Surfers Paradise: TPR preview

BRIGHT: I'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE Ten years ago Jason Bright was on the Gold Coast preparing to race around the unforgiving Surfers street track in an unfamiliar car with practically no testing. That experience in Champ Car, where he raced from...

BRIGHT: I'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE

Ten years ago Jason Bright was on the Gold Coast preparing to race around the unforgiving Surfers street track in an unfamiliar car with practically no testing.

That experience in Champ Car, where he raced from 27th to fifth before becoming the innocent casualty of a multi-car pile-up, is encouraging for this weekend's international co-drivers who are facing the same daunting task.

Trading Post Racing co-driver Alain Menu tested at Queensland Raceway yesterday in the wet and says the V8 Supercar is a different animal to his WTCC Chevrolet. He is, however, still practicing the same racing driver code: "the most fun we get out of motor racing is when we are winning."

He gets his first taste of Surfers Paradise in practice, which starts tomorrow (Friday) at 10.15am

Introducing ... ALAIN MENU

* Born in Switzerland, where motorsport has been banned since the horrendous accident at Le Mans in 1955, which killed 85 spectators and one driver

* Currently drives for Chevrolet in the WTCC, running sixth with two rounds remaining (120 starts, 11 wins and 7 poles)

* Double BTCC Champion (1997 and 2000)

* In 1997 Menu set the Bathurst lap record (2:16.8034 in a Renault Laguna)

* He competed at Bathurst in 1997 (DNF with Jason Plato), 1998 (DNF with Tomas Mezera), 2000 (18 with Mark Larkham), 2004 (DNF with Adam Macrow) and 2005 (12 with Matt Halliday)

Jason Bright
Trading Post Racing

"If I were to give any advice to the guys coming here in unfamiliar cars for the first time, it would be that Gold Coast is the sort of place that you need to treat with respect. The concrete walls are pretty unforgiving and it looks like it's going to be a difficult weekend weather-wise. We saw a lot of guys going off in the wet at Queensland Raceway yesterday and you can't afford to make those kinds of mistakes here.

"The good thing is I don't think any of these guys are going to be trying to make a name for themselves! No one needs to prove themselves but they're still all very competitive.

"It's awesome to see the caliber of drivers we've got in the series but I think after this weekend you'll see a lot of other drivers want to come next year and a lot of guys look to us for a career."

Alain Menu
Trading Post Racing Co-Driver

"It's been five years since I last drove a V8 but from what I remember it feels pretty much the same, which means still very difficult to drive. They are soft so they move around a lot over the bumps and it's very hard to feel when you're locking up under braking; the feedback you get is hard to read.

"It's a completely different animal to what we are used to in Europe but it's still fun. The problem is that we are all the same; we want to be fast. We want to be as quick as the other drivers but it's basically not possible in 20 laps. The most fun we get out of motor racing is when we are winning."

-source: tpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Bright , Jason Plato , Mark Larkham , Alain Menu , Matt Halliday