Motorsport: Murph's Musings round 9

By Greg Murphy

Greg Murphy arrives for the UBET re-launch at Carriageworks. Photo / Getty Images
Greg Murphy arrives for the UBET re-launch at Carriageworks. Photo / Getty Images

Supercars teams and drivers are now fully focused on the three upcoming endurance events on the calendar with Sandown now just over a week away.

They very easily turn your championship on its head just because there is 300 points on offer in one race. In the sprint rounds if you have a bad day you can still recover the following day and that is what the guys at the front of the field do pretty well - they can manage a bad day pretty well. It can all come down to one mistake or one piece of bad luck in the endurance rounds though.

The Red Bull Racing guys have started to take a bit of a stranglehold on the series over the last three or four race meetings but the endurance stuff can really set them back if it doesn't go to plan.

It looks like it is going to take some bad luck to get other teams and drivers back into this fight.

The other big factor at these rounds is the involvement of co-drivers. The main game drivers have to share their cars with someone who isn't involved in a fulltime capacity.
I think the top contenders are looking pretty good.

There are a couple of interesting ones though. Mark Winterbottom has got Dean Canto this year, who is very experienced and usually does a very good job, but there is a big height difference between he and Frosty. I'm sure they won't see it as an issue but it can be. They'll iron out a few of those things at test days this week probably.

Shane Van Gisbergen has got Alex Premat, who is very experienced but he hasn't done much this year. He has got a test this week ahead of Sandown but if you compare that to Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell that combination has more strength to it and consistency. I wouldn't say it is perfect for Shane. Premat can come out and do the job though and he is in a team like Triple Eight, which provides amazing resource and they are so smart. They will be doing things that other teams wouldn't have even thought about to make sure he is as comfortable as possible. If it was Premat in another team without much driving under his belt you would be really concerned but Red Bull Racing is pretty thorough.

The news that has had some impact on the sport this past fortnight is Holden's decision to provide factory support to Red Bull Racing and not the current Holden Racing Team from next year. The Walkinshaw Group has been struggling with HRT for a number of years now and if you combine that with the restructuring and changes in the manufacturer world with everyone eliminating their manufacturing on Australian soil it made it obvious to most people this decision was on the cards.

It is great that Holden is staying in the sport but it is a shame they are only able to support one team and if it is only one team they didn't really have a choice - it had to be Red Bull Racing. It will be interesting to see where Walkinshaw goes now. They are very positive about moving forward and still being in the championship so let's hope that is the case.

- NZ Herald

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