ALL POSITIVE AHEAD OF THE OPENING ENDURO AT SANDOWN
PREVIEW: Karl Reindler Racing, Dick Smith Sandown 500 V8 Supercars Rnd#20 (September 14-16), Sandown, Melbourne, VIC
"I'm really looking forward to this weekend," an excitable Karl Reindler admitted ahead of Sandown's opening endurance event for 2012. "We've just come off the back of a two day test at Winton - our first since before Clipsal - and it was very rewarding," the Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing [FDSR] pilot explained.
"We've been so busy all year trying to get the best out of the car on the run, that we've had little time outside of practice to test things we wanted to try, but we did that at Winton, and uncovered some secrets to make the car faster and better in qualifying trim."
Joined by former Championship Series regular Daniel Gaunt for the endurance rounds at Sandown and Bathurst, Karl feels he has his best chance yet of a strong result in the long distance events.
"Kelly Racing have a strong tradition at Sandown - Rick won a race there last year, and Todd was also on the podium. They've also been strong in the endurance races held there in the past. Last year we were off P11 in the main race for the 500 at Phillip Island, and with what we've discovered with the car at Winton, there's no reason to expect we won't do something similar this year.
"I've always said qualifying is the key, and whilst we've been quick in early practice, the car never really seems to progress as the weekend goes on, and the bulk of the field goes quicker. At Winton we tried a few things and we think we've found a quick qualifying setup for the car, so we'll see how it plays out.
"It's a different qualifying format this weekend too. From my understanding, I 'qualify' the car, then Daniel starts his qualifying race from that position. Where he finishes I start my qualifying race, and where I finish, we start the 500.. confusing, but I'm sure it will create a spectacle for the fans at home."
As the warmer weather looms, Melbourne in the spring can provide freezing cold wet conditions, or beautiful warm sunny days..
"In our pre-event briefing the predictions were for rain on Thursday, a dry Friday and Saturday, and a 70% chance of 5-10mm of rain on Sunday, but no torrential rain which is good. We know we have a good car in the wet, but we need a good car in all conditions.
"At Sandown it's all about car compliance across the bumps and the kerbs. If you're unsettling the car coming off, or hitting the kerbs, you're in for a tough day and you have to work your backside off to get a good lap out of the car.
"Strategy too will play a part, whether a four or five stopper will predict who starts the car. Going on historical data at Sandown, tyre degradation is an issue, with somewhere between a 3-4 hundredths of a second drop in pace for every lap on the tyre. With more practice data and a better idea how the weather will play out, we'll obviously choose the strategy that works best, but if we can turn less than 40-laps in a session, we can obviously keep a faster pace.
"We're also fortunate that the Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing team has it's own 'secret weapon' in the shape of our lead engineer Mathieu Galoche. He started his career in Europe working at Le Mans and the big endurance events, so something he knows very well is strategy in endurance racing.
"I'm looking forward to the weekend, more probably than at any time during the year because we've learnt so much at the test session, and I'm itching to get out there and try it. I don't care what the weather throws at us, as long as it's consistent, but for the sake of the fans, I hope it's warm and dry because it is going to be a brilliant weekend of racing."
2012 V8 Supercar Championship 1. Jamie Whincup (Holden) - 2238 points 2. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) - 2237 3. Will Davison (Ford) - 2116 4. Craig Lowndes (Holden) - 2084 5. Shane Van Gisbergen (Ford) - 1634 6. Garth Tander (Holden) - 1527 7. Tim Slade (Ford) - 1464 8. Fabian Coulthard (Holden) - 1432 9. Lee Holdsworth (Holden) - 1286 10. David Reynolds (Ford) - 1179 24. Karl Reindler (Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Holden) - 653 ---------------------------------
2012 V8 Supercar Championship Series Calendar Event 01 - Clipsal 500, Adelaide (March 1-4) Non-champ. - Australian F1 Grand Prix (March 15-18) Event 02 - Tasmania Challenge (March 30-April 1) Event 03 - ITM 400, Hamilton, NZ (April 20-22) Event 04 - Trading Post Perth Challenge (May 4-6) Event 05 - Phillip Island, VIC (May 18-20) Event 06 - Skycity Triple Crown, Darwin (June 15-17) Event 07 - Sucrogen Townsville 400 (July 6-8) Event 08 - Coates Hire Ipswich 300 (August 3-5) Event 09 - Sydney Motorsport Park 360, NSW (August 24-26) Event 10 - Dick Smith Sandown 500 (September 14-16) Event 11 - Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, NSW (October 4-7) Event 12 - Armor All Gold Coast 600 (October 19-21) Event 13 - Yas Marina V8 400 (November 2-4) Event 14 - Winton Motor Raceway, VIC (November 16-18) Event 15 - Sydney Telstra 500 (November 30-December 2)
2012 Dick Smith Sandown 500 - Race Schedule The following times are Australian Eastern Standard time
Friday September 14, 2012 Practice 1; 10:15 - 10:55 Practice 2; 12:05 - 12:45 Practice 3; 14:00 - 14:40
Saturday September 15, 2012 Practice 4; 9:40 - 10:20 Qualifying; 11:40 - 12:00 Qualifying Race One; 14:45 - 20-laps Qualifying Race Two; 15:45 - 20-laps
Sunday September 16, 2012 Warm-up; 10:15 - 10:35 Race (V8SC Series Race 20); 12:35 - 500km (161-laps)
2012 Dick Smith Sandown 500 - TV Schedule The following times are Australian Eastern Standard time
Saturday September 15, 2012 Qualifying plus Qualifying Race One/Race Two; 14:00-17:30pm [Channel 7]
Sunday September 16, 2012 Race One (V8SC Series Race 20); 12:30-17:30pm [Channel 7]
Check schedule (www.v8supercars.com.au ) for 7-Mate, SPEED Channel (Foxtel) and other program times - including BigpondTV which will host each session live.
Karl Reindler is proudly supported by Kelly Racing, Fair Dinkum Sheds, Wilson Security, AstronTech, EMT, Thomson Aviation, Resource Tyre Company, Nash Bros. Civil and Mining Rental, Glass Assist, Herbalife, Manheim, Fitness First, Focus Bikes, Zise and Sponsorxchange.com