V8s roar into town
SOME of Australia's high profile V8 Supercars paid a visit to Warwick's Morgan Park circuit to undertake some key testing before the next round of the championship.
The Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz team tested important upgrades to its E63 AMG engines with German driver Maro Engel completing the laps.
Another Queensland-based team, Dick Johnson Racing, also turned out at Morgan Park as the two squads gained special dispensation to test outside the category's designated circuit, Queensland Raceway at Ipswich, which was overbooked.
The Dick Johnson operation tested its recently appointed driver Chaz Mostert, who replaced Kiwi Jonny Reid in the #12 Falcon. Mostert will be making his debut in the topline V8 series at the next round at Perth's Barbagallo circuit from May 3-5.
In an unusual move the iconic squad had used rival Ford Performance Racing factory team driver Mark Winterbottom to test ghd #12 car earlier in the day and also guide rookie Mostert through the test day.
"I tried to give Chaz a few pointers and a few tips but he was pretty quick straight out of the box so he didn't really need too much of my advice to be honest," Winterbottom said.
"He'll be on the pace straight away in Perth for sure. He's a good driver and a good young bloke with no ego."
Winterbottom also praised the Morgan Park layout, saying that it was technical in a few spots and scary fast in others.
The Rebus team, which is breaking new ground by running the Mercedes-Benz entries this season, has experienced a difficult foray into V8 Supercar this season with straight-line speed the predominant deficiency.
It has rushed in upgrades to its MAG-sourced power plants from Germany which were tested on the race car for the first time at Warwick.
Warwick District Sporting Car Club president Bill Campbell said the long 3km circuit at Morgan Park Raceway was similar in distance to most of the V8 circuits except Bathurst.