How good is it to have motorsports well underway now in 2014?
If you're like me, you've got a big appetite for autoracing and weekends like this weekend coming are the ones to look forward to. NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and V8 Supercars. How good is that?!
This weekend, the V8 Supercars contest the second round of the series, with 3 races at the short and fast Symmons Plains Raceway. With the exception of 2000-2003, Symmons Plains has held a championship race every year since 1969. The circuit is 2.41km (or 1.5 miles), with 7 tight turns, a banked hairpin and a relatively high average speed, which means that the Tasmanian circuit provides extremely close racing. Passing isn't easy, but the nature of the circuit means cars stay grouped together for much of the race.
Triple Eight remain the benchmark team in the category, with 2 wins from 3 in Adelaide to begin the season. Jamie Whincup was well on his way to claiming victory in the third race before encountering problems, whilst Craig Lowndes finished on the podium for all 3 races to take the championship lead.
As for the rest of the pack, things seem to have been blown wide open. The Holden Racing Team took a hard earned win in the final Adelaide race and have made a lot of noise regarding their strong 4 car lineup and a big development push during the off season. Tekno has shown they can still compete with just a single car and that Shane van Gisbergen is still one of the best drivers in the series. Brad Jones Racing took a clean sweep at Symmons Plains last season and Fabian Coulthard sits 2nd in points after Adelaide.
And how about Garry Rogers Motorsport and Volvo? Scott McLaughlin's victory in the non-championship Grand Prix support has got everybody talking. The young Kiwi is an incredible talent and the GRM S60's have been sorted right off the bat.
The other talking point at the moment is two bits of gossip regarding V8 Supercars and the USA. The first, is that the American round is set to return in 2015, this time paired with a second event at another circuit. The second, is that Roger Penske is looking to get involved in the series. The Captain has one of his trucking companies on board as a new for 2014 sponsor of the factory-Ford team and there has been open talks regarding them entering the series as a competitor. All of this is still rumours at this stage, but exciting rumours indeed.
Bring on the racing!
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