Perth: Short, sharp & sandy

Next week we make the journey west to Barbagallo Raceway for the Perth SuperSprint, the fifth race meeting in the 2018 Supercars calendar.

Similar to Tassie, the Barbagallo circuit is one of the shortest at 2.42km which means we’ll see some super quick laps and the return of the new qualifying format that was introduced recently in Tassie.

It’s a track that Craig “Lowndesy” Lowndes has seen success at in the past, with more race wins here than anyone else, 16, accounting for a large proportion of his 106 career race wins.

“The Perth track is very unique, it’s an exciting little track in that we lap under a minute, something that we have to be very conscious of,” said Lowndesy.

“We will go back to the new qualifying format so hopefully that will alleviate some of the issues with track congestion and make for some exciting viewing.”

Twenty-eight consecutive top eight race results in Perth, dating back to 2006, is a current streak Lowndesy will hope to continue in 2018.

Lowndesy’s top eight finish rate is so strong that even an electrical problem and a start from the back of the grid didn’t hinder him last year when he made some sensational passes to finish in eighth position on Sunday afternoon’s race.

The track, being low grip yet with high tyre-wear, causes some unique challenges for setup.

“You need a well-balanced car; it’s very unique down through the bowl, across the back section, so it’s imperative that you have the balance set perfectly to get onto the back straight – this part proves to be very important for your lap time,” Lowndesy said.

Barbagallo Raceway, located in the outskirts of Perth, features sand traps and is typically very susceptible to the elements.

“This one is a challenge because of the sand; the elements can really play havoc on it. When the wind gets up and blows sand over the track it changes the track grip so that’s something we need to be very mindful of throughout the weekend.

“We’ll just need to keep an eye on the wind direction and the sand that comes across.”

2018 has been kind so far, with a pole position, two podiums including a race win and some fast racing, and Lowndesy goes to Perth keen to continue this momentum which has him fourth in the championship standings.

“The new Commodore has proven to be very good at all tracks so far,” Lowndesy continued.

“So now, we’d like to maintain where we are. We’ve had a great couple of rounds with Tassie and Philip Island so far and we just want to capitalise on that.

“I think Barbagallo will be a good circuit for us. It’s where we’ve had great success, so it’d be great to maintain where we are, and I’d love to close gap to leader, that’s our main objective.”

Right on CL, let’s crack in and get it done 🙂