Aug 15, 2011
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Trans-Tasman Superbike battle set for Queensland Raceway
This weekend's sixth round of the QBE Australian Superbike Championships will feature a Trans-Tasman flavour with two of New Zealand's most experienced 1000cc racers set to take their grid positions at Queensland Raceway.
Nicholas Cole and James Smith are making the journey to compete and are eager to get amongst the action in front of the large crowd that the combined V8 Supercars and ASBK meet is set to attract.
Though he has plenty of race victories under his belt at home, Cole's only Australian experience has been at Phillip Island, a fast, sweeping track that is worlds away from the demanding technical nature of the 3.12km, 7-turn Queensland Raceway.
The decorated racer admitted that learning the track in just a few sessions would be tough but has taken a smart approach to setting up his bike for the event.
"I'm really looking forward to racing at Queensland Raceway, sure, it will be a challenge to get up to speed but I'll be learning lap after lap and hope to put in a good performance during the races," said Cole.
"The Mansfield track in New Zealand is quite similar to Queensland Raceway in that it has hard, bumpy braking areas and fast acceleration out of corners. I've set my bike up for this track in the hope that the baseline will be similar when we come over next week."
Cole said he was looking forward to racing a few familiar faces in the ASBK paddock, with a handful of Aussie riders competing in the domestic New Zealand championship.
"Guys like Dan Stauffer and Robbie Bugden always race hard and give 100%, that's part of the reason I'm heading over," continued Cole.
"There's not too many opportunities to race over here in Winter and we envy the Aussie riders being able to race year round with such good weather.
"It's a professional and respected championship, and racing in front of the crowds for the V8 Supercars is just an added bonus."
Cole (Kawasaki ZX-10R) and Smith (Suzuki GSX-R1000) complete a 28-rider field for next week's event which will feature both Superbike and Prostock competitors battling for points.
Riders will take to the track on Friday morning for Practice and Qualifying 1, with Qualifying 2, QBE Superpole and Race 1 following on Saturday. A brief warm-up will take place before Sunday's Race 2.
Along with ASBK and V8 Supercars, the Coates Hire 300 will feature racing from Fujitsu V8 Supercars, Formula Ford and Aussie Racing Cars.