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Super V8's At The Tron

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Motorsports: Wet track promises spills in Hamilton

5:00AM Wednesday April 16, 2008

By Eric Thompson

Supercar2301.jpg

Photo / Paul Estcourt

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Ford or Holden?

Waikato farmers are rejoicing as rain falls on their parched soil. But on the streets of Hamilton, V8 drivers will be looking to the heavens and cursing the deluge just days before the Supercar series hits town.

The first practice session for the Hamilton400 starts on Friday. The thought of manhandling 1.3 tonnes of brute force revving up to 600 horsepower around a brand new street circuit in the wet is enough to make a grown V8 driver cry.

"It's going to be lethal in terms of the grip level," said Tasman Motorsport driver Jason Richards.

"You've got to assume all the tarmac put down, plus the oil, dirt, dust, grime and other stuff you don't get on a race track, coupled with manhole covers in the wet, is going to make it incredibly slippery."

A V8 Supercar will break into wheel spin when changing between fifth and sixth gear. Once the wheels start spinning the car will start to slide and move around. If the throttle is lifted too quickly compression lock occurs which is akin to pulling the hand brake on.

When grip is heavily reduced in the wet, tyres can lose grip in a flash. At speed, some drivers can be caught unawares, and before they know it the back of the car is trying to overtake the front.

"Nobody's driven on the circuit in the wet so we're all in the same boat," said Richards. "We don't know where the problem areas are. The painted lines on the track, and in particular the centre lines, are going to be a big problem, as will aquaplaning, so we have to be really careful."

Public roads, like the ones being used in Hamilton, have a crown in the middle. If drivers get on the wrong side of the crown while putting the power down, it's going to compound the problem of grip in the wet, letting all hell loose in the car.

"Trying to handle that is going to be hard. Once you drop off the wrong side the grip drops off dramatically. Because we're so grip-limited by the amount of horsepower, and size of the tyres we're allowed, it's hard to get a decent amount of traction.

"The wet weather tyres we've got are a hard compound so in heavy rain they never really get warmed up enough to generate good grip but they do last a while on a drying track."

On a purpose built race track the race-line is often covered in rubber that helps in the dry but is slippery in the wet. When going offline where there is no rubber, it is possible to find more grip.

So arguably the racing lines at Hamilton may offer some grip in the wet, but if there's any oil around it's going to make things very interesting.

The big wet in Hamilton will add to a thrilling weekend for both spectators and drivers.

Russell Ingall may yet have the last laugh after his suggestion that the third round of the championship would be a crash-fest was ignored.

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Russell Ingall may yet have the last laugh after his suggestion that the third round of the championship would be a crash-fest was ignored.

I'm going to agree with the Enforcer on this round of the championship. The V8's are a crash fest in the dry on a street track let alone a track they have never driven prior and the added problem of water and white lines.

I expect to see some major repair bills and some down right silly driving as per the normal in V8 Supercars.

My tip for a wet race will be Craig Lowndes.

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Motorsport: Van Gisbergen sees golden opportunity in Hamilton

2:28PM Wednesday April 16, 2008

By Peter Martinez

Stone Brothers Racing driver Shane Van Gisbergen. Photo / Getty Images

Stone Brothers Racing driver Shane Van Gisbergen. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand driver Shane Van Gisbergen feels the inaugural V8 Supercar race on the streets of Hamilton presents him with his best opportunity of challenging for a podium finish.

The 18-year-old Aucklander, who debuted last year with Team Kiwi Racing, is making waves in just his second season in the Australian V8 Supercar championship, after Stone Brothers Racing plucked him to replace former champion Russell Ingall.

He finished a creditable fifth in the season opener at Adelaide and was ninth fastest in qualifying at the second round at Eastern Creek, although he could not convert that into more than a handful of points.

Now 13th in the standings, Van Gisbergen said the brand new Hamilton street circuit would help even things out for him.

"Nobody's tested or raced on it before - it's going to be more of an even playing field and could help us out a lot."

At an established track such as Eastern Creek, a young driver like him started on the back foot as the other drivers had been going there for years.

He said Stone Brothers had done a lot of simulation work and he expected to have a great car set-up for the track.

Hamilton had done a great job creating the street circuit and Van Gisbergen disputed Ingall's prediction that the layout would promote a crash-fest.

Ingall said Hamilton, with its long straights and tight corners would be risky because "there'll be a lot of drivers making big lunges under brakes".

"The young guys charging with a head full of steam are going to be a worry, especially with the way they've been driving the last couple of rounds," said the 44-year-old, nicknamed the Enforcer.

Van Gisbergen begged to differ.

"I don't know if that statement's perfectly true," he said.

"This year, he's (Ingall) caused a lot of carnage himself and I don't think any of the young guys have really had much damage.

"There are quite a few passing spots at Hamilton which will promote good racing - the circuit looks good and Hamilton have done a great job there.

"You are always going to see more carnage on a street circuit than at a conventional circuit, but I think everyone will race clean and hard and put on a good show for the fans."

Van Gisbergen said getting a top qualifying position would be vital to his hopes of achieving a career-best finish.

The team that could adjust fastest to the variables of a new track first, such as grip and set-up, would have the advantage.

"This race is special for me being my home race - I'll just try to do the best I can and see how far I can get."

The Hamilton round begins on Friday, with three practice sessions. Qualifying and race one are on Saturday with the meet concluding on Sunday with two more races.

- NZPA

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I'm a fan of the young Kiwi, Van Gisbergen, the guy has the talent without a doubt. Another young driver I rate is Lee Holdsworth.

Your thoughts on the young driving talent coming through Craig??

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Veggie is a good driver. So too DC's cousin Fabian. Holdsworth...I dunno..... Put Veggiemite in a 888 or TOLL and he'd post similar times to Lowndes and Co. Veggiemite was ultra competitive two years back in the Toyota Race Series here, so much so that that old stalwart of Kenny Smith took him under his arm to teach him a few things....last person he did that to was Scott Dixon.

Veggie will be NZ's next Murph - of that I'm pretty sure. He is better at this age than Craig Baird was. The Rat (Paul Radisich) was probably better at this age, but back then the Open Wheelers in NZ were far more competitive than nowadays so bred better drivers out of it.

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Motorsport: Wheeling up for the real deal

5:00AM Friday April 18, 2008

By Eric Thompson

richards1601.jpg

Steven Richards will be among those hoping to edge up Ford's ranking. Photo / Getty Images

V8s, don't you just love'em! The joy of the V8s is that what you see on the telly is not that far removed from what's parked in the driveway.

Whereas Formula 1 is so far removed from the wheels of us mere mortals, it may as well be a Scalextric game played by the Gods. F1 cars look like paper darts, and they're not driven, they're programmed.

The Hamilton 400 fires up today and over the weekend 162,000 petrolheads, and a fair few of the just plain curious, are going to experience the magic of V8 Supercar racing. These bellowing behemoths are going to be manhandled at speeds up to 250km/h around streets usually used for getting to work or going shopping.

We can relate to not only the cars but also the roads they'll race on.

With a change of venue a change of luck may be on the cards. For the past seven years, Holden's kept the Fords bolted firmly in the back seat when it comes to winning the Kiwi round of the championships.

Principle protagonist among the victorious Holden pilots has been our own Greg Murphy, who has four hometown winning trophies on his mantelpiece.

Over the past couple of seasons Murphy's been a bit off his game but with a new car, coupled with new-found enthusiasm, Murphy's tail feathers are well and truly up.

"It's been hell, it really has," said Murphy. "Jason [Richards] and I've been working our absolute butts off. We've been playing with a wooden racket while the rest of the field have been playing with the latest carbon fibre composite.

"The new car has not so much evolved from the old car. It's a complete revolution and I can't wait to start working with [it] and feel like I'm driving a really good car again."

All drivers want to win races but the Ford pilots will be increasingly desperate, as will their respective teams, to break the blue oval drought in New Zealand. After two rounds Jamie Whincup's Ford sits at the top of table, with the Holdens of Rick Kelly and Lee Holdsworth breathing down his neck.

Whincup does have some moral support with the likes of Ford drivers Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison and Craig Lowndes hovering just outside the top three.

All they've got to do is stay out of trouble and not take each other out as Lowndes and James Courtney did in Adelaide.

Chief among the Ford challengers are Whincup and Lowndes. Two-time world karting champion Whincup is a big threat as he's keen to improve on his second in the title chase last year.

"It's anyone's game on the day because you never know what's going to happen during racing," he said.

Three-time champion Lowndes is a bit more circumspect in his outlook and has a more clinical approach to the third round of the series.

"Street circuits tend to suit our cars and mentality," he said.

Another fast mover is James Courtney, who's shown some scintillating pace in the past. If he stays out of trouble, and on track, he'll be in with a great chance to break the duck for Ford this weekend.

Now that Garth Tander's crew has fixed his car's front, and his total dominance at the non-points scoring round at Australian Grand Prix Melbourne in winning all three races, the defending champion's form is an ominous sign for the Ford fans.

It'll be a bit of a homecoming for local driver Kayne Scott, as not only is he racing in the black Team Kiwi Racing car, he's also having a lunge in the NZV8s. Scott, who lives in Hamilton, where TKR are now based, said: "Our goals are quite realistic. We've just got to go about re-establishing the team on the track."

They say fortune favours the brave and it'll be a brave driver who'll attack the fast, open track from the onset. The new 3.4km Hamilton street circuit is an unknown quantity to all the drivers and in general has been greeted with enthusiasm and praise.

"Build it and they will come" could have been event organiser Steve Vuleta's mantra over the past two years. And come the crowds have, eclipsing Pukekohe's swansong crowd of 132,000. "I wanted to build a circuit that the drivers would like and find a challenge but also something exciting for the crowd," said Vuleta.

Most drivers will revel in the extra width and wide exits on some corners that will allow them to get on the gas earlier and carry more speed on to the straights, reaching nearly 250km/h before slamming the anchors on and pitching the car hard into turn one.

"The width of the front straight is huge," said Murphy, who's the leading Kiwi driver in seventh. "There's plenty of room and anywhere there's really fast bits going into slow corners will have good passing opportunities."

At 12.50 today all the talk stops and there'll be no time for excuses.

SCHEDULE

TODAY

12.50pm: V8 Supercars, practice one

1.25pm: V8 Supercars, practice two

1.55pm: V8 Supercars, practice three

2.35pm: V8 Supercars, practice four

3.55pm: NZV8s, qualifying

TOMORROW

9.30am: Porsche GT3, race one

10:05am: NZ V8s, race one

11.20am: V8 Supercars, qualifying leg one

11.45am: V8 Supercars, qualifying leg two

12.05pm: V8 Supercars, qualifying leg three

1.15pm: Toyota Racing Series, race one

1.55pm: NZV8s, race two

2.40pm: Porsche GT3, race two

3.15pm: Mini Challenge, race one

4.15pm: V8 Supercars, race one

SUNDAY

9.15am: Toyota Racing Series, race two

10.35am: Mini Challenge, race two

10.55am: Airforce Helicopter vs Porsche GT3, one lap race-off

11.30am: V8 Supercars, race two

12.50pm: NZ V8s, race three

1.55pm: V8 Supercars, drivers parade

2.15pm: Porsche GT3, race three

3.25pm: V8 Supercars, race three

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Motorsport: Van Gisbergen a future champ

5:00AM Friday April 18, 2008

By Eric Thompson

ShaneVanGisbergen160.jpg

Shane van Gisbergen

Earlier this year young Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen was given the prize number nine seat at Stone Brothers Racing. It raised a few eyebrows.

The Australia-based team, run by patriotic New Zealanders Ross and Jimmy Stone, has had its faith in Van Gisbergen rewarded with an overall fifth at the opening round in Adelaide.

Heading to the Hamilton 400 Van Gisbergen is the third best placed Kiwi driver, in 13th behind Jason Richards and Greg Murphy on 268 points.

Van Gisbergen's rise into the V8 Supercar ranks has been rapid. He won the CIK karting trophy in 2003, was awarded the Speedsport Star of Tomorrow Formula First Scholarship in 2004, won the 2005/2006 national Formula Ford title and finished second in the TRS series in 2006/07. He made his debut in the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Oran Park last year and immediately showed his potential, earning championship points in five of the seven rounds he competed in.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," said Van Gisbergen. "The intention was to finish the 2007 season in the Team Kiwi car and do 2008 as well. It's come a year early and it's the ultimate opportunity for me and I'm going to make the most of it. SBR have been unbeatable in the past, winning three championships, 2003, 2004, 2005, but times have been a bit lean lately. More to the point, SBR missed out on a round win during the seven years the race was held at Pukekohe and are even more determined to do well this weekend.

"If you win one championship you can afford to relax a bit. But after winning three in a row it takes a lot out of you," said Ross Stone. "With James [Courtney] and Shane and other changes, we've regrouped and we're really confident with good cars and two good young blokes."

Having spent most of his previous racing experience in open wheelers, Van Gisbergen has adapted very well to the big, heavy tin-tops and is making steady progress up the grid.

"The driving styles are completely different," said Van Gisbergen. "There's about three times the horsepower and no aerodynamics. The racing is more aggressive and the cars are physically demanding to drive. They're awesome."

Van Gisbergen is somewhat fortunate that teammate James Courtney has been with the team since 2006 and can be used as a sounding board. "James is really good to learn from and he's really open. It's really helped for me to be able to ask him for help so we can both move forward," said Van Gisbergen.

As Van Gisbergen's confidence grows race by race, it's not such a far-fetched thought that he might pick up a podium place before season's end. "We used last year more as a learning curve to get used to the cars and circuits. It'll be tough this year and the whole field will be very competitive. But I'll be hoping to step it up and hopefully be up there at the end of season," said Van Gisbergen.

In a relatively short time Van Gisbergen has gained the respect of his peers. For a long time people have known he's quick in a car and that's something you can't learn or be taught, it has to be instinctive. There's no doubt he can drive a car very fast.

"Shane has this natural ability to drive a car at pace," said current points lead Jamie Whincup. "He's with a great team at SBR and Ross and Jimmy [stone] will be able to really help him out. There's no doubt if he keeps his head he'll be up there in the next three or four years."

Another driver impressed with Van Gisbergen is Whincup's teammate and three-time champion Craig Lowndes. "Having raw speed is one thing but to have your head about you is another thing," said Lowndes. "I had a good battle with him at the Melbourne Grand Prix up until he made a mistake to let me through, up until then he'd been driving within his ability and was being sensible."

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Motorsport: Wheeling up for the real deal

5:00AM Friday April 18, 2008

By Eric Thompson

V8s, don't you just love'em! The joy of the V8s is that what you see on the telly is not that far removed from what's parked in the driveway.

Whereas Formula 1 is so far removed from the wheels of us mere mortals, it may as well be a Scalextric game played by the Gods. F1 cars look like paper darts, and they're not driven, they're programmed.

The Hamilton 400 fires up today and over the weekend 162,000 petrolheads, and a fair few of the just plain curious, are going to experience the magic of V8 Supercar racing. These bellowing behemoths are going to be manhandled at speeds up to 250km/h around streets usually used for getting to work or going shopping.

We can relate to not only the cars but also the roads they'll race on.

...

V8 "Supercars" is a silhouette series, not a production stock series. So nope you can't buys such cars.

And I'd like to know what "mere mortals" would take the punishment of the Eau Rouge, Turn 8, 130R in an F1 car without any preparation.

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V8 "Supercars" is a silhouette series, not a production stock series. So nope you can't buys such cars.

And I'd like to know what "mere mortals" would take the punishment of the Eau Rouge, Turn 8, 130R in an F1 car without any preparation.

Fu##en Me.

I'm a Mere Mortal, Rayden chose me to fight in Mortal Kombat to save the world from the evil sources of Shao Khan....

And so what if i turned into a dragon when i was fighting him, the main point is that I beat him fair and square....

But someone sounds excited that the V8's are visiting Sheep country.

Up and comming talent?

Shane Price in a couple of years along with Holdsworth and Davison.

They are the one's i have earmarked.

Tip for the

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V8 "Supercars" is a silhouette series, not a production stock series. So nope you can't buys such cars.

And I'd like to know what "mere mortals" would take the punishment of the Eau Rouge, Turn 8, 130R in an F1 car without any preparation.

Fu##en Me.

I'm a Mere Mortal, Rayden chose me to fight in Mortal Kombat to save the world from the evil sources of Shao Khan....

And so what if i turned into a dragon when i was fighting him, the main point is that I beat him fair and square....

But someone sounds excited that the V8's are visiting Sheep country.

Up and comming talent?

Shane Price in a couple of years along with Holdsworth and Davison.

They are the one's i have earmarked.

Tip for the race?

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V8 "Supercars" is a silhouette series, not a production stock series. So nope you can't buys such cars.

And I'd like to know what "mere mortals" would take the punishment of the Eau Rouge, Turn 8, 130R in an F1 car without any preparation.

Fu##en Me.

I'm a Mere Mortal, Rayden chose me to fight in Mortal Kombat to save the world from the evil sources of Shao Khan....

And so what if i turned into a dragon when i was fighting him, the main point is that I beat him fair and square....

But someone sounds excited that the V8's are visiting Sheep country.

Up and comming talent?

Shane Price in a couple of years along with Holdsworth and Davison.

They are the one's i have earmarked.

Tip for the race? Andrew

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V8 "Supercars" is a silhouette series, not a production stock series. So nope you can't buys such cars.

And I'd like to know what "mere mortals" would take the punishment of the Eau Rouge, Turn 8, 130R in an F1 car without any preparation.

Fu##en Me.

I'm a Mere Mortal, Rayden chose me to fight in Mortal Kombat to save the world from the evil sources of Shao Khan....

And so what if i turned into a dragon when i was fighting him, the main point is that I beat him fair and square....

But someone sounds excited that the V8's are visiting Sheep country.

Up and comming talent?

Shane Price in a couple of years along with Holdsworth and Davison.

They are the one's i have earmarked.

Tip for the race? Andrew Jones

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V8 "Supercars" is a silhouette series, not a production stock series. So nope you can't buys such cars.

And I'd like to know what "mere mortals" would take the punishment of the Eau Rouge, Turn 8, 130R in an F1 car without any preparation.

Fu##en Me.

I'm a Mere Mortal, Rayden chose me to fight in Mortal Kombat to save the world from the evil sources of Shao Khan....

And so what if i turned into a dragon when i was fighting him, the main point is that I beat him fair and square....

But someone sounds excited that the V8's are visiting Sheep country.

Up and comming talent?

Shane Price in a couple of years along with Holdsworth and Davison.

They are the one's i have earmarked.

Tip for the race? Andrew Jones will

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V8 "Supercars" is a silhouette series, not a production stock series. So nope you can't buys such cars.

And I'd like to know what "mere mortals" would take the punishment of the Eau Rouge, Turn 8, 130R in an F1 car without any preparation.

Fu##en Me.

I'm a Mere Mortal, Rayden chose me to fight in Mortal Kombat to save the world from the evil sources of Shao Khan....

And so what if i turned into a dragon when i was fighting him, the main point is that I beat him fair and square....

But someone sounds excited that the V8's are visiting Sheep country.

Up and comming talent?

Shane Price in a couple of years along with Holdsworth and Davison.

They are the one's i have earmarked.

Tip for the race? Andrew Jones will win

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Fu##en Me.

I'm a Mere Mortal, Rayden chose me to fight in Mortal Kombat to save the world from the evil sources of Shao Khan....

And so what if i turned into a dragon when i was fighting him, the main point is that I beat him fair and square....

This means what exactly.

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>

^ Were 6 posts really necessary.

I guess he wanted to be clear you don't miss the post

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Whereas Formula 1 is so far removed from the wheels of us mere mortals, it may as well be a Scalextric game played by the Gods. F1 cars look like paper darts, and they're not driven, they're programmed.

I. Love. This. Quote. So. Much.

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Well, as expected the race was a bore....for the first 10 laps they were behind the safety car after Russell Ingall, the man telling everyone it was going to be carnage, got squeezed, massaged, and tangled at turn 2, which in turn had half the field nose tailing into each other....then on the restart Paprizzi nosed head first into a wall...so the restart lasted 5 seconds....then after that it was follow the leader to the finish, and the only thing on track deciding places was the tyre bundle at the chicane which had a few loose bolts hanging out ripping the sidewalls out of tyres and puncturing cars.

Was getting so bad, I was more interested in watching the Japanese suck water out of cracks in the track surface at Motegi to try and get the Indy Car race started.....

Guess I'll watch the first five laps again tomorrow - sure to be more carnage... :P

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Fu##en Me.

I'm a Mere Mortal, Rayden chose me to fight in Mortal Kombat to save the world from the evil sources of Shao Khan....

And so what if i turned into a dragon when i was fighting him, the main point is that I beat him fair and square....

This means what exactly.

Well it means that I (A.K.A) Bro. is a mere mortal like Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Jax, Sonya, Kitana and Rayden in mortal Kombat and if Shao Khan came down with Motaro Sindel and Ermac I am positive that i can beat them all in a Straight Fight.

And im sure that no p**sy f1 corner is going to phase me out as i will be going over 200 miles an hour flat stick Eau Rouge at Spa or Pouhan at the same track.

It shows how much guts and determation that your Bro. has.

also 6 posts was absolutely necessary for the occasion.

Nah just jokin the computer just played up on me at that particular time. :lol:

post-2509-1208671031_thumb.jpg

post-2509-1208671175_thumb.png

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