As best as anyone can figure out, this weekend we’ll be making history in Tasmania as it’ll be the first-ever visit of the Dunlop Super2 Series to the island state.
While the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and its forerunners have been visiting Symmons Plains for a national round since the beginning of time – or at least the last 40 years or so – the second-tier series has never been there, I’m told.
I have been there, a few times, racing Formula Fords in the Australian title 2010 to 2012, and also Formula 3 in 2013, and I like the place … though its simplicity is deceptive, it’s actually harder than it looks to get a decent lap time out of it.
That’s partly because it’s such a short lap and partly because there’s so much traffic, so it’s hard to get a clear lap. It can be frustrating because of that.
After a ‘banker’ weekend at the Clipsal 500, where our focus was simply on making sure we got a decent result first time out in the GoGetta Nissan Altima, I am optimistic we can have a bit more of a go this weekend.
Adelaide demonstrated there’s plenty of pace in the car – we just missed pole – and it’s a really good package, but it also showed up some things we need to trim up for this weekend.
Temperatures were a bit high at Clipsal, so we were losing power as the races went on, but the Matt White Motorsport crew has done a lot of work to help control these temperatures, so it shouldn’t be an issue in Tasmania’s cooler climate.
And while the GoGetta Altima was fast over the lap, caught behind others we found we didn’t have the drive off the corners (we needed) to pass without taking a big risk and we weren’t going across the kerbs as well as I’d have liked either.
So we’ve made some changes for Symmons Plains which we’re confident will make it a faster race car, without losing the strong straight line speed and great chassis balance we had in Adelaide.
Tassie is all about straight line speed along that long back straight but to get that, you need good drive out of the slow hairpin … so that’s the area we’ve been focussing on ahead of this weekend.
Compliance on the kerbs is not as important at Symmons Plains as it was on the Adelaide street circuit, so that is something to work on for future rounds.
We learned a lot from our first hit-out in Adelaide, so I can’t wait to put that into practice across the four races this weekend.
Hopefully the action and entertainment in Super2 will be just as good as the ‘main game’ and the series will be asked back next year.
Meantime, let’s make a bit of history!