New Black Top Set to Provide Fastest V8 Supercar Round
A total track resurface at Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway is set to see lap times tumble and provide fans with even greater excitement at Round #5 of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series between June 11 - 13.
A combination of the sand hills that surround the Wanneroo circuit and an abrasive course-chip surface, made Barbagallo Raceway a track that chewed-up tyres and subsequently provided poor grip.
Since the new hot-mix tarmac was laid over the summer, all other categories of racing have recorded vastly quicker lap times.
One of the drivers keen to see what the resurfaced track will provide is V8 Supercar Champion and winner of the Barbagallo round in 2003, Marcos Ambrose (Pirtek Racing).
“It’s great that Western Australian Sporting Car Club has invested heavily in the resurfacing of the track, it’s going to be like driving at a new circuit,” said Ambrose.
“It’s hard to predict what the lap times are going to be, but certainly from the outset the times will be quicker.
“Not only will the times be quicker, but it will help tyre life. Previously the tyres went away quite quickly and you had to take care of the rubber.
“Now we can race with the knowledge that tyre life will not be as big an issue. It’s going to provide a much better show for the fans.
“However, you can’t make any errors, as the old Barbagallo sand traps that line the circuit have not gone away. If there’s one thing for sure, the only way to get out of those things is on a towrope behind a four-wheel drive.”
Ambrose is currently second in the championship to Steven Richards. A repeat win in Perth would go a long way to making it back-to-back V8 Supercar Championship Series titles.
“I want to win Perth, it’s as simple as that,’ said Ambrose.
“We had a great car in the previous round in Darwin, but a combination of things worked against us and we came away with fourth place overall.
“The team is very motivated at the moment and with a teammate like Russell Ingall (Caltex Havoline Racing) also showing great speed, we have the ingredients for a top result.
“The win last year was a big thrill. The WA Ford fans really got into the spirit and I know their expectations are for another win, so I’ll be out there giving it a real shake.”
One driver with an outstanding record at Barbagallo Raceway is CAT Ford Performance Racing’s Craig Lowndes. The winner on four occasions, Lowndes is keen to break his Ford duck in the West.
“My first four visits all brought wins, so we’re keen to start another streak in the West beginning this year,” said Lowndes.
“Darwin showed that we’re on the improve and over three races you can really get yourself into the fight.
“I do enjoy the track, and with the new surface I’d be more than happy to give it a V8 Christening with a win”.
The V8 round at Barbagallo features three 42-lap races, with all comprising compulsory tyre pit stops.
Practice gets underway on Friday with further practice, qualifying, top-10 shootout and the opening race on the Saturday. Sunday concludes the event with a further two races.
Details for Barbagallo
Race 1 (42 laps – 101.22km) – Saturday 11 June – 4.10pm
Race 2 (42 laps – 101.22km) – Sunday 8 June – 10.35am
Race 3 (42 laps – 101.22km) – Sunday 8 June - 1pm
Circuit: Barbagallo Raceway (Wanneroo) – Perth, Western Australia
Qualifying – Skaife 0:56.9709 (2000)
Shootout – Radisich 0:57.2542 (2001)
Race – Lowndes 0:57.9950 (1996)
Estimated top speed: 245km/h – Main Straight
Estimated average speed: 150 km/h
Top-10 – Championship after 4 of 13 rounds
1. Steven Richards - Castrol Perkins Motorsport - Holden Commodore 704 pts
2. Marcos Ambrose – Pirtek Racing – Ford Falcon BA 694 pts
3. Greg Murphy – KMart Racing – Holden Commodore 665 pts
4. Rick Kelly – KMart Racing – Holden Commodore 644 pts
5. Jason Bright – PWR Racing – Holden Commodore 593 pts
6. Russell Ingall – Caltex Havoline Racing – Ford Falcon BA 514 pts
7. John Bowe – OzEmail Racing – Ford Falcon BA 484 pts
8. Todd Kelly – Holden Race Team – Holden Commodore 457 pts
9. Jason Bargwanna – Orrcon Steel Racing – Ford Falcon 438 pts
10. Garth Tander – Valvoline Racing – Holden Commodore 434 pts
Ford’s V8 Line-up for Barbagallo
#1 Marcos Ambrose Pirtek Racing
#9 Russell Ingall Caltex Havoline Racing
#5 Glenn Seton Ford Credit/FPV Ford Performance Racing
#6 Craig Lowndes CAT Ford Performance Racing
#10 Jason Bargwanna Orrcon Steel Racing
#20 Mark Winterbottom Orrcon Steel Racing
#12 John Bowe OzEmail Race Team
#21 Brad Jones OzEmail Race Team
#17 Steve Johnson Shell Helix Racing
#18 Warren Luff Shell Helix Racing
#23 David Besnard WPS Racing
#48 Mark Noske WPS Racing
#31 Steve Ellery Super Cheap Auto Racing
#88 Paul Radisich Team Betta Electrical
#888 Max Wilson Team Betta Electrical
Ford V8 Milestones at Barbagallo
100th Championship round start - Russell Ingall - Caltex Havoline Racing
Mark Winterbottom - Orrcon Steel Racing
Warren Luff - Shell Helix Racing