Betta Electrical Team Brock has put the disappointments of Sandown and Oran Park behind it to concentrate all its efforts on attaining the holy grail of Australian motorsport - victory in the Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst 1000.

With early-season pacesetter Jason Bright's hopes of winning a championship all but dashed, the team has abandoned its steady, conservative approach in favour of all-out attack this weekend at Mount Panorama. Nothing less than victory will be acceptable for Bright and co-driver Paul Weel, who will pilot Bright's ultra-consistent #50 car.

"This is worth at least as much as the championship," said Bright, who won the Bathurst 1000 in 1998, "It does a hell of a lot for your career and would be pretty good compensation for letting the championship slip out of our grasp."

"We're going there to win, to stand at the top of the podium," Weel agreed, "Our test at Winton last week was a fantastic indicator of the progress we're making with the car and we fully expect to be on the pace. This is the pinnacle of Australian motorsport, it's my sixth time there and after leading the race last year when a tyre blew, I'm ready to take a step up."

However, Weel added that, over the duration of such a long race, an element of luck needed to come into play.

"I hate saying it because I believe you make your own luck, but it's one of those places that if a variety of factors don't go your way on the day, you're realistically going to struggle," he said.

Bright said that Team Brock could have the best strategy, but their plans would go out the window if a safety car was called in the final 30 laps.

"There's definitely an element of luck to winning at Bathurst but, having said that, you need to make sure you're in contention at that point," he pointed out, "We have certain qualities that will work in favour, such as good race pace. There's a couple of cars that have been a bit quicker in recent races, but we think our strategy will put us in the frame."

Piloting Team Brock's #16 car and looking for a top ten finish will be experienced Bathurst campaigner Greg Ritter and V8 newcomer Marcus Marshall, who has just returned from a successful trip to the US where he made an impressive debut in the strong Porsche Cup at Indianapolis. Marshall, who races Porsche GT3s in the Australian-based Carrera Cup, finished sixth and seventh in two races in a 22-man field in support races to the US Formula One Grand Prix.

"It was a pretty awesome event, and it's given me a good shot of confidence just before Bathurst," he said.

Marshall has previously only driven a Formula Ford at Bathurst and said he was keen to test himself against a track many rate as one of the world's toughest.

"The commitment level needed is just huge if you want a good lap time," he admitted, "You can drive within yourself and do okay, but we're looking to finish in the top ten and that means we've got to push it hard."

Ritter, who has finished in the top ten every time he has finished at Bathurst, said he was focused on a repeat performance. With his girlfriend, Erin, due to give birth nine days after the race, however, he plans to concentrate all his efforts on Bathurst this weekend, before his attention is diverted by more pressing matters.

"One thing at a time," he smiled, "We'll get Bathurst out of the way and, hopefully, Erin won't go early."

 

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