TeamVodafone ready to hit Surfers Paradise for 600km showdown With the V8 Supercar category stepping into the lead role at the meeting, track time has also been increased. Drivers will now contest four 150km races across the course of ...
TeamVodafone ready to hit Surfers Paradise for 600km showdown
With the V8 Supercar category stepping into the lead role at the meeting, track time has also been increased.
Drivers will now contest four 150km races across the course of the weekend, placing extra emphasis on qualifying well and racing cleanly and consistently.
Whincup dominated the event from start to finish in 2008 but said it would be much tougher to repeat the feat this weekend.
"I love this event. It is one of the best we go to all year, I even call it my home track as I live just up the road," he said. "It's a place that I didn't fare so well at until the dream run last year where I won my first surfboard. "Traditionally this round has been massively influential to the championship with the winner generally going on to win the title. "We have had a tough run lately, so my expectations are moderate but my personal motivation is as high as it has ever been.
The defending champion praised the efforts of organisers who have worked around the clock to produce an entertaining schedule of racing.
"Credit has to go to V8 Supercar officials and SuperGP organisers for coming together to restructure the event at the last minute," Whincup continued.
"It's an important part of the Gold Coast culture and a big tourism drawcard, I'm certain fans will enjoy a local series being the headline act."
The 26-year-old currently leads the point standings on 2476 points, 93 clear of second place.
Still well within the championship lead group is teammate Craig Lowndes.
He recognised the need for a solid points haul at Surfers Paradise in order to reel in third placed driver Garth Tander.
"I'm excited and am really looking forward to this year's event," said Lowndes. "We are the main attraction, have an upgraded pit facility and will be contesting four 150km races -- three quarters of the distance of Bathurst. "This is a great opportunity for all of us to showcase V8 Supercars and the weekend is going to be one of the most challenging for drivers and teams. "It is an extremely important event for me personally as I need to get some points back on Garth.
"It will be a tough weekend for drivers physically and mentally and it will also be tough on our machines," Lowndes acknowledged.
Lowndes has 1947 points next to his name after 10 events.
The V8 Supercars will take to the track on Friday for practice and qualifying. Race 19A and 19B will be held on Saturday; Race 20A and 20B will follow on Sunday. All races will be 34 laps in duration.