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FEATURE: Lowndes and Waters lap QR

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Tuesday 16th August, 2011 - 1:09pm

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Josh Waters and Craig Lowndes in their respective machines will tackle Queensland Raceway this weekend

Josh Waters and Craig Lowndes in their respective machines will tackle Queensland Raceway this weekend

This week’s Coates Hire 300 at Queensland Raceway will see the 2+4 format return to the V8 Supercars Championship.

The V8s will be supported by the Australian Superbike Championship at the Ipswich circuit – the first time that the Superbikes have joined the V8s at the ‘Paperclip.’

In a special lap comparison feature, V8 Supercars driver Craig Lowndes and QBE Australian Superbike rider Josh Waters takes you for a detailed lap around the six turn, 3.12km circuit.

In terms of lap times, the 165kg, 210hp bike laps around 1.4s quicker than the 1355kg, 635hp V8 Supercar around QR – but how do they achieve those times? See below for an insight from Lowndes and Waters.

Turn-by-turn: A Queensland Raceway analysis from the two and four-wheel perspective

Turn 1
Lowndes: We run 5th gear into turn 1 and aim to brake at the end of the merging kerb between the pit lane and race track. The limiting factor here is the bumps,it’s a very bumpy area. The middle of the apex of turn 1 also has another series of bumps that can upset the car quite a lot if setup is not spot on. There’s a short run between turn 1 and 2, full throttle without changing gears.

Waters: The bike is really unsettled going into turn 1. It moves around quite a bit and it’s hard to get right. I try to hit the inside kerb with my knee, that way I know I can pick up the throttle smoothly.

Turn 2
Lowndes: Turn 2 is definitely one of the most difficult, it’s an off-camber turn with a series of difficult bumps. Some drivers will try to take a different line through here, but it is traditionally a corner with slight understeer and exit oversteer.

Waters: The track is pretty rough here so you need to be smart. If you try to make up too much ground on the entry then you’ll lose it on the way out. The exit is crucial as it fires you onto the back straight.

Turn 3
Lowndes: The run down the back straight is flat out, you’ll hit a few bumps before braking hard on your own brake marker. The car has to ride these bumps otherwise you risk locking a brake. It’s down to second gear here and a good overtaking point. The entry is tight but opens on exit.

Waters: I brake just after the 200m mark for the entry into three, going from fifth to second gear from the run on the back straight. To get this corner right you need to drift out from the apex and stand the bike up nice and early so you can get on the power.

Turn 4
Lowndes: The run down to 4 is pretty simple and back hard on the brake again. It’s the first left hander of the circuit so the car will have a bit of understeer as the right front tyre will probably be not up to temperature.

Waters: The first of the double-left handers will see us go from fourth to second gear. Again it’s a place where you canseem to make up time but you will more than likely lose that advantage on the way out.

Turn 5
Lowndes: You can take this corner in second or third gear, depending on preference. Short shift or carry the throttle here to maximise speed and stability on exit, a small bit of understeer is normal.

Waters: It’s a short burst to turn 5 and I aim to hug the inside ripple strip as close as possible when turning in.

Turn 6
Lowndes: The braking point into turn 6 is another good passing opportunity. Some take a traditional line, others will drive in a V-Shape. Good power down is essential as the car wriggles and bucks around here. It’s a big wheel spin corner and hard on the rear tyres. Grab the gears and quickly and you’re crossing the Start/Finish line before you know it.

Waters: This is the final corner and sets up another straight so you have to get it right. It’s a bit like turn 3 in that you can run it in too fast and find yourself wide of the mark. If you get your braking right then you are able to ride smoothly through the corner and stand the bike up early. If I look down at the dash and see a low 1:09 lap then I know I’m in the ballpark.

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