After an absolutely thrilling Bathurst 1000 a fortnight ago, the V8 Supercars Championship main drivers and their co-drivers regroup for the third and final chapter of the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
While there’s plenty of pride at stake to win that coveted in-season honour, there’s still the Drivers’ Championship to be resolved as the December season finale in Sydney draws ever closer.
|2014 V8 SUPERCARS CASTROL EDGE GOLD COAST 600
|Date:||24-26 October 2014|
|Free Practice Session 1||Fri 09:35-10:05|
|Free Practice Session 2||Fri 11:55-12:25*|
|Free Practice Session 3||Fri 13:40-14:10*|
|Free Practice Session 4||Fri 15:30-16:00|
|Race 31 Qualifying||Sat 11:35-11:55|
|Top-10 Qualifying||Sat 12:40-13:10|
|Race 31 (102 laps)||Sat 14:40-17:00|
|Race 32 Qualifying||Sun 11:25-11:45|
|Race 32 (102 laps)||Sun 13:55-16:10|
* Denotes co-driver only sessions. Session times are quoted in Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC +10:00 hrs)
The Gold Coast, affectionately known by locals as the “Goldie” is the perfect beachside location for this high speed, adrenalin pumping street circuit.
The circuit is based in the heart of Surfers Paradise and is a shortened version of the previous IndyCar layout. Now sitting at just shy of three kilometres in length, the drivers reach top speeds of 265 km/hr and average around 146 km/hr as they make their anticlockwise way around the track.
Kerb-hopping over the circuit’s numerous chicanes has presented an unwanted talking point in previous years, so organisers have opted to return to tyre stacks after repeated attempts to police the offence with high kerbs and controversial electronic sensors.
The sensors will remain, however, with practice or qualifying lap times disallowed if a driver is found to have cut a chicane apex too much; three warnings will be issued in each of the two 300-kilometre races before a drive-through penalty is imposed.
2014 V8 Supercars Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 Entry List:
|Entry||Primary / Secondary Driver(s)||Team / Entry|
|1.||Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF|
|2.||Garth Tander / Warren Luff||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF|
|4.||Lee Holdsworth / Craig Baird||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG|
|5.||Mark Winterbottom / Steve Owen||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG|
|6.||Chaz Mostert / Paul Morris||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG|
|7.||Todd Kelly / Alex Buncombe||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima|
|8.||Jason Bright / Andrew Jones||Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF|
|9.||Will Davison / Alex Davison||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG|
|14.||Fabian Coulthard / Luke Youlden||Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF|
|15.||Rick Kelly / David Russell||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima|
|16.||Scott Pye / Ashley Walsh||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG|
|17.||David Wall / Steven Johnson||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG|
|18.||Jack Perkins / Cameron Waters||Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG|
|21.||Dale Wood / Chris Pither||Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF|
|22.||James Courtney / Greg Murphy||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF|
|23.||Russell Ingall / Tim Blanchard||Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF|
|33.||Scott McLaughlin / Alexandre Premat||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60|
|34.||Robert Dahlgren / Greg Ritter||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60|
|36.||Michael Caruso / Dean Fiore||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima|
|47.||Tim Slade / Tony D’Alberto||SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF|
|55.||David Reynolds / Dean Canto||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG|
|97.||Shane van Gisbergen / Jonathon Webb||TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF|
|222.||Nick Percat / Oliver Gavin||Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF|
|360.||James Moffat / Taz Douglas||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima|
|888.||Craig Lowndes / Steven Richards||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF|
The Form Guide
The introduction of the Pirtek Enduro Cup has livened up the endurance racing section of the V8 Supercars Championship, and with a thrilling Bathurst 1000 that saw a number of surprise performances, we really could see anything happen this weekend.
While championship leader Jamie Whincup and his co-driver Paul Dumbrell came agonisingly close at claiming a miraculous win at Mount Panorama two weekends ago, the pair are in the box seats to claim this year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup crown – which comprises the shared races at Sandown, Bathurst and this weekend’s two panel-bending hit-ups on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
The duo have claimed 522 points so far, but they sit just 30 points clear of Bathurst heroes Chaz Mostert and Paul Morris; further adrift are the pairings of James Courtney / Greg Murphy (408) and Craig Lowndes / Steve Richards (396). With a maximum 300 points on offer, the top-fifteen driver pairings remain in mathematical contention – given how unpredictable the races here have been in the past, it bodes well for a surprise result.
Whincup has an impressive record on the street circuit, with six race wins since 2008. Last year, however, he and Dumbrell struggled – they retired from the first race, and had to battle their way to fourth in the second leg.
Mostert and Morris’ last-to-first triumph at Bathurst elevated the pair to an unlikely second in the standings in their #6 FPR Ford Falcon.
While the Gold Coast has historically thrown up some surprise results, it’s an even that’s been dominated by the factory-supported outfits: the last time a non-HRT / Triple Eight / Ford Performance Racing entry won on the street circuit was back in 2005, when Greg Murphy won in his PWR Racing Commodore.
Images via V8 Supercars Championship Media