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HomeNewsWinton-esque ‘gunfight’ tipped for Taupō

Winton-esque ‘gunfight’ tipped for Taupō

EXPECT a Winton style of Supercars showdown at Taupō Motorsport Park.

That’s the tip from New Zealand motorsport veteran and Supercars driving standards advisor Craig Baird.

An accomplished racer before taking on the gig as Supercars’ referee, Baird believes there will be action aplenty at the ITM Taupō Super400 on April 19-21.

“It will be a gunfight. These boys will be hard at it,” Baird forecast on V8 Sleuth’s recent Race Control podcast.

“It’s not a big circuit, but we have operated categories like A1GP – very fast, very big cars – there.

“The racing for me is probably going to feel a bit more like a Winton, which when I look at all the races over the years at Winton, it’s always action-packed.

“There’s plenty of passing opportunity, there’s certain corners where once you get a little bit of tyre deg, you’re going to hurt down the straight. At the end of the straight, there’s a massive braking zone so that creates a passing opportunity.

“It’s a balance of, part of it is very flowing and then it gets tight and twisty, so there is a little bit of everything. The boys will be busy; I hope I’m not.

“I think it’s actually a circuit that will create some good racing, some good passing opportunities.

“You come off Turn 1 and if you’re slightly off-line or get boxed off-line a little bit, you’re compromised all the way to Turn 5 – and there’s two passing opportunities between the exit of 1 and entry of 5.

“There’s no doubt, I think the guys that have raced there will be at a little bit of an advantage.”

Taupo Motorsport Park. Pic: Supplied

Baird himself was in that bracket, including racing a Ford FG Falcon at Taupō during the 2012 V8SuperTourer season.

“There was plenty of good battles in that,” he recalled.

“They’re the same sized car, very similar in lap time and horsepower, so if it was good racing in that, I can’t see why 24 professionals can’t go and put on a good show.”

Several Supercars drivers have visited the Taupō track in the lead-up, including PremiAir Racing’s Tim Slade and James Golding plus Dick Johnson Racing’s Will Davison and Anton De Pasquale lapping the circuit in Toyota 86 machinery.

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