WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Holden Racing Team (HRT) heads to Symmons Plains in Tasmania this weekend for the second event of the V8 Supercars Championship, and they head there still holding the record for the team who has the most race wins in a row at the circuit – seven across 1995, 1996 and 1997.

Holden could break another record this weekend as the first manufacturer to win 500 ATCC/V8 Supercar races, and the likelihood is very high since Holden has won the last 10 races at Symmons Plains. Holden currently sits on 499 wins after a clean sweep of three races at Clipsal, no other manufacturer is even close to this record.

Twelve is the number of race wins HRT have had in total and it was Peter Brock who achieved the team’s first win in 1995 – coincidently he achieved this on his 50th Birthday. Brocky also still holds the record for the most pole positions at the track even though there has been an increase in the number of pole positions on offer on each weekend of the modern championship.

Current HRT driver Garth Tander will be celebrating his birthday while in Tasmania. SING BIRTHDAY SONG HERE He has enjoyed much success in Tasmania winning seven races and starting from pole position four times. Teammate James Courtney is yet to win a race or start from pole but has come very close with a best finish of 2nd in Race 1 2014, and has started from 3rd on the grid twice, both in 2015.

2016 is the 44th time the ATCC/V8 Supercars Championship has visited Symmons Plains. The championship has raced there every year since 1969 with the exception of the years 2000 to 2003.

Saturday’s race format differs to last years’ with the 60/60 races abolished and replaced with one longer 120km derby. Another element of difference this year is that teams are only allocated the Dunlop soft tyre compound for the weekend’s racing.

FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT

Garth Tander, #2 Holden VF Commodore
“I will be celebrating my birthday in Tassie but unfortunately my family won’t be there with me as Leanne is away racing herself, but hopefully both of us will have something to celebrate when we get home on Sunday night.”

“The car is feeling better this year and the Symmons Plains track is probably somewhat of a hybrid between the AGP circuit and Clipsal. Clipsal is obviously a street circuit but you need a lot of driver traction there which you also need out of the hairpin at Symmons Plains. The final corner at Symmons Plains is fast and flowing which is quite similar to Albert Park.”

“From a development point of view the work we did at Albert Park will certainly help us in Tasmania, and hopefully our car speed will be where it needs to be. Racing is quite close at Symmons Plains so we need to qualify up the front.”

“From a driving point of view Symmons Plains is very short and there is really only three main corners, but they are three corners that require a different driving style and a different set up philosophy. So getting the most out of the car is a challenge but that is what makes it enjoyable.”

“Soft tyres is certainly a much better fit for Symmons Plains, there is very, very low tyre degradation on the hard tyre, in fact none. The soft tyre will help spice things up because they will introduce some degradation and that will make strategy more interesting.”

James Courtney, #22 Holden VF Commodore
“Symmons Plains hasn’t been that kind to me, I’ve had a couple of seconds and thirds but I’m yet to win a race, so hopefully this year we can change that. We ran a lot of different stuff in the car at the Grand Prix and that all seemed to go well. We are happy with the changes we made and I feel good now heading to Tassie. I’m looking forward to seeing how those will affect the car at this track.”

“We have run the soft tyre at this event before but not on its own for the whole weekend. The soft tyre lasts really well at this track, it’s not like some other places we race where you really have to manage the tyre. I prefer to race on the soft tyre, so I think the change to only softs this year will be good and will suit me well.”

“I think the new race format is also going to be a lot better this year, I am really happy with that change for this event. I think it was a bit average before, particularly for the fans to watch, with the 60/60 races as they were so short and there wasn’t much passing.”

TRACK FACTS

Track Length: 2.410kms
Direction: Anti-Clockwise
Average Speed: 167km/h
Top Speed: 270km/h
Qualifying Lap Record: 50.9676s
Race Lap Record: 51.4713s
Race Format: Super Sprint
Tyre Allocation: 24 – soft tyre compound only