Latest news from the world of international and New Zealand motorsport.
Tasman will debut two VEs at Adelaide
March 1, 2007, 3pm. Tasman Motorsport, which will field Kiwis Greg Murphy and Jason Richards in this year’s Australian V8 Supercar Championship is one of three outfits which will have two new-model VE Holden Commodores at this weekend’s season-opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
The team has beefed up its technical department, and Richards says "it’s an extremely exciting time for Tasman Motorsport, and V8 Supercars in general”
Richards, the current Adelaide street circuit lap record-holder, tested Tasman’s first VE at Winton last week.
"First time out of the box the VE Commodore was pretty impressive,” he said. “It was quite responsive to the changes we made (and) to be as good as it was is a real credit to the entire team, which has put in a huge effort to get us to Adelaide.”
Richards was circumspect about this weekend.
"We'd like to win the race, no questions, but our main focus is on making sure we come away with good results from both races and set up our season. We've had a strong package there in the past, as shown by our lap record last year, but we haven't had the real results we were looking for and that puts the entire team on the back foot for the rest of the season. It's proved to be our Achilles heel.”
Richards says the three key elements are “making sure we are as cool as possible inside the car as the forecast for Friday and Saturday is in the high-30s, which will make it nearly 60 degrees inside the car; for the team to do its best to ensure the car's reliability, and for me to stay out of trouble. If we can do that, then it's possible to set up a great year.”
Murphy says he’s happy to be joining Tasman “in what promises to be a most exciting chapter in its history.
"The team has been blazing away and putting in some strong performances over the last couple of years, and things will only improve with the strong team they have assembled.
"Jason's shown good speed in the past and we'd like to think we'll be able to start with that and improve if we're to get up into the top five or three and winning races.
"Our goal is to win races and establish the team amongst the series' top teams. It's not going to be easy but we have set our goals and want to achieve them."
Photo caption: Tasman’s Jason Richards, pictured after getting our of the new VE during testing last week, says he and Greg Murphy will be out to build strong points tallies at Adelaide this weekend.
Pirelli wins WRC tyre contract
March 1, 2007, 3pm. Pirelli has won the tender to be the official tyre supplier to the 2008, 2009 and 2010 FIA World Rally Championships.
It will supply a control tyre in all events of the championship to all competitors with a four-wheel drive rally car (both the WRC and Production WRC categories).
Pirelli isn’t represented in the 2007 WRC with all works teams choosing BF Goodrich tyres.
The BF Goodrich brand, owned by Michelin, was the only other manufacturer to tender and the decision means all works teams will have to switch tyre suppliers next season.
Among the requirements of the tender is that the successful company must develop a single tyre for tarmac rallies capable of being used in both wet and dry conditions, a move that is expected to see a significant reduction in cornering speeds on dry tarmac stages.