Coast's Indy race in 2004.

"From any driver's point of view the chance to race Internationally is always a great proposition and to be competing at such an awesome facility in China is pretty cool," said Besnard.

"I have very fond memories of Asia having raced in various parts of Japan and Hong Kong.

"But perhaps the best experience came for me as a 16 year old when I went to the Phillipines after spending the bulk of the season throughout Europe.

"It was just such a great cultural experience seeing how differently the locals went about their everyday lives.

"From what I've heard there's been a lot of hype surrounding the V8 experiment in China so I can't wait to get over there and go racing."

WPS Racing team owner Craig Gore is looking forward to the Shanghai experience on June 10-12 and sees the potential for further motor racing projects to be established throughout the greater regions of Asia and across the Middle East.

His views are those tinged with the added excitement of seeing his own business interests, which already include significant and wide ranging ties in China, being able to flourish in a complementary environment to his sporting passion.

"It's going to be a very tough proposition on everyone when we head to China for the first time because just like it is in business, everyone must firstly appreciate how the Chinese people apply themselves which really does require a thorough knowledge of the culture," said Gore.

"Such a ground breaking excursion is a great thing for the Series and makes sense on numerous fronts, not the least bringing a truly International feel to the competition.

"There's been a lot of talk of further extending the Series within the Asian region and that's sure to be welcome news for Ford and Holden who boast big export markets throughout.

"The exercise in Shanghai, China is the largest mobility ever for Australian motorsport and that's a great step forward, but as in all things we need to be patient to see the true benefits.

"There are bound to be teething problems but we just need to hang in there.

"Logistically being in an overseas country presents its own set of problems, but I think what the WPS Racing team was able to achieve recently in New Zealand shows that where there's a will there's a way and as a team we're excited to be a part of that."

V8 SUPERCARS ROUND 5 -- SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT JUNE 10-12

Friday June 10
12.40pm -- 2.40pm -- Practice

Saturday June 11
10.45am -- 11.30am -- Qualifying
11.45am -- 12.15pm -- Top Ten Shootout
3.20pm -- 4.10pm -- RACE 1 (100km)

Sunday June 12
10.20am -- 11.30pm -- RACE 2 (140km)
1.30pm -- 2.40pm -- RACE 3 (140km)

TV Telecast -- Network Ten

Sunday June 12
12.00pm -- 5.00pm

-wps racing-

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Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Craig Baird