Hidden Valley preview: Wide open up north?
Ford Performance Racing will look to stretch its winning run at Hidden Valley this weekend, at an event known for its unpredictability.
Not only do the warm conditions mean tyre conservation and strategy are vital, but the contrast of the long front straight and twisty sections for the rest of the lap makes it difficult for teams to find a compromise setup.
Five different teams have won the last five races at the circuit – Garry Rogers Motorsport, Ford Performance Racing, Triple Eight, Kelly Racing and Stone Brothers Racing.
Ford Performance Racing has won nine of 11 races this season, including the last seven in a row, and has an impressive record at Hidden Valley with four of the last seven pole positions courtesy of Winterbottom. In contrast, Triple Eight and Jamie Whincup have never taken a pole position at Hidden Valley.
But despite the factory Ford team's dominance, it's a tight championship battle that resumes in Darwin. Approaching the midway point of the season, just 29 points covers the top three drivers in the standings – Will Davison leads with a 10-point margin over Whincup with Winterbottom only 19 points further back in third.
One team desperate to score a win this weekend is the Holden Racing Team, who has more wins at Hidden Valley than any other team yet is without a win since Bathurst last year – a winning drought of eight months for the factory Holden team.
Elsewhere, David Russell replaces the injured Greg Murphy in the Pepsi Max Crew Kelly Racing entry for his second main game appearance of the season, while Supercheap Auto Racing's Russell Ingall will line up for his 210th Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars event, moving past Glenn Seton into outright fourth on the all-time list.
Below is the V8 Supercars schedule for the weekend, telecast times and more:
Circuit length: 2.9-kilometres.
Circuit direction: Anti-clockwise.
Average speed: 149km/h.
Maximum speed: 271km/h.
Fastest point: Front Straight.
Slowest point: Turn One.
Friday June 15:
10:25am – 10:55am: Practice 1 (Rookies, bottom 50 percent in championship and co-drivers).
12:00pm – 12:30pm: Practice 2 (Rookies, bottom 50 percent in championship and co-drivers).
01:35pm – 02:05pm: Practice 3 (All cars).
03:15pm – 03:45pm: Practice 4 (All cars).
Saturday June 16:
11:00am – 11:20am: Qualifying for Race 12.
12:55pm – 01:25pm: Shootout for Race 12.
03:35pm: Race 12 (42 laps or one lap after 04.45pm).
Sunday June 17:
12:40pm – 01:00pm: Qualifying for Race 13.
03:05pm: Race 13 (69 laps or one lap after 04.45pm).
All local times.
V8 Supercars tyre allocation: Four pre-marked tyres, eight hard tyres, 16 soft tyres, 12 wet tyres.
Support categories: V8 Utes, Touring Car Masters, Formula 3, Commodore Cup.
Saturday June 16: Race 12 qualifying: Sydney: 02:00pm-04:00pm on Seven. Melbourne: 02:00pm-04:00pm on Seven Mate. Brisbane: 02:00pm-04:00pm on Seven. Adelaide: 01:30pm-03:30pm on Seven Mate. Perth: 12:00pm-02:00pm on Seven Mate.
Race 12: Sydney: 04:00pm-05:30pm on Seven. Melbourne: 04:00pm-05:30pm on Seven Mate. Brisbane: 04:00pm-05:30pm on Seven. Adelaide: 03:30pm-05:00pm on Seven Mate. Perth: 02:00pm-03:30pm on Seven Mate.
Sunday June 17: Race 13 qualifying: Sydney: 02:00pm-03:30pm on Seven. Melbourne: 02:00pm-03:30pm on Seven Mate. Brisbane: 02:00pm-03:30pm on Seven. Adelaide: 01:30pm-03:30pm on Seven Mate. Perth: 12:00pm-01:30pm on Seven Mate.
Race 13: Sydney: 03:30pm-05:30pm on Seven. Melbourne: 03:30pm-05:30pm on Seven Mate. Brisbane: 03:30pm-05:30pm on Seven. Adelaide: 03:00pm-05:00pm on Seven Mate. Perth: 01:30pm-03:30pm on Seven Mate.
Check your local guides.
Tickets: Available through Ticketek Australia.
2013 Championship Calendar
2013 Championship Points