Surfers Paradise: Orrcon Racing pre-race notes

Ice Cool "Frosty" at Surfers Orrcon Racing V8 Supercar driver Mark Winterbottom lived up to his nickname of "Frosty" today using an alternative to the traditional sun, sand and surf as a lead in to this weekend's Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge...

Ice Cool "Frosty" at Surfers

Orrcon Racing V8 Supercar driver Mark Winterbottom lived up to his nickname of "Frosty" today using an alternative to the traditional sun, sand and surf as a lead in to this weekend's Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the Gold Coast.

This weekend marks Winterbottom's Gold Coast debut in Australia's premiere motorsport series and in order to cool down before the action heats up later this week the 23-year-old tried his hand at tobogganing at the Surfers Paradise Snow World.

The former Konica Minolta Champion is aiming to follow in the footsteps of a pair of Champ Car drivers, namely Mario Dominguez and Ryan Hunter-Reay who finished on the podium in their first attempt on the tricky 4.47km temporary street circuit.

"While standing on top of the podium is a big ask, if you don't aim high you will never make it there, over the last couple of rounds we have proved as a team that we have the pace to match the front runners, maybe this weekend could turn out to be our weekend," said Winterbottom.

"Bargs (Orrcon Racing team mate Jason Bargwanna) and Larko (team owner Mark Larkham) both know what it takes to win here, so I'll be racking their brains all weekend to gain a good result for the team.

"Our cars seem to be able to get the power to the ground well, especially when there is a low grip level on a circuit, this should really suit us this weekend."

Giving Winterbottom extra confidence entering this weekend's round is the fact that during the series opener on the Adelaide street circuit Winterbottom was running eighth before he became an innocent victim of an accident, ending his event with a handful of laps remaining.

After admiring the precision and talents of the ice sculptures Bargwanna offered Winterbottom some timely advice about a straight and smooth approach on the tobogganing slope, similar to what will be required for a successful weekend on the tight Gold Coast circuit.

"His tobogganing technique wasn't bad, but I hope he can keep it a little straighter come the weekend," joked Bargwanna, winner of the 1998 event.

"All year we have continually been bouncing ideas off each other, in our team it is not a case of one driver leading the other, we both have a very good understanding of the characteristics of our cars.

"The main advantage I've had is the fact that I've been going to all of the tracks for years, whereas some tracks Frosty has never raced at before. This is where it is mine and Larko's role in the team to pass our knowledge on to him.

"Keeping it straight is more important aspect of the event, one slip of concentration and you haven't just spun onto the grass, like on a normal circuit, here your in the wall.

"If we can both keep it clean and stay out of the carnage that always seems to plague this place I think we will both be in contention for a great result."

As a part of the Lexmark Indy 300 event the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge begins on the 4.47km circuit this Friday with opening practice at 9:00am with a further practice session and qualifying in the afternoon.

The top ten shootout will be conducted on Saturday morning with the first 22-lap race starting at 3:50pm.

Sunday will be highlighted with a 33-lap race beginning at 12:00pm.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay , Mark Larkham , Jason Bargwanna , Mark Winterbottom