Canto encouraged

  • 20/11/2015
  • By Bruce Newton
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Dean Canto has finished his first practice sessions in the Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-AMG E63 24th fastest, but encouraged to be within sight of team-mate Will Davison.

Canto, who last contested a sprint round of the V8 Supercars championship at Phillip Island in 2007, has stepped into rookie Ash Walsh's Wendys Benz for this weekend's WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint to provide guidance on set-up to the team.

He will also be giving feedback to his Prodrive Racing Australia endurance team-mate David Reynolds, who moves to Erebus in 2016 to replace Davison.

"You give Dave a fast car and he will drive it," said Canto. "As a driver you adjust to whatever you are given.".

"I am sure Dave will adjust to whatever the car gives him but we like the same things so I can give him some feedback and give him a foot up for next year."

Canto described the Benz as "quite different" to drive compared to the Prodrive Ford Falcons he has raced since 2008.

"I've been dealing with the same front geometry and same brake package and ergonomics and all that, so its good to hop into something different.

"It's totally different the approach to the corner, the braking phase into the apex and also driving out the torque curve is quite different in the engine. So just trying to get your head around that and put it together takes a little bit of time.

"It was a good experience there are a few corners where I was easing into it. I am not here auditioning for a drive, I am here to help the team and give them a direction. My input is more about getting the car better than my personal benefit anyway.

"It's not a bad car to start with, I was certainly comfortable."

Canto felt the car was quite good despite the difficult damp and greasy conditions. He set a best time of 1min33.8909, around 0.6sec behind Davison and 1.835sec off session fastest Scott Pye in the DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon FG X.

Fellow sub Chris Pither, who is replacing Andre Heimgartner in the Super Black Racing Falcon FG X, was 25th fastest after an incident-free familiarisation session.

Canto said he was excited to be racing in his first sprint round since 2007.

"It's cool," he said. "Its good to get in and do a full round and not share the car with any one. I actually get to race against Davey (Reynolds). I have been sharing cars with him for the last four years.

"It's a good experience, I get to drive another car, experience another team and hopefully get a good outcome for them."

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