Hino Track Guide - Perth SuperSprint

  • 04/05/2017
  • By Supercars.com
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Travelling out west has long been a major test for Supercars teams.

Barbagallo Raceway in the northern part of Perth has been a championship stop on numerous occasions since the 1970s.

More than just a logistical challenge of taking the whole series across the country, the Western Australian circuit is renowned for throwing up plentiful challenges to drivers and teams.

Tyre wear at the notoriously abrasive track has long been a talking point, but there’s more to the track than managing your rubber.

Strategy, looking after the brakes and watching the weather have also played a significant role in recent events at the track.

Michael Caruso of the Nissan Motorsport during the Perth SuperSprint,  at the Barbagallo Raceway, Wanneroo, Western Australia, May 06, 2016.

Tyres

The nature of the flowing turns and track surface make Barbagallo Raceway one of the hardest on tyres that Supercars visits.

Last resurfaced in 2004, the brutal bitumen is said to eat up to 0.1 seconds of time per sub minute lap.

Early races in 2017 have indicated teams are still understanding the intricacies of Dunlop’s new compound Super Maxx rubber.

Each car will have 24 Super Softs for the races, with four handed back after Friday practice.

A minimum of two tyres will need to be changed in Saturday’s 120 kilometre race, though high wear rates will likely see all four swapped.

Craig Lowndes won last year's Saturday race on a two-stop strategy, opening the door for identical strategies this weekend.



Fuel

The Perth track with two longer straight sections running back-to-back isn’t renowned as one being high on fuel usage.

However, with it’s short lap, big stops and twisty sections, drivers can make around 20 gear changes per lap.

Fuel is likely to play a larger role in terms of strategy, with a compulsory 120 fuel drop required for Sunday’s 200 kilometre race.

Chaz Mostert Perth 2016

Power

Good drive is required of the cars as they exit the Turn 7 area known as the bowl.

The uphill section is a chance to line up an overtake, but not even good power will help you if the tyres have given away their grip.

Having excellent economy could have a greater consequence, with strategy set to figure heavily during the races.



Brakes

Brakes are set to get the one of the biggest workouts of the season at the big stop on the downhill section of the final turn and at Turn 1 at the end of the main straight.

The two biggest stops back to back one another, while lighter trail braking can be used throughout the twistier section of the circuit.

Bumps around Turn 1 and lots of kerbs can also cause brake lock ups if drivers get aggressive.

Shane van Gisbergen Perth 2016

Setup

Some drivers will tell you it doesn’t matter what you do to a car at Barbagallo, it’s all about the tyres.

However, expect teams to look to find a balance between speed and tyre life throughout the weekend.

Qualifying will be crucial with cars going aggressive on the setup in that area.

But as demonstrated by Prodrive at the previous Phillip Island round, a conservative tyre-saving setup can have huge dividends.

 

Overlooked area

Pitstops

The short lap time and number of strategy variants mean nailing the stops is crucial at Barbagallo.

With some drivers opting to make extra stops last year and stacking still a potential problem for multiple car outfits, servicing a car and getting it out of the lane in a timely manner is vital.

While a good stop can make you some time, getting one wrong can be disastrous at Barbagallo.

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