Team boss Adrian Burgess believes the luckless Casey Stoner has the ability to become a success in V8 Supercars, should the former World Champion persist with his four-wheel career.
Burgess says time is the biggest factor in Stoner rising to the top, given the fact he has only had four events experience in his first time behind the wheel of a challenging beast even the very best can find hard to tame.
Stoner has on nearly every occasion suffered from early race incidents, having to then fight his way back. He did that at the Coates Hire Ipswich 360 when he climbed through the field to fifth in the final race.
“QR showed a little glimpse of what he is capable of – you could see his potential,” said Burgess in his half-yearly team review.
“Even when you’re a two-time MotoGP World Champion, it’s extremely difficult to jump into a V8 Supercar and be on pace, but he’s definitely got the speed.
“By the last race he’d worked his way to fifth and had the race not been time certain and he’d gotten an extra two laps, he could have won the thing easily.”
Burgess hoped Stoner would persist and be heartened by the wins of Scott McLaughlin and Chaz Mostert at QR as an example of drivers who benefitted from the Dunlop Series and time behind the wheel.
“Guys like Chaz Mostert, Scott McLaughlin and Jonno Webb have shown the benefits of stints in the development category. And I think another season there to perfect his craft would be more beneficial.
“All these guys came into the top category being familiar with the circuits and that’s a huge benefit. I think the importance of track knowledge was shown at QR with how confident and fast Casey was. We know he can drive.
“Learning how the car reacts, how the tyre reacts and all about the set-up, as well as learning the tracks, is what’s been difficult for Casey.
“He’s new to it all and while he’s done a great job in such a small amount of time, I think if he’s honest with himself he’ll say the same things.
“He can do it but I think he needs more time to get himself in tune with the car, the engineers and the circuits. But he’s capable and there is no doubt about that.”
Stoners’ early race issues were a mixture of luck, inexperience and getting tangled up in incidents by default, whether that is his or others doing.
“He’ll clearly be disappointed with the results we’ve managed to achieve and we’re disappointed because we know he’s capable of a lot more,” Burgess said.
“Hopefully in the second half of the season he’ll have a few cleaner races and really show everyone what he can do. He definitely has the talent.”