Drivers' Quoteboard: Race Nine

  • 07/04/2014
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Mark Winterbottom, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p1: 

“That was awesome. The tyres were a bit different in every stint but my Pepsi Max Ford was so hooked up I was strong all day. At the end I just managed the gap and it is a really good result for us. It was nice to enjoy the closing laps with such a big lead and it was great to share such an important home win with all the fans. To get a win with my new engineer Grant (McPherson) is a big confidence boost and this weekend we worked really closely and this success will provide great confidence throughout the team and pays everyone back for their hard work.”

Jason Bright, Team BOC, p4: 

“The car was really strong and we had great tyre life. We had to compromise our strategy a bit so we were out of sync with Fabian (Coulthard), which meant we had to be pretty lame at the end of each stint as the tyres wore down. The car was really strong though. I had a tough time at the end of my second stint and dumped a bunch of spots so I think we could have been a little bit further up if we didn't get tangled up with all that at the end of that stint but other than that the car was great. I thought we got it right at the right end of the weekend. Considering we were having some real trouble this weekend, to come out of here with the second most points out of everyone here behind Frosty for the Championship it’s not bad at all.”

David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing Team, p5:

“Qualifying was okay but I had a good start and passed quite a few people early. Our car pace and a few other things played into our hands and we finished fifth, which was pretty good. I am happy with the weekend and I feel like we are really starting to head in the right direction. It was great to see Mark win and have success for everyone.”

Chaz Mostert, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p6: 

“It was fantastic for the team to win today and the result is a great reward for everyone. My Ford was a rocket ship and we went from 15th to sixth, which is credit to the guys working on my car. We had a bit of an up and down weekend but today we were quick and it would’ve been good if we qualified higher as we could’ve contended for the podium. I feel we’ve learnt quite a bit this weekend and heading to New Zealand I think we will be in contention there if we sort out our qualifying pace.”

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p7: 

“We survived and if that was our worst weekend for the year then we’d be happy. Disappointing is the word that I think sums up the weekend. We came in to the round with high hopes and obviously some great momentum after Tasmania. We didn’t quite get on top of the car setup so we struggled more than we expected. We made some pretty big changes from the car off the back of Race One and Race Two yesterday and it gave us a good direction but we still have a lot to learn from when we go through the data. A little frustrating but that’s motor racing – you get on with it and now we’ve got three weeks to prepare before New Zealand.” 

Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, p8: 

“It was good to move up from 14th in qualifying, but while it was nice to bag some good points, we’re having some real set-up issues, and that’s hurting us.

“We saw these balance issues and Symmons Plains and we’ve seen them here again. We need to get some work down before New Zealand, and it’s really costing us.

“Last year here at Winton, we were first and second, and this year, we’ve dropped back, so I think it shows how much everyone else is improving.”

James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p9: 

“I’m a bit surprised that we ended up in the top 10. We struggled in the first stint of the race, but our competitiveness really improved in the final two stints.

“We benefited from a few people having dramas, but the important thing is that you’re there to capitalise on those errors. We did that, so that was a good thing for us.

“We had a clean run in the race, but you can see in the results how much our competition has moved forward.

“I feel we have a lot of work to do, but we have a smart bunch of people at Nissan Motorsport to be able to work our way through our issues.”

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p10:

“It’s been a disappointing weekend all round. We battled in the mid-pack today and we were just lucky that a few guys had some issues, which put us up in 10th. It’s tough coming off the back of the Tasmania 400 where we had a strong performance. We’ve got a lot to learn from this weekend and it just shows again how competitive the category is and how tight the competition is. If you miss the mark even a little bit you’re a long way down the pack. They say these moments make you stronger so hopefully that’s the case for Red Bull Racing Australia.”

Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p11: 

"I doubt it would have been even a couple of kilometres over. I felt like I was definitely under the speed but whatever the system is you have to abide by it so it's pretty disappointing. That's life though, you've got to roll with the punches and overall it's been a good weekend. We've had two poles and two podiums so we really can't leave here too disappointed but on the downside we could have finished the weekend a whole heap better than we did. Anyway, that's the way it goes, chin up and onwards and upwards to the next one." 

Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, p13: 

"We had a hard qualifying this morning, it's not ideal to start back in 23rd position around this place because it is so hard to pass.

"We had a good think about it and changed setups for the race, and it was a good improvement to the car.

"It felt half alright for a change to be able to pass some guys instead of just getting stuck behind them.

"We definitely improved the car, and it's given us a bit of info to take away, and hopefully not make the same mistakes next time."

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniels Racing, p14: 

"I'm so proud of the team today, we did a really good job overnight of rectifying the handling issues from yesterday, both for qualifying and for the race.

"EP (Erik Pender) and the guys just thought about it logically, and they gave me such a great car, in qualifying it was as capable as anyone's in my opinion, we started seventh which wasn't too bad.

"In the race I was just really looking after the tyres and just really being cautious to not do anything wrong.

"Look, we were given a penalty, and from what the guys say it was crossing the (pit lane speed) line.

"I took particular care this time, so I can't wait to get the data out of that car and actually have a look at the vision, because I am adamant we absolutely weren't speeding across the line.

"We had the same thing in Adelaide, and we have the data from that, and really in our mind it proves our innocence there as well.

"I'm looking forward to the explanation, because really today it took an opportunity away for us to get a fantastic result, which the team really deserves.

"So promising pace, but really disappointing how the whole weekend played out as far as the sport's concerned from a judicial standpoint."

Lee Holdsworth, Erebus Motorsport V8, p15: 

“There’s plenty of positives to take from the weekend, obviously we didn’t get it quite right today, we ended up 15th, which after a race win (Saturday) is not great.

“But yesterday to have our breakthrough win for Erebus and the first win for Betty was pretty amazing.

“I was glad that I was able to achieve that after what happened last year. It was a massive step forward in 12 months and we ended up top five for the weekend.

“We moved up into the top 10 in the Championship which was our aim for the weekend.

“It’s nice to be back in the top 10. That’s where consistency shows, if you’re in the 10 you’ve had a pretty good run.

“We haven’t had fantastic results, we’ve showed good speed but we’ve missed out on some good results for different reasons, so to be in the top 10 this early in the year is a good position to be in.

“I think we are building on our consistency so hopefully we will climb our way up from where we are.’’

Scott McLaughlin, Valvoline Racing GRM, p16: 

“I have mixed emotions after the weekend. Qualifying for the final race was great with my first pole ever, I will never forget that. I had a good start in the race and lead for a while, the car was really strong. 

“I came into the pit lane and apparently I sped. I didn’t speed across the timing loop, apparently it was by the radar gun. I can honestly say that I didn’t speed or try to speed. It was just unfortunate for the boys in the team.”

Nick Percat, Walkinshaw Racing, p17: 

“We’re really happy with our qualifying pace, we were able to finish in the top 10 in two of the three qualifiers this weekend, but (engineers) Alex, Ty and I need to sit down and work on our race pace.

“The race today was a tough one, we slightly missed the setup window and we were chewing through the tyres a little quicker than what would be ideal, which ultimately hurt our chances of a top result, but we’re feeling happy as a team and it was great to see two of our guys up on the podium this afternoon – hopefully we can join them very soon.

“New Zealand in a couple of weeks should be great. The crowd is always very receptive and passionate about V8 Supercars racing. Pukekohe is an awesome track that requires a massive amount of commitment.

“We’ll work hard over the next couple of weeks, look back at what we did well this weekend and hopefully put all of the pieces together to move forward in NZ.”

Will Davison, Erebus Motorsport V8, p18:

“It was a massive milestone weekend for the team so we took a lot of positive out of the weekend.

“Today was the first little speed-hump with the changing track conditions.

“It was a very difficult race but that’s the way it goes, it won’t be the last time that happens – we just need to understand why and that’s why good teams bounce back.

“It was such an amazing day for the team yesterday but certainly this result today makes sure we’ve all got to knuckle down because it shows how hard it is to achieve those type of results.

“It was a tough day but all-in-all, a really great weekend for the team.’’

Scott Pye, Wilson Security Racing, p19: 

“We just did not have a lot of speed today. I am really not too sure why yet but I’m sure Rowdy (engineer Mark Fenning), Campbell (Little) and the guys will work on it. In the last stint the pace was not too bad but frankly all I did was race Will Davison for 67 laps. It was a disappointing result and even more so given the speed both cars had on Saturday. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure the cars are competitive on weekends when things do change like they have here.” 

Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN, p21:

“It was a tough day as we weren’t fast enough. It is clear the car is quick given the rest of the results today but we need to unlock some more pace from the Team JELD-WEN Ford. We are better than what we ended up with today and we can learn a lot from Mark and the other drivers and hopefully that helps us out in the next event.”

David Wall, Wilson Security Racing, p22: 

“The track obviously changed significantly from yesterday when the car performed really well. We had better qualifying and race pace yesterday which makes the race easier. For whatever reason, today it worked the front and rear tyres very hard and with a very long last stint we were always going to be struggling a bit at the end. I tried not to use too much of the new tyre early on to try and get a bit back at the end but today it just didn’t like it.”

Robert Dahlgren, Valvoline Racing GRM, p24: 

”I wasn’t happy with my performance in qualifying, but we were fairly fast in the races this weekend. I tried to manage my tyres in the third race as I learned the hard way in the second race that they can go away pretty quick. I was penalised for speeding in the pit lane, which cost me a lot. But I take the positives with me from this weekend and I really look forward to race in Scott’s home country in three weeks time.”

Dale Wood, Team ADVAM/GB, p25: 

“We had really good pace but I really wanted to turn that race into a result because I think we could have. Obviously we missed out on a lot of points that you get for the longer races so it’s really disappointing.”

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