Slade set to race
- By Kassie Gadeke
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Tim Slade didn’t get out for the day’s second qualifying session at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint, but has no doubts for this afternoon’s race with just cosmetic damage to his Freightliner racer.
At the end of the first 10-minute qualifying dash, Slade glanced the wall, his car having to be rescued from the front straight.
The team was hopeful of repairing the Holden Commodore for the second session, with 15-minutes between the two and 10 minutes of the session to get out in – but Slade did not make it and is set start from last on the grid with permission from the stewards.
“I’m not really sure (what happened),” he told supercars.com.
“I just picked up the throttle and basically understeered across the track. It was a bit unusual really, but that was it, I collected the wall and did enough damage that the guys didn’t have time to fix it in such a short period of time in between the two sessions.
“But it’s just bolt on bits there’s nothing major.”
Ensuring the car was repaired properly was the priority for the team, rather than sending Slade on-track prematurely.
“At first they were 50/50 as to whether we’d get it out for qual, then we had a little bit more of a look – have to make sure it’s all right because if you go out there and something breaks that you notice may be damaged, you end up totalling the car, and that’s the last thing you want to do. I think it’s all good for the race.”
Slade was only able to qualify 19th in the first run, so will be buried back in the pack today.
“It’s a bit of a struggle to be honest, both yesterday and today. It’s disappointing but it is what it is,” he said.
“We’re 19th, so it’s not as if we threw it away.
“It’s the last thing you want to be doing, but it’s been a frustrating weekend so far, that adds to it, but we’ll see what we can do in the races.
“Obviously short races, no pit stops, no strategy to get you out of it, so it’s hard to pass – we’ll see what we can do.”
Shane van Gisbergen secured ARMOR ALL Pole Position for both of this afternoon's races.