Dumbrell: Dunlop Series drivers need a benchmark

  • Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 03/05/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

A mixture of youth and experience in the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series is what makes the category tick, according to two-time Champion Paul Dumbrell.

The Seriesis renowned as a breeding ground for rising V8 Supercar talent, where past main series heavyweights race alongside the future champions of the sport.

Dumbrell - who first won the category as an up-and-comer in 2002 before taking the title last year as an accomplished racer and Bathurst 1000 winner - believes the racing between young and old allows the rising stars to assessthemselves againstproven winners, while the older drivers stay 'race fit' and give something back to the next generation.

"It's great to be able to look and see if you can win or be competitive in the Dunlop Series, you can actually go in to the main series and be very competitive," he told v8supercars.com.au.

"Whereas, when I did it 13 years ago and won the series quite convincingly, I then went straight to the first race of the main series and qualified last.

"The benchmark wasn't really there and you were never really sure about how you were going to go."

Throughout 2014 and the 2015 season to-date, Prodrive Racing Australia's Cameron Waters has challenged Dumbrell for the series title.Waters now leads Dumbrell by 76 points in the title chase after the Perth SuperSprint event.

Co-driving for the second time in the Pirtek Enduro Cup with Prodrive this season, Waters feels finishing in front of the 2012 Bathurst winner shows he meets the standards of the main game.

"Dumbrell has obviously been in the main series and won races - he's done like 300 starts or something," he explained to v8supercars.com.au.

"I'm obviously trying to benchmark myself off him and if I'm beating him, then I'm doing a pretty good job.

"The goal for the year is to beat him all the time and if I do that, the championship should look after itself, hopefully."

2014 Mike Kable Young Gun Todd Hazelwood- who is in his second full year in the category - also finds havingexperienced competitors in the Dunlop Series is an advantage.

"The ex-main series guys are going to be competitive day-in-day-out, and if you're not on your game, you're going to be behind them,"the 19-year old said.

"It is definitely a good yardstick - that's the level you need to be at and if you're not at that level, that's something you need to work towards. But if you're in front of them, that's only ticking boxes."

As well as Dumbrell, current Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 champ Paul Morris, and Andrew Jones regularly compete in the Dunlop Series - but this weekend in Perth the young guns prevailed, with Waters taking three from three race wins, Jack Le Brocq earning his first top three finish and Chris Pither taking the ARMOR ALL Pole Position Award after qualifying.

The Dunlop Series celebrated 100 rounds this weekend at Barbagallo Raceway.

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