While Brad Jones Racing was ‘rained out’ on its scheduled test day – again – last week, Team BOC #8 engineer Andrew Edwards is still confident for the Winton 360.
“That’s three out of the last four!” he said of cancelling the test, due to wet weather.
“It certainly would have been nice to test,” Edwards said. “Our list of test items is getting longer each week and we're really looking to regain some of the competitiveness we had early in the year.
“In saying that, I still feel confident our package can challenge for wins at Winton.”
Edwards discussed the Winton 360 with v8supercars.com.au, ahead of this weekend’s three-race 60/60 Super Sprint event.
V8supercars.com.au: What are the main characteristics of the circuit?
Edwards: “In general Winton is a fairly tight and twisty track. Typically the corners are quite long. There's also some change of direction which is important. Compared to other circuits it's quite easy on the brakes. The surface has a medium level of grip, which can become quite high as rubber goes down over the weekend.
“It's also a circuit that is difficult to overtake on.”
What is the tyre allocation and what sort of degradation are you expecting?
“We have five sets of soft compound tyres for the weekend. We'll use two sets up in Saturday's 60/60 race, which leaves three sets between two 100km races on Sunday. This would normally be enough (one for each race and a spare set) but the high degradation rate will mean teams will be looking at doing non-compulsory stops.
“I think we are going to see a mix of people who think they can make it without stopping, those putting fresh rears on in the stop, and those fitting all four in one race and going for gold. It's going to be very interesting.”
How will this impact setup and strategy?
“In terms of how this impacts the car setup, obviously high degradation circuits like this put a premium on having a well balanced car that look after its tyres over a whole stint. It's not a case of just putting a whole bunch of understeer into the car to protect the rears either.
“Balance is really what we are looking for, but we will have to trade some outright pace to prolong the tyre life.”
What aspects of the circuit are you expecting to suit your car and what do you have to be mindful of?
“Our car's ability to turn and brake should hold us in good stead at Winton. You spend a lot of time in this phase there, so it rewards that feature more than most circuits.
“The thing we need to be mindful of, will be understanding what is needed for a 'qualifying car' verses a 'race car'. The car needs to rotate quite hard in qualifying, but the race will require something that is more balanced to look after the tyres.”
What are you expecting to be the most important thing to do well this weekend?
“Qualifying is still king in these sprint style races. The races we have won this year have both been from pole.
“However, given the high degradation at this track you can't ignore how the car looks after its tyres over the race. This also means the race strategies for Sunday's races will be critical to doing well here.”
|Full name:||Andrew Edwards.|
|Time with team:||Joined BJR in 2005.|
|Drivers engineered:||Karl 'The Dr.' Reindler, Jason Bargwanna, Fabian Coulthard, Jason Bright.|
|Career highlights:||BJR's start to the 2013 season, in particular winning the JR Memorial Trophy at Pukekohe.|
|Best result at Winton:||Sixth with Jason last year, but we're looking at emulating his 2011 effort (first in the second race) this year.|
|Origins:||Melbourne, 31/10/77. Grew up in Eltham.|
|Outside of racing:||I love hanging out with my three kids Noah, Kai, and India. Having three children under three years old doesn't leave much spare time but where possible I like to head out on the road or mountain bike.|