V8 Supercars return to Wakefield Park
The roar of V8 Supercars has returned to Wakefield Park today – but not for racing.
The Toll Holden Racing Team is currently braving near-freezing conditions at the Goulburn circuit, conducting a ride day for Sydney-based residents.
Reigning V8 Supercars Champion James Courtney, Bundaberg Racing’s Fabian Coulthard, endurance driver Cameron McConville and Fujitsu V8 Series star Nick Percat are giving a large group of corporate guests and team followers laps around the 2.2km rural NSW track.
While the the track has never hosted a modern day V8 Supercars Championship event, it did host rounds of the Fujitsu V8 Series until 2008 as a stand-alone race.
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Current Stone Brothers Racing driver Tim Slade was the overall winner in the final V8 race at the track.
But even for the Fujitsu V8 Series, McConville says that category has outgrown the track.
“I’m sure it serves a great purpose for club level motor racing here, and they’ve got some good accommodation on site, but for a national meeting, it’s not ideal anymore,” McConville told Speedcafe.com.
“It has quite a few surface changes, it is ridiculously slippery in the wet because of the low ambient temperature. There’s a few rivers running across the track, and above all else, it’s very narrow. I’ve never raced a car here, and a V8 around here makes it feel like a go kart track.
“I think Wakefield Park is not quite up to the level of V8 Supercars racing.
“Having said all of that, it’s a good layout for a race track.
“I like how you come out of the turn one sweeper and into a hard braking area. I’m actually disappointed it’s not dry, because I was interested to see how the ride car would go around there.
“I think it would be quite fun in an open wheeler, but too narrow for a V8 Supercar for it to really be able to stretch its legs.”
Another issue making it difficult for McConville and the Walkinshaw Racing to enjoy the circuit is the 3 degree temperature that the rural venue has produced today …
“I asked the girl in the canteen here if it was ridiculously cold, but she said that it’s mild!” McConville said.
“She said it’s normally colder with some gail-force winds.
“I went out in the car this morning with new slicks. I did five laps and they were still green and shiny. We had to put some slicks on to generate some tyre temperature. Then the rain set in, so we’ve been on wets all day anyway.”
The factory Holden team is using its ‘T2’ ride car to complete the ride day. It is the same car that Australian motorcycle champion Mick Doohan drove at Queensland Raceway last week.