A lap around Barbagallo, Perth with Marco Ambrose

Barbagallo - Facts, Figures and Track Description The following is a detailed lap of the Barbagallo Raceway to be used as the venue for the VB 300 -- the fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series this weekend. Also find following thoughts, ...

A lap around Barbagallo, Perth with Marco Ambrose

Barbagallo - Facts, Figures and Track Description
The following is a detailed lap of the Barbagallo Raceway to be used as the venue for the VB 300 -- the fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series this weekend. Also find following thoughts, results and memorable moments relating to this venue from both Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall. Ambrose will be returning in his Pirtek Falcon for his third season with Stone Brothers Racing. Ingall is making his championship debut for SBR in the Caltex Havoline Ford after several seasons with Larry Perkins Racing.

BARBAGALLO RACEWAY -- A LAP WITH MARCOS AMBROSE

Barbagallo has never really been kind to me, but hopefully we will change all that this weekend.

The surface of the track is very abrasive, especially on windy days with surrounding sand blowing on the circuit.

The track really offers a bit of everything with tight, hard-braking corners and a 250km-plus straight -- the fact that you actually disappear over the hill also adds plenty of suspense for the crowd.

You head over the start finish line in fifth gear at around 200kph, but your mind is filled with what you are going to do at turn one.

This right-hander is very flat and it is easy to lock a wheel -- any mistake and you can end up bogged in the sand on the outside of the corner. This corner is always pretty spectacular on the opening lap of any race.

This is one big right-hander which shoots you into a sequence of quick left and rights -- you are constantly bouncing off the kerbs setting yourself up for the sweeping left-hander up the hill, pulling a couple of gears as you go.

The left hander is a sweeping double apex up the hill which you basically tackle in third gear.

It is then a short change to fourth as you reach the brow of the hill before turning the car right.

This is where we had a lot of trouble carrying speed last year. The track narrows up on the way out and we always tended to run off the circuit -- I am sure that will be a little different in the BA Pirtek Falcon this weekend.

You then race down the hill and set yourself up for the right hand loop -- this is heavily cambered to the inside and is much faster than you think.

It is important to get through here without locking a wheel and get on the gas as early as possible for the run up over the hill.

Timing is everything here because the rear of the car tends to get away on you if you get on the power too early.

You race up over the hill and hit sixth gear and around 250km just over the rise before getting on the brakes about half way down the straight.

This is a really aggressive stop because you start a gradual climb as you approach the final corner.

Any mistake here and you are into the gravel on the outside of the turn.

It is vital not to hit the kerb on the inside, but it is equally important to bounce off the outside kerb to straighten up the car for the run down pit straight and back into turn one.

A good lap will take you just over 57 seconds -- that's one of the quickest laps in the championship.

THOUGHTS ON BARBAGALLO--..

MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
It is one of the only tracks in the world that I seem to struggle on constantly. I have been there four times, twice in a Formula Ford and twice in a V8 Supercar and I am yet to get on the podium. It is a "bogey" track for me and I desperately want to turn that around this year.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
In 1997 I was in Formula Ford and I was in a qualifying session. I was sitting in about 18th and was just cruising around trying to get a tow. My pit crew thought I was just mucking around, because there is no radio communication, and the next thing I knew my lap board came flying over the pit wall at me while I was one the track. Ironically, that lap was my fastest of the day.

THOUGHTS ON BARBAGALLO--..

RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX HAVOLINE RACING #I have always had a strong fan base in WA and that obviously makes the trip worthwhile. It was a good move that Barbagallo ended up back on the calendar after being a bit "shakey" at one stage. The track is a very good design and undulating. If they threw down a new layer of track it would be one of the best circuits in Australia.

At the moment it is very abrasive and very sandy, which plays a bit of havoc with the tyres after a few laps.

MEMORABLE MOMENT
One year I did what NASCAR drivers say to do and hit everything, including the pace car. I had clipped a wall and was reversing back on to the track, but did not realise the pace car was behind me. I was also leaving the track one Saturday night when some naked guy came running out of the camping area beside the track and tried to hand me a can of VB.

TRACK FACTS -- BARBAGALLO
Venue: Barbagallo Raceway, Wanneroo, WA
2003 Race format: Top 10 Shootout & 100km race (Saturday); 2 x 100km races (Sunday)
Circuit Length: 2.41km
Circuit Direction: Clockwise
Average Speed: 150 km/h
Maximum Speed: 245 km/h (Main Straight)
Qualifying Record: Russell Ingall (2001) 0:57.5199
Shootout Record: Paul Radisich (2001) 0-57.2542
Lap Record: Craig Lowndes (1996) 0:57.9950

WEEKEND SCHEDULE V8 SUPERCARS (All times Perth Local)

Friday
2.30pm-3.05pm -- Practice session

Saturday
9.15am-9.50 -- Practice session
11.30am-11.50am-- Qualifying (Lower 50%)
11.55am-12.15pm Qualifying (Upper 50%)
2.15pm-2.45pm -- Top 10 Shootout
4.10pm-5.30pm -- Race 1 (42 Laps)

Sunday
8.25am-8.45am -- Warm-up
10.35am-11.30am -- Race 2 (42 Laps)
1pm-2.30pm -- Race 3 (42 Laps)

TV TELECAST -- NETWORK TEN
Sunday -- June 8, 2003 (Eastern Standard Time)
1.30pm-2.30pm -- RPM
2.30pm-5pm -- Round 5 V8 Supercar Championship Series

-sbr-

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