John Bowe: Spectacular track, but chance of controversy
Repco Supercars Championship
By John Bowe
I used to love racing V8 Supercars at the Gold Coast - I even won a few!
As well as the races, the winners of the Pirtek Enduro Cup will also be decided this weekend -and whilst it is only a recent addition to the scene, it is growing in its impact.
Just think of it - two drivers together competing in three of the toughest events of the year. Winning it will be a fine achievement.
Based on current form I imagine Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell [leading the points by 30, from Chaz Mostert/Paul Morris] will be favourites - but on the streets of Surfers Paradise anything can and probably will happen...
The Gold Coast track is spectacular to say the least, but every year the kerbs can be difficult and as far as I am concerned takes some gloss from the action of the racing.
Having drive through penalties for kerb transgressions can ruin a drivers' race, not to mention a Championship. These cars are not pin-point accurate, and they are so close together that vision is sometimes compromised but I understand the best solution available will be used over the weekend.
But kerbs aside, this weekend's racing will be fascinating.
It's the Dunlop soft Sport Maxx sprint tyre only this weekend, but each car has an eight set allocation, so there should not be any shortage.
How long each car and driver can keep the tyres in their operating zone will be the real test, though.
V8 Supercars has now mandated Dunlop's stipulated lowest tyre pressure,17psi, to try and avoid tyre damage from starting pressures too low.
Some teams were starting as low as 10 pounds in some cases, which is like playing tyre Russian roulette!
Triple Eight has been the benchmark on the Dunlop hard control tyre to date - Jamie's lead in the Championship reflects that - but there are a number of others who are capable of great soft tyre life, BJR and FPR among them.
Three-hundred kilometres each day is a tough call around that track, with no room for error anywhere, lots of heat and draining concentration, too.
The winners will be deserving, that's for sure.
The fuel drop rules have been changed too ... butin reality, there will be so many safety cars that fuel may not come into play. Strategy will though - that's the bit that will keep me glued to the seat.
Spare a thought for all the teams who have had damaged cars to repair and get ready in the past two weeks. These blokes are unsung heroes, they all show such dedication and commitment that they deserve a medal, I reckon.
See you all on the Gold Coast.
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.