Saturday, March 3 2007. Adelaide Street Circuit
Race one of two scheduled events was run & won by the Holden Racing Team’s Todd Kelly in car 22. Once again, the team’s lead car/driver combo – car 2 and Mark Skaife – failed to produce the goods. As alluded to in my previous article, HRT should be streeting their competition. They have the pedigree, the technology and all the factory backing they could ever desire, yet time after time, seem to produce a half-hearted effort.
Circumstances do come into play, and there were plenty of adverse circumstances occurring yesterday. The heat of the former Grand Prix circuit, new and essentially untested machinery for many teams, even down to new pitbay positions in the lane as a result of where teams finished last years championship all came into play. Adelaide has a very narrow pitlane with barely enough room for two cars nose to tail at any time, let alone in the heat of racing. At least three drivers were badly baulked by their pitlane neighbours and liaison between teams on pit strategies will need to be ongoing if individual delays in today’s race are to be avoided.
The results from yesterday were nothing if not predictable. HRT, Stone Brothers, Triple Eight, Toll/HSV and FPR. The only real forces in the championship this year, from Bannerman’s perspective, of course. That’s not to say the occasional random element will inject itself, but seriously, this sport is becoming one for only the elite runners. You’re either very, very good at what you do, or you’re an also-ran. Being an also-ran in 2007 isn’t going to be of any benefit to any team or driver relying on consistency for a place in the roll of honour come the final round. Points in this years championship are only awarded down to position 15 on a segmented 1-5, 6-10 and 11-15 scale. With a normal 30 car field at most events, at least half the starters won’t score. Sheep from goats, perhaps? Well, Bannerman has watched this V8 Supercar series evolution over many decades and seen many rule changes. The changes over the last three of four seasons have been good one, for the benefit of the sport, for safety reasons and to sell the sport as a commodity. It’s working well and this years changes are no different. Bannerman calls them refinements and V8 Supercars Australia are rapidly approaching perfection.
On the subject of perfection, Channel Seven has much to learn from Network Ten in presentation and ad breaks. Seven is slipping many more ad breaks than Ten ever did, and whilst their telecast is slightly longer and gives good coverage of the support events on the day, rather than as separate packages long after the fact, Bannerman feels continuity in the viewing is more important than providing support race vision and some of the rather inane chit-chit up & down pitlane between events.
Bannerman says that if you haven’t already chilled the brews and made up the munchies, then it’s way past time you did. Race two of the weekend is about to begin, so settle in for another 250 kms of hard, fast motorsport as only Aussie V8’s can deliver.