John Bowe: Formats and form racers

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 03/07/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Look out Townsville - here we come, this weekend is one of the best events in the Championship. It's a great city, with lots of enthusiastic race fans, car lovers and topped off with beautiful weather. What more could you possibly want?

This weekend's sprint races on Saturday just don't do it for me, just like in Darwin I expect the shorter races will be a direct reflection of qualifying form. This format/tyre selection (hard control tyre) suits the boys from Triple Eight. While that's no bad thing - they have mastered all three.

Unfortunately there are no Dunlop Sport Maxx soft tyres at Townsville this weekend.That's a real shame from where I sit. The limited use of soft tyres made the Sunday's Darwin mini enduro a nail biter - it was a cracker race.

I personally feel there should be a 250k race each day on limited Dunlop Sport Maxx Soft tyres - as was the format in Darwin. The Sunday race in Darwin was one of the most exciting races I've seen in many years - it was all due to the Dunlop Sport Maxx soft tyres.

I ask V8 Supercars - please think about adopting this as the format for the future - please!

It could be food for thought for next year I reckon.If Triple Eight are favourites for the Saturday races (in my opinion) you have to give Van Giz the nod too,His car is totally a Triple Eight car with a hugely flamboyant and aggressive driver aboard who always looks to threaten.

Sometimes it works for him and sometimes it just doesn't, there's never a dull moment when The Giz is on the charge.

The field is genuinely so close and competitive these days that in the shorter non-pitstop races qualifying is almost more important than the race itself. I think it needs to be more than that.

Make no mistake, all 25 drivers are elite, the few tenths that make the difference can be down to a minute adjustment, timing of cloud cover, engineering brilliance or a tiny pinch of extra god given talent.

The margins are so fine - I've been on about this all season. I've never seen a more even/competitive Championshipin my life. The cars are so evenly matched, the drivers are within hundredths of a second and the teams are millimetres apart. The net result is incredibly close racing and the chance of a different winner adds to the excitement/anticipation of the Championship.

Recently V8 Supercars conducted a test of all team engines and there was a two per cent variant in power numbers between teams. That my friends, is why- in my opinion - the racing is so competitive.

That's the reason why the Dunlop Sport Maxx tyre mix has become so important in our spectacle.The (hard) tyres are so robust and every team seems to has a good handle on them - so don't expect too many surprises this weekend.

Who else do I reckon could be in the mix in Townsville?

Well it's so hard to pick, please don't string me up for going out on a limb. I like the consistency of pace with the Brad Jones cars - they have been consistently on the pace and jagged a few wins.

The Triple Eight boys have an awesome record on the Sport Maxx control tyre.I think a couple of FPR Fords will be in the mix, particularly Frosty and Davey Reynolds (who I reckon is due for a win). He has the ingredients in a team that has found good form and pace this year.

You can add Scotty McLaughlin in his GRM Volvo to the list, and maybe even an HRT car or two. James Courtney figured here last year and he's been the pick of the HRT drivers this season.

I think the rest will scramble, doing their best, excelling in their own way but their chances of winning is remote at this meeting, I reckon.

I hope I'm wrong and we get another wild card winner out of the barrel in Townsville - I can't wait!

See you in Townsville.



Follow John Bowe on Facebook. Bowe is supported by Wilson Security, Dunlop Super Dealers and Coates Hire, and competing in the 2014 Touring Car Masters Championship.

Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter