All To Play For at ITM 400

Wednesday 13 April 2011, 9:20AM
By Little Devil Motorsport


Cambridge driver Nick Ross is confident of another great result in the BNT V8s when he hits the streets of Hamilton this weekend at the ITM 400.

Ross sits just a small step outside of the top 10 field of drivers in 12th place as he enters the final of the seven round season and has a more than mathematical chance to finish on the inside of the elite and elusive group.

Newcomer Martin Short has done well this season and sits ahead in tenth place by but a mere 31 points and doesn't have the experience around the street circuit Ross has offering a distinct advantage. Also with Jason Bargwanna committed to V8 Supercars this weekend there is an added opportunity for Ross to leap frog the Australian in his absence and also steal away his position in ninth.

Ross will have to work hard at Hamilton and do at least a repeat performance of last year, with an average of 85 points per round this season he will need to have saved his best until last as he needs 92 points to get past the veteran V8 driver.

Also ahead of Ross after an official points reshuffle between rounds is Simon Richards, who just one point ahead will be a strong contender for position over the weekend as the final fight for the highest placing engages.

Last year Ross became blocked in the qualification session costing him a starting place outside of the front runners but nevertheless went on to claim three top 10 finishes and sixth place overall at the prestigious event.

This time around the ITM 400 has become the final round of the BNT V8s Championship rather than just a stand alone round and Ross plans to get that quick lap time in and start his weekend from within the front pack of cars and do his best to finish well.

"We qualified there down in 12th last year but still had three top ten finishes so we are looking to do it again this year but start off with a top 10 qual and see what we can do." he said.

Wet weather is expected for the weekend and if it does rain the surface of the street circuit will be very slippery bringing with it some hairy moments for drivers in all categories as they navigate the concrete walled circuit.

For a wet weather specialist like Nick Ross there could be some advantage in that for him and the Concept Motorsport Team.

"The wet weather has helped me qualify well in the past but then a street race is a whole different thing and if it rains it will be greasy from all the oil and muck from the cars that use it day to day. But if we can start off in the top 10 then we can expect a better weekend.

The weekend’s action will begin for the BNT V8s with two free practice sessions on Friday followed by 20 minutes of qualifying at 3:00pm and the top ten shoot-out at 3:25pm.

Race 1 will start at 12:23pm on Saturday with Races 2 and 3 set to go at 9:20am and 1:40pm on Sunday. The first two races will be over 12 laps with the championship finale over 16 laps but unlike previous rounds the final race will not be the full reverse grid format.