by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Mercury Cars Guide : March 21st 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au CARSguide —15 Whincup eyes threepeat JamieWhincupis gunning for history in South Australia thisweekend whenthe opening round of the2009 V8Supercar championship hits the streets of Adelaide. years If the Ford driver wins J again this season he would be the only driver to have won it three times, and also the first to claim a ‘‘threepeat’’. Ontop of that, the winner at Adelaide has gone on to win the supercar championship four times since 1999—Craig Lowndes in 1999, Mark Skaife 2002, Marcos Ambrose in 2004 and Whincup in 2008. Whincup believes a raft of new rules will make competi- tors work hard for success in a highly-competitive field. ‘‘There have been numer- ous changes, some minor and some major,’’ Whincup said. ‘‘The qualifying changes combined with a new tyre compound are sure to shake things up. ‘‘The team that best man- ages these changes will really shine. ‘‘I believe TeamVodafone is capable of recording back-to- back championships. ‘‘Our camp has enjoyed very few personnel changes over the break and that’s a major advantage.’’ Of the driver changes for this weekend, two stand out. Will Davison has moved to HRT to fill the seat vacated by Holden hero Mark Skaife, who retired last season. The other is James Court- ney’smoveFromStone Broth- ers to the Dick Johnson- owned Jim Beam Racing. Courtney was the fastest driver at the Queensland supercar test day for V8 teams AMIE Whincup has won Clipsal, the V8 Supercar season op- ener, for the past two 2009 V8 SUPERCAR RULE CHANGES ?Two individual races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, across 12 cham- pionship events ?Individual victory to every race winner across 26 races in the season ?A podium to recognise those 26 race winners ?Qualifying determines both Saturday and Sunday grids ?The Top Ten Shootout returns for the final leg of qualifying (first time since 2006) NEW TEAM: James Courtney is the star recruit for Dick Johnson’s Jim Beam Racing team for this year’s V8 Supercar championship. with JAMES BRESNEHAN 10 days ago, which was their majorshakedownin the build- up to Adelaide. ‘‘You don’t win champion- ships at a pre-season test, but everything went great and we’ve made a statement that we will be competitive,’’ Courtney said. ‘‘The car proved it is fast and strong, and it will be even quicker in Adelaide with new tyres and some more develop- ment work.’’ Courtney, who finished on the podium the past three years in the Bathurst 1000 race, said his Falcon would be fast in all conditions. Courtney has been a threat in Adelaide in recent years. ‘‘In the 2007 championship round in Adelaide I qualified on pole and finished second and third in the two races,’’ he said. ‘‘I clocked the fastest lap in both races. ‘‘Last year I qualified sec- ond, finished 16th in the first race—after leading from laps four to 40 — and crashed in race two after contact with Craig Lowndes.’’ As for Davison, he cannot wait to debut his Number 22 HRT VE Commodore. ‘‘Everyone in the team just wants to win,’’ Davison said. ‘‘There’s a lot of experience in the team and it’s been really enjoyable to be part of. ‘‘It’s made me look forward to the year even more.’’ Davison’s teammate Garth Tander believes the rule changes will promote a closer competition. ‘‘Based on what we’ve been seeing, the fuel windows will be a lot tighter and that’s going to make the races far more interesting,’’ he said. ‘‘I will also give us an indication of who’s on top of their E85 program. ‘‘I’m a big fan of the shoot- out and it’s a good format for the fans. ‘‘So I’m very happy to see it back although I think it does take the shine away from the Bathurst race by doing shoot- outs at other rounds.’’ TheSupercar field faces two 78-lap races in Adelaide — both scheduled for 2.35pm starts today and tomorrow. FAVOURITE: Jamie Whincup celebrates winning the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Picture: MARK HORSBURGH Ambrose ready to charge the Bullring MarcosAmbrosewill take the bullbythe horns in Tennessee thisweekendwhenthe USA’sNascar SprintCupseries heads to pressure-cooker atmosphere of Bristol Motor Speedway.JamesBresnehan reports T MATADOR: Marcos Ambrose hopes to thrive in his Nascar in Tennessee this weekend. ASMANIAN Marcos Am- brose is off to Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee for the next round of Nascar. The steep banks of the half-mile track makes the ‘‘Bullring’’ one of the most intimidating tracks on the Nascar circuit. Ambrose said it would be door-to- door racing at the 160,000-seat circuit. ‘‘Bristol is a really tough, really fast, short track and it tests everyone and makes even the veterans nerv- ous,’’ Ambrose said. ‘‘It’s definitely one ofmyfavourites places — it’s so unbelievable — you have to see it for yourself. ‘‘I’ve run there in the Truck series and Nationwide series, and every time I’ve learned something.’’ It will be the Tasmanian’s first Sprint Cup race at Bristol. ‘‘Doing 500 laps is going to be a massive challenge,’’ he said. ‘‘In some respects I’m glad we go there after the off-week so that we as drivers are well rested.’’ Ambrose goes into the race fresh from tyre testing at a similar track in North Carolina over the past week. ‘‘We have shown that we have a good package on the intermediate tracks, but the short tracks are different,’’ he said. ‘‘I love every race I run at Bristol and this one will be at another level. ‘‘The DNF last time out in Atlanta knocked our momentum a bit but I’m very confident we can get back on form in Bristol.’’ ?The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and the L&H 500 at Phillip Island remain as the only single race events ?The L&H 500 will retain two Saturday qualifying races which count for cham- pionship points but not a race result ?Removing all reference to the termroundandreferring to all race weekends as events ?No compulsory pit stop window meaning that teams can stop whenever they choose ?A move to E85 ethanol fuel, which will reduce the number of laps cars can complete before needing to refuel. There will be at least one fuel stop every race ?A soft compound tyre at select weekends that teams must use at least once per race ?Each race, outside of the two endurance races, are worth 150 points to the winner on a sliding scale ?Teams are free to utilise any tyre from their alloca- tion as they see fit across an event
March 14th 2009
March 28th 2009