Hidden Valley: WPS Racing Friday report

WPS DRIVERS PREPARED FOR THE HEAT THIS WEEKEND WPS Racing's Jason Bargwanna and Max Wilson are pulling out all stops to ensure they remain as cool as possible in the searing Darwin heat at this weekend's fifth round of the V8 Supercar ...

Hidden Valley: WPS Racing Friday report

WPS DRIVERS PREPARED FOR THE HEAT THIS WEEKEND

WPS Racing's Jason Bargwanna and Max Wilson are pulling out all stops to ensure they remain as cool as possible in the searing Darwin heat at this weekend's fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship at Hidden Valley Raceway.

With ambient temperature reaching 31 degrees the cabin temperature of the WPS Racing Falcons neared 50 degrees during today's practice. While the cabin temperature seems extreme both drivers have indicated the conditions are 'bearable' behind the wheel, thanks to the improvements made to the cooling systems over the past few years.

"When we first came to Darwin, I can remember thinking that every time we got into the cars it felt like we were almost going to pass out," said Bargwanna.

"However, over the years the focus has really been on keeping us cool behind the wheel. We now wear a cool suit which flows ice cold water around under our suits, our actual suits have got lighter and more breathable and also the team has fitted more air ducts in the car."

In 2006 the WPS Racing Falcons are both fitted with three 'knaca' ducts to assist with cooling, along with the mandatory TEGA roof duct.

Two of the 'knaca' ducts ensure there is air flow to the driver's helmet, the area just behind the driver's seat and also onto the driver's neck. The third duct assists with extracting the hot air out of the cabin.

Both drivers have two eskies fitted in their WPS Facing Falcons to assist with keeping them as cool as possible.

"I have two eskies in my car, but they are definitely not for keeping the beer cold like most people would use them for up here in Darwin," said Wilson.

"There is one large esky, which is half filled by a solid block of ice and connected to a pump which flows cold water through cool suit which I wear under my suit. The other esky is holds eight litres full of ice cold water, well it starts of ice cold anyway, for me to drink."

V8 Supercar Australia, the controlling body for V8 Supercar racing in Australia, has also implemented a heat policy to assist with combating the sweltering conditions. Should the conditions reach an unacceptable level all teams may be required to remove the passenger side front window of their cars and replace them with a window safety net, as already installed on the driver's side.

Wilson set the 12th fastest time during this afternoon's practice session with Bargwanna 15th. Mark Skaife set the fastest time ahead of Rick Kelly and Mark Winterbottom.

Qualifying will be contested tomorrow morning followed by the opening race of the round in the afternoon. Sunday will be highlighted by a pair of 48-lap races, the first of which is in a reverse-grid format.

-wps-

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