Caltex Ambassador Craig Lowndes faces a vitally important round at this weekend's Ferodo Triple Challenge in Tasmania as he fights to keep the V8 Supercar Championship with Caltex.
Lowndes currently leads the championship points tally, 30 points clear of his nearest challenger Rick Kelly. Lowndes will be drawing on his experience of Symmons Plains Raceway, where he scored round wins in 1996 and 1998 as he pushes to extend his championship lead ahead of the final two rounds of the season.
Russell Ingall is also a previous winner at Symmons Plains, steering his Caltex Falcon to victory in 2004 when the V8 Supercars returned to the Apple Isle after a five year absence. Ingall will be aiming for a repeat of that performance as he needs a big points haul in order to climb into the championship top three and back-to-back title contention.
The Caltex-backed Team Betta Electrical outfit also sees a change of vehicles this round, as Craig Lowndes hands the team's Bathurst winning chassis to Jamie Whincup and takes to the wheel of a brand-new Triple Eight Race Engeering Ford Falcon. Whincup currently sits fifth in the championship and will be hoping to consolidate his position with his fourth podium of the season.
Jeld-Wen Motorsport driver James Courtney has recorded two podium finishes in recent rounds and will be looking to accumulate points in Tasmania in order to claim a top ten Championship finish in his rookie V8 Supercar season. Courtney will be making his racing debut at the Symmons Plains circuit, but did complete a ride day at the track late last year.
"The new car is very, very good and the team is delighted with the way it has come on," said Lowndes.
"I am extremely happy with the way the new car performed at last week's test day and I am looking forward to using it for the remainder of the championship."
"Tassie was good to us last year and we had a strong car package, the two Sunday races are now 140kms each which will suit the way we set the car up"
"We have not yet had a wet race at Symmons Plains so things could certainly get interesting if we have rain, it is also a track that is semi-difficult to pass on, so team strategy and qualifying position will be the keys to getting a good result."