Garth Tander and Mark Skaife will aim to fly the flag for Holden as the V8 Supercar Championship heads to Queensland Raceway – the home circuit of many rival Ford teams – for the latest round of the year.
Defending series champion Tander has won the past two rounds at the much-maligned track outside Ipswich while team-mate Skaife won there in 2000. However, the experienced pair may have to throw the set-up book out the window on Friday if they find that recent resurfacing work has significantly changed the track's characteristics.
“People bag the place – it isn't a circuit with a lot of character – but it is a place that is still difficult to make the cars work on the fast flowing corners, while the bumps have got worse over the years and it's always a challenge,” Skaife said. “With the resurfacing, if the characteristics of the bumps are still there, then it probably won't change things too much.
“If the grip levels are different, then given it's only the second meeting with the new Dunlop control tyre, there'll be some work to do. We'll need to be on top of our game on Friday and tune our car to be somewhere.”
Tander currently lies second in the championship standings, within easy striking distance of leader Mark Winterbottom, and he said his focus was on securing the best result possible from the weekend.
“We're just going to do the best job we can,” he said. “It's always a difficult weekend going to Ipswich because all the Queensland Fords test there, but we've had good speed there the last two years. We're confident going into the round that we'll give them a run for their money, that's for sure.
“The track suits my driving; why, I'm not sure, but even in the GRM years I had really good results there. I wouldn't say I like the track, but it seems to suit my style. You always tend to go well at circuits that you've gone well at previously.
“We've got fantastic results there in the past, but I've been saying all year that just because that's the case it doesn't automatically carry over to this year – you've still got to earn a result.”