A successful test at the Queensland Raceway under the watchful eye of Stone Brothers Racing this week has Michael Simpson confident of continuing his impressive run in the Konica V8 Supercar Series at Winton in Victoria this weekend. Simpson had...
A successful test at the Queensland Raceway under the watchful eye of Stone Brothers Racing this week has Michael Simpson confident of continuing his impressive run in the Konica V8 Supercar Series at Winton in Victoria this weekend.
Simpson had been the real find of the this year's series series in an old AU Falcon, which has been prepared on a shoestring budget at his Gold Coast workshop.
The 26 year-old Queenslander finished on the podium at the last round at Oran Park and is currently third in the title chase on 394 points - just 16 points behind David Parsons and 42 behind series leader Simon Wills.
"The test at the Queensland Raceway was very encouraging and taught us a little more about this car," said Simpson.
"Although the car is a few years old now we are still extracting more and more out of it thanks to my small and enthusiastic team and the input from Jim and Ross Stone.
"We did our fastest ever lap at Willowbank this week and hopefully we can convert that in race conditions on Sunday. "Everything has been going to plan and we just need to maintain the momentum this weekend. "We have been doing everything physically possible to make sure we are as prepared as we can be."
Simpson has driven Suzuki Gti Cup races at Winton in the past and won his class in a GTP race at the North-East Victorian venue a couple of years ago.
While he never needs any extra incentive to win, Simpson has an extra motive for a big result this weekend with his father Ian celebrating his 49th birthday today.
Ian Simpson, a former champion driver himself, is one of the driving forces behind Michael and his steps towards his dream of a full-time ride in the Shell Championship Series.
"Dad kicks off his 50th year this weekend so it would be nice to celebrate with the biggest trophy we can get out hands on," said Michael.
Simpson is still chasing a major sponsor for the season, but has had great local support from Queensland Vehicle Warranty Network, MA Howard Constructions and Nerang Diffs.
The team did have some good news this week when Ian Wade-Parker from Wade-Parker Consulting supplied a new set of uniforms for Simpson and his crew.
"So much of this business is about presentation and the support from Ian (Wade-Parker) with the uniforms is certainly a big help as we continue to chase a naming-rights partner," said Simpson. "Maybe the new uniforms will be a good luck charm and we can climb to the top step of the podium this weekend."
One of Simpson's major supporters has been the Bruce Lynton Group, which has supplied the team with a workshop and team transporter. The group is also Simpson's employer and allowances have been made so he can compete in the entire season.
The Konica V8 Supercar Series consists of six rounds in the Eastern states of Australia and has been designed as a breeding ground for the Shell Championship Series. <pre> CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS - KONICA V8 SUPERCAR SERIES 1 1: Simon Wills 436 2: David Parsons 410 3: Michael Simpson 394 4: Paul Dumbrell 374 5: Craig Harris 362 6: Dale Brede 336 7: Owen Kelly 328 8: Leanne Ferrier 292 9: Terry Wyhoon 280 10: Mal Rose 260 11: Garry Holt 256 12: Phonsy Mullan 238 13: Ross Halliday 234 14: Alan Heath 2285 15: Scott March 2226 16: Kevin Mundy 218 17: Bill Attard 212 18: Luke Sieders 198 19: Tim Rowse 186 20: Rick Shaw 144 21: Adam Wallis 14022 22: Geoff Full 11023 23: Daniel Miller 100 24: Richard Mork 94 25: Peter Field 92 26: Greg Crick 20