WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The V8 Supercars season is well underway as the Holden Racing Team heads just a couple of hours down the road from HQ to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, and on-board the transporter is very special cargo; the Holden VF Commodore donned with a proud tribute to the ANZAC spirit.
For the fourth consecutive year the team has donated the HRT lion and driver logo space to the Returned & Services League to display the famous ANZAC Rising Sun logo. The livery was unveiled at dawn on Wednesday, in the lead up to the Phillip Island event.
This weekend isn’t special for only the Holden Racing Team, the category is celebrating another major milestone as Phillip Island hosts the 500th round of the ATCC/V8 Supercars Championship. While talking milestones it is worth mentioning that HRT still holds the record for the most ATCC/V8 Supercars race wins at Phillip Island – 17 out of 54 races.
Of the HRT drivers it is Garth Tander who has performed best at this track finishing in the top 10 in his last 25 races. He has also had five race wins and been on the podium eight times. James Courtney has not been so lucky at this circuit, he is yet to score a race win, podium or pole position but of course that could all change this weekend.
Changes to his year’s Phillip Island event include a shuffle in calendar dates from November to April and, like the Symmons Plains event, Saturday’s race will be a longer 120 kilometre race and will include a pit stop. So will these modifications make for better racing? It’s hard to know at this stage, but if Tasmania is anything to go by then we can expect it to be another intense, action filled weekend of racing.
FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT
Garth Tander, #2 Holden VF Commodore
“I’m very proud to again have a special ANZAC livery on my commodore for the Phillip Island event. I think it is important because last year there was a lot of celebration around the 100 year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing and this year we want to make sure ANZAC is not forgotten.”
“We have done a lot of different liveries on the cars over the years, but every year we do a tribute to ANZAC and it is certainly one of the proudest thing that we do, so it is very cool.”
“I think changing the format for Phillip Island, like they did in Tassie, is something I definitely like. I don’t think you will find too many people who liked the 60/60 format particularly at Phillip Island on the hard tyre. The finishing positions in the 60 kilometre races was just whatever the order was at the first lap, but now with the 120 kilometre race, some pit stops in there and some tyre degradation, it will certainly make it interesting.”
“We struggled for speed in Tasmania and we have done a lot of work since then as you would expect, but Phillip Island is a very different circuit. We have a few things to sort on Friday in the practice sessions but hopefully we will have a strong car for the weekend.”
James Courtney, #22 Holden VF Commodore
“It’s fantastic to have the ANZAC appeal on our cars again for the fourth year, I think the team has done a good job in evolving the livery. I think it is also great the amount of awareness we have been able to raise and hopefully we have done the cause proud.”
“Like Tassie, we have just the once race on Saturday and I think this worked really well. I think it’s a much better format and I didn’t like the 60/60 races. This format brings the team and the strategy into play and hopefully the racing at Phillip Island will be as good as it was at Symmons Plains.”
“The Phillip Island race is a lot earlier this year and the thing about it is you can never predict the weather there. We will play the cards we are dealt when we arrive, but we have been there in summer when it has been bitterly cold, and equally we’ve been there in winter when it has been quite warm. The weather can change within half an hour there, but the one thing I know is it will still be hot in the car.”
Track Length 4.445km
Average Speed 174km/h
Top Speed 290km/h
Qualifying Lap Record 1.30.6099s
Race Lap Record 1.32.0246s
Event Format Super Sprint
Tyre Allocation 20 – Hard tyre compound only