Surfers Paradise: Dodo Racing preview

Riding a Bathurst wave into the shores of the Gold Coast Two podium results in the V8 Supercar endurance events at Sandown and Bathurst leave Tasman Motorsport racers Jason Richards and Jamie Whincup surfing onto the Gold Coast and...

Riding a Bathurst wave into the shores of the Gold Coast

Two podium results in the V8 Supercar endurance events at Sandown and Bathurst leave Tasman Motorsport racers Jason Richards and Jamie Whincup surfing onto the Gold Coast and keen to continue their strong second part of the 2005 season.

Real-size surfboards have been the traditional spoils for the podium getters at the Indy V8 Supercar event in recent times and Kiwi Richards is eyeing one to add to his rapidly growing collection of trophies from 2005.

"I've got my eyes firmly fixed on a surfboard trophy," said Richards.

"I've acquired the taste of champagne and it would be nice to keep that flavour going. I can't surf to save myself but it might give me a good reason to learn!"

"We've certainly been running on a lot of adrenalin and excitement since the result at Bathurst.

"It's amazing the confidence you gain from having such a great run in a big race and all of the publicity it's created has made it quite inspiring to do it all over again.

"I haven't had much of a chance to come down from cloud nine so I can't imagine what it would have been like had we actually won the race! I'll be down and ready to return to business this weekend.

"Last year we ran in the top 10 in the races and finished pretty well. There's no doubt we've got a quicker car this year than last year so let's hope we can do it again.

"We've got good speed at a lot of tracks so I don't see why that will disappear all of a sudden. Our average qualifying position this year has been just outside the top 10, but Indy is such a concrete jungle that you just have to stay out of trouble.

"I'm very aware that at Bathurst there were a few cars in front of us that came to grief to help us a little, but the fact remains that you have to stay out of trouble - the rewards come from that.

"In the sprint rounds there's generally less incidents that can help you gain places but it depends on the pace of the race and whether there are a few drivers with the mindset that they can win on the first corner."

Whincup, who starred at Bathurst to place the Dodo Commodore in a winning position in his final stint, has only raced at Surfers Paradise once but also feels that momentum will carry the team through the rest of the year.

"The team has a lot of confidence coming to the carnival at Indy," said Whincup.

"I've only been there once before in a V8 Supercar but I was a part of the Young Guns race there the year before, so I know my way around the streets of Surfers.

"It's a really enjoyable track. We've developed a fast car over the course of the year so it will be up to the drivers to stay out of trouble and make the most of it in the race. A couple of good pit stops will really help you because the track's layout spaces out the field very quickly.

"Heat is another major issue. The walls are so close it means that the heat generated by the cars lingers and doesn't disappear, which boosts the temperatures and the punishment on the driver.

"I'm a big fan of street tracks in general. The walls don't faze me. The track rewards my style of driving. I like to attack but I'll have to make sure I keep the mirrors on the car and don't knock them off!

"I've said it all year, but I'm carrying the same approach into this weekend as the 10 rounds beforehand. If we can have a good run in the next three rounds, where all races count for points, we're a good shot of jumping into the top 10."

Richards finished seventh for the round last year on the streets of Surfers Paradise after qualifying 23rd. He finished 12th in 2002 and 27th in 2003 after making the Top 10 Shootout.

Whincup has only competed at Surfers Paradise once in a V8, in 2003, where he finished 20th in an older model Commodore.

Practice begins in Queensland on Friday with two 35-minute sessions prior to qualifying at 3.10pm and followed by the Top 10 Shootout.

Saturday's race will be 140-kilometres in length with two 100-kilometre events on Sunday.

-dodo-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Richards , Jamie Whincup