A Sneak Peek At Hidden Valley

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A Sneak Peek At Hidden Valley

Given it's the middle of winter, it's fair to say the yearly trip to the warmer climes of the Territory has come at a welcome time for many.

But the high temperatures ensure engineers will have their work cut out of them this weekend.

Throw in a reasonably new surface, slow turns and one of the longest main straights in the country and it's fair to say the 2.9 kilometre Hidden Valley circuit will keep most of the teams on their toes.

With that in mind... here's a few talking points for the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown.


The new Dunlop rubber remains a handful for a number of contenders, and that's not expected to change on a recently resurfaced track previously known for high tyre wear.

Everyone will get to play 24 super softs but will need to hand back 4 after Friday practice.

Rear grip will be a must, but expect plenty of pressure loads on the right fronts lap to lap.

Two tyre changes are mandatory for Saturday's 120 kilometre sprint while two pit stops are the rule for Sunday's 200 kilometre slog.


A long straight and high temperatures will ensure the cars drink plenty of fuel over the weekend.

A 120 litre fuel drop in Sunday's 200-kay race is mandatory, but nothing new.

It just depends how well drivers will be able to stretch their final stops.


Anyone nursing an engine deficit will soon get caught out at Hidden Valley.

Speeds top out at around 270 km/h on the main straight.

But getting clean air could be crucial, with engine cooling in the scorching conditions a must.


Turn one will deliver the stoppers plenty of punishment as one of the heaviest corners for brake-load on the calendar.

Beyond that the twisty back end of the track will test brake balance.


By no means hilly like Mount Panorama, some slight elevation shifts will still mean teams will have to have their suspension set-ups sorted.

Turns five and six, and 11 and 14 will help iron out any kinks to ensure good drive and handling.


The clock is ticking with just 15 minutes allocated for a hot lap for Saturday's race.

A 20 minute session on Sunday is followed by a Top 10 shootout for pole.

As with anywhere, grid position counts for everything with Turn 1 a shocker for first lap accidents.

Practice kicks off at 12.10 pm (local time) tomorrow (Friday).

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