There has been plenty of praise for theCircuit of the Americas from the drivers, with today’s top two complimentingthe style of track and eager to race tomorrow.
Practice’s fastest man Red Bull RacingAustralia’s Craig Lowndes described the approach into Turn One as being likeBathurst, because of the elevation change.
“It's a fun track – you go into Turn One,you try and brake as late as you can but you don’t want to disappear off theother side of it. It’s like a big rollercoaster,” Lowndes said after pullingout the day’s quickest lap, a 1min32.904sec, which stands as the track’s laprecord.
“It’sgot a great mix of left and rights, high speed and low speed, and some greatelevation changes so it’s a fun track. For me it brings back European days offast flowing circuits.”
Lowndes said there were no doubts the carswould be faster still, tomorrow.
Second fastest Will Davison agreed that froma driver’s point of view, COTA was an enjoyable circuit.
“It’s a modern day F1 style circuit – it’sa few elements of that, but it has a few elements through those chicanes wherethere’s not too much finesse and technique going on, you’ve got to be ‘ballsout’ and really carry some speed through those chicanes,” Davison said.
“So you’ve got to be really technical inparts, a bit mad in a few other spots… In the last sector, (through turns) 16,17 and 18, you’re sliding for a long period of time so it’s very easy to make alittle mistake or if a certain car’s not quick in that sector, you’ll be out ofbounds pretty quickly.”
But it’s turn one to be worried about.
“The first corner – good luck to someonetrying to defend you there," Davison said.
“I did a bit of a race run there and followeda car, just sussing it all out and there’s definitely some good opportunity todo some big moves… A lot of people will be pulling off a lot of big moves.
“I think it’ll be exciting – I thinkthere’ll be a lot of switchback stuff going on, trying to defending and runningwide.”
Tander joked they would be taking Turn One 28 wide tomorrow.
"It's easily (the best international track we've raced at)," the #2 driver said.
"itsuits our cars better, it’s got good grip, the cut through chicane is justwild, it’s so much fun! It’s just really great and a lot faster than weexpected... It’s a track of two halves – the track to the cut-through is fast,flowing; and the second half is much more technical with the tyre stuff so Ithink it’s a mix of Abu Dhabi, a mix of Bahrain, it’s not got much Shanghai init. I didn’t really like that one at all – (but) I think it’s easily thebest one we’ve been to.
"I think inthat last sector there’s so much going on in terms of how fast you drive thecar, how technical it is there, that it’s easy to make a mistake in that lasthalf of the lap. It was like the lap of the F1 race here – it was actuallypretty wild watching that. So I think there’s probably about four passingopportunities in the second half of the lap and maybe six if you’re reallydesperate – four in the first half of the race and six in the last two laps."
Earlier in the day, a number of driversspoke to V8 Supercars about their initial impressions of the Circuit of theAmericas.
Tomorrow kicks off with two qualifyingsessions and is followed by two 100km races with mandatory pit stops.