BARGWANNA MAKES 150TH V8 SUPERCAR START AT WINTON Rock Racing driver Jason Bargwanna will become the 15th driver in Australian Touring Car Championship history to make 150 event starts at Winton Motor Raceway this weekend. Bargwanna reaches...
BARGWANNA MAKES 150TH V8 SUPERCAR START AT WINTON
Rock Racing driver Jason Bargwanna will become the 15th driver in Australian Touring Car Championship history to make 150 event starts at Winton Motor Raceway this weekend.
Bargwanna reaches the milestone at what has been his most successful circuit, with the driver affectionately known as 'Bargs' a two-time event winner and former polesitter at the rural Victorian venue.
Bargwanna made his V8 Supercar debut at Sandown in 1998 and since then has won seven championship races, taken two pole positions and scored 13 podium results.
Originally from Sydney but now based in Warragul in Victoria, Bargwanna joined Kelly Racing for the 2010 season to pilot the #11 Rock Holden Commodore and currently sits 18th in the V8 Supercar Championship Series standings after 10 races.
Tony Ricciardello will be keen to get to Winton for this weekend's two races, as Winton is the test track for Kelly Racing, giving the team's drivers and engineering staff a good knowledge of set-up information for the tight and twisting 3.0-kilometre circuit.
Owen Kelly will make his second-consecutive start in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Winton Motor Raceway this weekend aboard the #77 Metaland Holden Commodore.
Kelly found his feet by the end of the previous event at Queensland Raceway, driving from 14th on the grid to finish fifth in the third and final race of the weekend.
KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD
JASON BARGWANNA - #11 Rock Holden Commodore:
"It's amazing that this comes at what has been my most successful circuit," said Jason Bargwanna.
"I'm fired up for my 150th round. It's something that you don't really think about.
"You look towards the next race all the time but when you look at all the years you've been doing it and all the rounds that you've done, it just comes up so quick and it's very exciting.
"For me, I'm so focused on trying to look towards the next race, getting the car right, making sure that the set-up is right, understanding the race strategy, making sure you manage your tyres and making sure you get to be more competitive, you forget how many times you've actually done all of this.
"It doesn't mean that much, what we care about is getting another trophy and spraying more champagne.
"We've started to get top 10s now but we obviously didn't have a very good result in Queensland.
"But going to our home circuit is going to be an advantage. We saw all the Queensland teams step-up as the teams to beat at the last event so hopefully Winton will be our stomping ground.
"I've had success there in the past and I look forward to more success there in the future. Hopefully this weekend we can come away with not only a top 10 but also some silverware as well.
"We learned a lot out of Queensland about tyre management, what they are capable of, how long they can last and what the effect on the car.
"The temperature is going to be a lot different at Winton and I've got no doubt that all the other teams picked up a lot at Queensland as well, so being the second soft tyre field I think we will all be on more of a lever playing field.
"Maybe we can get an advantage because we are at our test track at Winton. Hopefully we can put our best foot forward make that work for us.
"When I had my 100th event it was quite a memorable moment because I turned up covered in dots everywhere because I had the chicken pox. Hopefully this milestone is a lot more successful.
"The biggest difference between when I made my debut to now is the professionalism. It has increased 20-fold compared to when I first started.
"It used to be that if you were having a bad day you would still be in the top 10. Now if you have a bad day you're just about last on the grid.
"There is no doubt that the level of competition has improved and that makes it a lot more enjoyable as well.
"The money, the investment, the size of the category, the strength of the category, the business model and the sponsorship revenue, it's all much bigger and better today.
"The growth has been unbelievable but to compare the round starts from now to some of the greats is really not a fair comparison. Back in the days of Brock and Grice and Johnson and those guys, they were only doing seven or eight ATCC events a year.
"I'm pretty excited to be doing my 150th event and the sport has definitely changed a lot over the years and I look forward to continuing to race for a while yet."
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"Bargs' 150th event is a great opportunity for us to sit back and applaud his achievements," said Rick Kelly.
"He's had his head down all year with his engineer 'Stu' (Stuart McDonald) working hard and he's been a great addition to our team.
"It's a great time for him to sit and reflect on all those starts. I'm sure he has a stack of stories from those 150 events and how the category has changed in that time.
"Motorsport is that competitive that you can tend to get your head stuck in what you are doing and not sit up and take a breath and see what you have achieved and where you are at.
"To achieve 150 events is something quite special. It's hard to stay in the category and stay competitive for that long and Bargs should be quite proud of his career to date.
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"Bargs and I were both a part of the Young Lions back in the nineties and when I was working on his car at Bathurst all those years I ago I didn't think I would be congratulating him on his 150th event as part of our race team a decade later," said Todd Kelly.
"He is still driving at his best and I'm confident that as we improve and as he learns our cars and our set-up he will be right up there, no dramas.
"Bargs is the kind of driver that always works hard, puts in the effort and I can't wait until he is right up the front again. I don't think it's too far away."
TONY RICCIARDELLO - #16 Stratco Holden Commodore:
"It will be good to head to the team's test track at Winton this weekend," said Tony Ricciardello.
"We've been gradually improving the Stratco Commodore from race to race and getting a better idea of set-up.
"At Winton the team will have a much better idea of not only that track but also the soft tyres after running them all weekend in Queensland.
"We keep posting the finishes and scoring the points so know we need to keep that going and improve our pace to move up the order."
OWEN KELLY - #77 Metaland Holden Commodore:
"It will be good the get another run at Winton," said Owen Kelly.
"It's the test track for Kelly Racing so the crew should have a good idea on base set-up.
"At Queensland we didn't start the weekend too well in terms of pace so we were playing catch up from that point on.
"By the final race we had turned things around and the Metaland Commodore was very strong, so the plan is to kick off at Winton where we left off at Queensland and hit the ground running.
"I'm confident that we can challenge the front runners if we have things go our way."
-source: kelly racing