Mark Skaife knows V8 Supercars, and he is starting to get familiar with the team that he’ll drive with in the endurance races – Team Vodafone.
The five-time Australian Touring Champion and five-time Bathurst 1000 winner recently signed with the back-to-back V8 champion team, and he says that TeamVodafone – run by Triple Eight Race Engineering – is more than capable of remaining at the forefront of the field.
“You’d have to put them down as the championship favourites,” Skaife told Speedcafe.com.au
“The level of the team is very high, and as an overall act, you can’t fault them. Two championships in a row is no mean feat, and it is certainly a very good outfit.
“Doing three in a row is bloody hard. There’s no doubt about that, and moving from Ford to Holden in the midst of that is certainly adding a higher degree of difficulty.
“But saying that, they built new cars at the start of last year – building the FG for 2009 – and they got on top of that very quickly.”
Skaife says that despite the major change from Ford to Holden in the offseason, expect the red and silver Commodores to come out blazing.
“I think you’ll find they’ll do the same as last year,” he said.
“In terms of understanding the basics of what makes the car works, they are very good at that.
“There will be little nuances that they’ll need to figure out, the way the car likes to be set-up, and some of those anomalies that are different to the Fords, but again, they get their head around it.”
The first round of the V8 Supercars Championship Series kicks off this weekend in the Middle East at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.