Drivers bracing for record temperatures in Race 29

The sun will again beat down on the V8 Supercars in Sydney today

The sun will again beat down on the V8 Supercars in Sydney today

The V8 Supercar drivers are likely to face record cabin temperatures during a grueling 250km Race 29 of the championship around the streets of Sydney Olympic Park today.

Forecasters are predicting hot and humid conditions to continue at the Homebush venue, with the Bureau of Meteorology expecting ambient temperatures of 37 degrees for the nearby Parramatta.

The Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander described driving in the muggy 35 degree ambient conditions yesterday as “the hottest I’ve ever experienced,” joking that the cabin temperatures – understood to be in the high 50s – were so extreme that they “may have broken the temperature gauge.”

“It was very, very hot in the car,” said the 2007 champion, who was third fastest in the final practice session.

“In half hour sessions you don’t do any long runs so it’s hard to simulate what it’s going to be like in the race.

“It’s going to be very, very hot and there’s no magic pill we can taken in order to be able to last the race. You’re either ready or you’re not.

“From a health point of view I hope that everyone gets through the race.”

All drivers will attack the 74 lap races utilising the assistance of a cool suit, with the reliability of the dry-ice fed water vests looming as vital.

“We all have cool suits and fingers crossed they work,” said TeamVodafone’s Jamie Whincup of how the drivers will deal with the conditions.

“When they fail the drivers get in big trouble as the cool suit keeps your core temperature down so you don’t tunnel vision and whatnot. Without a cool suit you’ve got absolutely no chance.”

“You switch it (the cool suit) off three seconds before you get out of the car and it hits you that it’s seriously hot in there,” added Ford Performance Racing’s Will Davison.

“If your cool suit doesn’t work there’s no way you’ll make it to the end.”

“I think it’s going to be the survival of the fittest,” concluded Whincup. “It’s going to be a good battle.”

Adding to the drama is the forecast for an evening storm that could arrive in the final laps of the race.

Overnight rain, meanwhile, has the field facing the possibility of a wet qualifying session this morning.

The 20 minute qualifying session will get underway at 0925 local time tomorrow ahead of the Top 10 Shootout at 1200 and Race 29 of the championship at 1505.

See below for Speedcafe.com’s Sydney Telstra 500 Race Guide

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