WPS Racing has revealed that it is prepared to put one of its Ford Falcons into the hands of V8 Supercar rookies Alex Tagliani and Marcus Marshall for this season's two endurance events.

While WPS stablemates David Besnard and Craig Baird put in extra weights sessions to get in shape for the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000, the team was confirming that Champ Car stars Tagliani and Marshall would share its second machine, after deciding that the best way to attack the long-distance double-header was to pair its two championship regulars in the lead entry.

"This is a great opportunity for 'Bairdo' and I to have a real crack at a decent result," Besnard revealed, "It's by far the best pairing I've ever had for the enduros, and that's sure to show in a few weeks time at Sandown. We work well together and are good mates, so there are no egos getting in the road. I'm sure we'll give each other the best possible shot at securing something special. Both of us are already speaking about it, and the overall goal is to be there at the end and get a good result."

Both drivers have shown they're capable of producing the goods in a race situation, with each having had to fight back from poor qualifying positions during the early stages of this season. However, Besnard has recently found his rhythm, while Baird's consistency and patience in traffic has helped him throughout most of the opening eight events.

"Our engine package is coming along nicely, and we've shown in the past that, once the field evens up a bit during racing, we always move forward," Kiwi Baird confirmed, "We've been getting a lot more consistent lately, and the way the guys replaced my engine in the last round at Oran Park under difficult circumstances showed the entire crew is really starting to gel.

"In these endurance rounds, the last thing you want to be doing is sacrificing the major strengths of each other while developing the car's set-up. 'Bezzy' and I have compatible driving styles and the understanding between us is also a major positive - just as I'm sure the understanding between Marcus and Alex will be a lot stronger from driving with each other out of the one workshop with Team Australia this year."

The competitive spirit of drivers always tends to peak at this time of the year as individuals, yet to sample the sweet taste of success, can draw inspiration from some worthy performances at Sandown and Bathurst. Both Besnard and Baird are now focusing their energies on just such a scenario.

"We've been trying a few different things, moving away from the traditional set-up of the cars, but, in the long run, we'll be happy to drive whatever is going to give us the best possible chance of success," Besnard admitted, "That'll be the fun part, as 'Bairdo', myself and our engineer, Ian Walburn, put our brains together to nut out the best possible options. Then it's a case of developing the appropriate race strategy and make sure we make no mistakes."



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