Drivers' Quoteboard: Saturday

  • 19/05/2013
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p1: 

"Obviously both Red Bull Australia cars are extremely quick.

“We found a gain (last event in Perth) and we had to see if it would carry on for this weekend, which it has. We’re confident now we can challenge for the front – that wasn’t the case early in the season. 

“Now we feel we have competitive cars we can have a crack, but like last year, like the year before, we won’t be cruising from here on in, we’ll keep our heads down and try to keep improving the cars… Finally now we’ve got a car that can challenge for wins.”

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p2: 

"We made adjustments to the cars between the races, I wasn’t happy with the car at the end of the first race, we had too much understeer. Because we ran so long we put on fresh rears and we had too much understeer, so we adjusted our thinking and made a rear spring change. The car was better in the late part of the first race. 

"The reason we pitted early was I struggled with the rear tyre. I burned it up too fast but you live and learn so we’ll be smarter tomorrow. I was more satisfied with race two than race one." 

Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p3:
"I was in the prime position for the start of that first race. It was an awesome feeling to get that first pole and listening to the national anthems was an emotional moment. It was great to see all the Australian fans and I wanted to do my best but we had horrible rear grip in the first part of that race.

"Anytime you get pole, stand on the podium and spray champagne is a great day though. We've got a little bit of work to do but our lap speed is not too bad. We've just got to make it a bit more consistent.

"We had to stop early in the last race to jump Webby (Jonathon Webb) so obviously their tyres were better as the race panned out and I was a little bit on the defensive towards the end of the race but, all credit to Shane (Van Gisbergen) and Webby, there's not a mark on my car and there's not a mark on theirs so we were playing pretty fair. They're on form and you've got to strike while the iron is hot and they're doing a fantastic job."

Mark Winterbottom, Pepsi Max FPR, p6:
“Today was one of the hottest days I’ve ever felt in a race car but to the team’s credit they did a lot of things between the races to ensure we were much cooler in the second race. It was a tough day and by the end we probably were sixth-fastest and we finished sixth so we just need to work on the car for tomorrow. It is one of those tracks that exaggerates slight handling imbalances so we are probably not far off where we need to be but it looks like we are so that’s something we’ll work on overnight.”

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p8:

"I'm really enjoying the circuit, it treats us very well with car the way it is at the moment, I can't believe I'm saying it, but I'm a little frustrated to finish eighth in the last race.

"We ran sixth the whole time and sort of had it in the bag and ran out of fuel on the last couple of laps and it was just enough for two to sneak past.

"We knew it was going to be tight with that race length, one lap shorter we would have been laughing, so I don't know why they have to push it so far.

"It's going to be a tough one tomorrow and we're going to have to treat it as a bit of a fuel race and save fuel, which will make it a bit tougher for us.

"On a positive, the car is really good, we went a little bit the wrong way between races with the setup and learnt a lot from it. The weekend from a learning point of view has been the best we've had and I'm pretty stoked to have got a sixth and an eight, and what was nearly a sixth and a sixth."

Will Davison, Pepsi Max FPR, p9:  

“It is a bit disappointing today as I really thought we would be strong than qualifying in the race given how well things went yesterday in Practice. The balance in the heat was poor and it was physically a very tough day with a cool suit and drink bottle failure so I cooked myself pretty badly in the first race and I am feeling pretty ordinary right now. The team did a great job to fix all those issues in the really short break which enabled me to finish the second race but we have work to do tonight.”

David Reynolds, The Bottle-O FPR, p11:
“I qualified terribly today but raced really well so it was frustrating. We need to work on that qualifying pace as my race pace was good and in the first race I had so much grip and pace it was really enjoyable to drive. For the second race thing didn’t go as well as I think we didn’t quite get the tyre pressures right. The ultimate lap pace was better, we just didn’t have the tyre life to go with it.”

James Moffat, Norton 360 Racing, p14:

"Qualifying for the first race wasn't great. We were struggling with some car balance issues and when you add the five grid place penalty on top of that (for a Practice incident with Jonathon Webb) it was always going to make it a hard race.

"We improved the car and our speed was very, very strong. With the issues we're having, it makes it difficult to overtake, but the car is very strong in terms of its balance and the speed it achieves in the race. We had a slow pit stop, but to come back to 16th was encouraging.

"The second race, starting from 10th, I literally drove 110 percent the whole time. It was flat out, and it was really competitive out there. I feel we dropped the ball in the pits again and lost some spots. It's funny, I'm a little frustrated at finishing 10th, but at the same time, you have to sit back and see what the team is achieving at this early stage of the Nissan Altima."

Michael Caruso, Norton 360 Racing, p15:

"We had a poor performance in Qualifying, but we soon realised what that issue was.

"My pace in the second race shows that we are getting on top of the car. I had the third fastest lap time so the speed is there. 

"It's just frustrating. All year, I've felt that we're pacey, but unfortunately for one reason or another, I'm having dramas. 

"I think it's clear what we need to work on with the car, and there's other areas off the track that we need to work on. We've got time after this weekend to get on top of it by Darwin and I'm sure we're going to do that."

Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p16:

"We actually did something quite different with the strategy with the tyres, because we had a really understeery car all day today.

"We struggled all day with that and had to do something out of the ordinary with the tyres to try and compensate for that, which isn't ideal.

"The car was good for a really small window of the race, but not good for enough of the race, so we'll probably end up heading towards where Rick is, he's had an awesome run today in qualifying and in the race, so we'll look at where they are head towards that." 

Alex Davison, JELD-WEN FPR, p17:

“It was not a very good day today as I really struggled to find a good car balance in both Qualifying and the races. In the second race we were slightly more competitive and I made up a lot of ground early but we probably didn’t get the strategy right as in hindsight we stayed out too long. It is a day to forget and we will reset and go again tomorrow and hopefully have a better day after a big debrief tonight.”

Chaz Mostert, Wilson Security Falcon, p19: 

“After Qualifying this morning we finished 19th and 17th so did not quite get the most out of it. The times were so close from where we ended up to 12th place; there was nothing in it. The first race was pretty good with a few guys going for the big dive bomb up into turn one after the start. We lost a few spots but kept trucking on. The pit stop went well with the DJR boys doing a great job and we got the Wilson Security Falcon up to p13.

The second race we took a different strategy but it seemed everyone else did the same. There was a bit of weaving and jostling at pit entry and I tagged the back of Todd Kelly as we ran into to the pits. It knocked us around a bit and we dropped back a few positions. The car was good though and I am hoping we can back it up with another Top 15 tomorrow.” 

Lee Holdsworth, IRWIN Racing, p20:

“The race track is incredible and it’s obviously a world class facility.  I’m surprised with the crowd that we’ve got here this weekend, I think it’s fantastic.  The support for V8 Supercars over here is really strong and I didn’t know there was such a big following. But they all follow it on TV and are happy that we’re here; and so are we.

“If I wanted to go on a holiday I think the place I would want to go is America and out of all the places I’ve been this is the best. I feel in my comfort zone here and Austin is actually a really nice city and I think it rates up there as one of the best just behind New York. “

Tim Blanchard, Wilson Security Racing, p24:

“We went the wrong way in Qualifying which made our day tougher than it probably needed to be. For the races we reverted to an earlier set up and the #17 DJR Falcon was much improved, in fact its pace was quite good. In the first race we moved the Wilson Security Falcon up eight spots to get into the Top 20, so I was pleased with the pace and the cars performance.

In the second race, I just was not aggressive enough in the first 10 laps and did not make up enough positions before the Pit Stops. It hurt our track position and although we got by a few it was too far into the race. Overall I think we do have a good race package but I’ve just got to get the Qualifying nailed to give us a better start position tomorrow.”

Tim Slade, Heavy Haulage Australia Racing, p26:

“It’s been great to come to the track which is a brand new facility and its definitely got lots of different aspects to the track which makes it interesting.  The people have been really nice too and have been accommodating.

“It seems as though the people have been enjoying the racing and as always the category has put on a good show and hopefully we’ll do the same tomorrow.

“It’s my first trip to America, I was looking forward to getting over here and Austin seems like a cool place.  We’ve done some pretty cool stuff since we’ve been here – I visited Allen’s boots and visited the Texas Longhorn’s college football stadium.  That was impressive because it seats more than the MCG and it’s just a college football team.”

Maro Engel, SP Tools Racing, DNF:

“The day didn’t go to plan for us as a team but we will be working really hard to try and have a better day tomorrow.

“The track itself is a great venue and the facilities are state of the art. The track has very unique corners which you probably don’t find anywhere else.  It is definitely an interesting challenge with lots of corners for us and I certainly enjoy driving here.

“It’s been great to see how well we’ve been received here and I think the crowd here today was pretty good. It’s good to see so many Americans come along and to see so many Australians travel such a long way.”

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