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V8 Supercars ITM 500 2015 Preview

V8 Supercars ITM 500 2015 Preview

Dave Conole looks at this weekends round of V8 Supercars.

The V8 Supercars series returns to New Zealand’s north island circuit of Pukekohe Park, near Auckland this weekend, for the ITM 500.  Saturday will see two sprint races with Sunday showcasing a 200 kilometre feature race.

Series leader Mark Winterbottom, in the Pepsi Max Crew FG-X Falcon will be eyeing off his rear vision mirror, as his tally of 2599 points is under threat from a resurgent Craig Lowndes in the Red Bull Racing Australia Commodore.

Partnering with Steve Richards at the Gold Coast and Bathurst rounds, Lowndes will be buoyed by a third and fourth in Queensland and the win at Mt Panorama on the 11th of October.

Lowndes is currently second in the championship, with 2341 points, with third placed David Reynolds (see separate story) in the Bottle-O Racing team Falcon threatening Lowndes’ total with a gap of just sixty points between them. “Frosty” will arrive at the track with nine wins for the year, four ahead of his team mate, the injured Chaz Mostert, and five ahead of Lowndes.

Pukekohe is located approximately 40 kilometres south of Auckland, in the north west raches of the north island. It’s very much like Melbourne’s Sandown, in that the primary use is for horse racing.

The circuit is currently 2.91 kilometres in length, shortened from the original 3.5 km with an extension and chicane extending it from a distance of 2.84 km. The track is regarded as a fast one to drive, with the qualifying and race lap records just over a second apart at 1:02.55 (Jamie Whincup, 2013) and 1:03.72 (Scott McLaughlin, 2014).

This year’s event sees the V8s race here for the tenth time.

In other motorsport news; David Reynolds joins Erebus Motorsport and Toyota 86 Racing Series prize pool confirmed.

Dave Conole

About Mat Coch 208 Articles
Mat is a contributor and looks after the motorsport content for the website. Based in Sydney but widely travelled, Mat Coch began reporting on Formula One in the mid-2000s. In the last decade he has contributed to websites and magazines globally and in 2014 he founded Velocity, Australia’s only monthly motorsport magazine. Passionate about motorsport, Mat is an expert on Formula One.
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