Against some of the most dominant V8 Supercars of recent years, Minda Motorsport has shown impressive pace during the second round of the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series in Perth. Both Cameron Waters and Sam Walter made solid inroads what is widely regarded as the strongest championship field ever assembled.
Both drivers were competitive throughout Practice and into Qualifying, commenting that it would be a challenging weekend working to extend tyre life on an historically abrasive surface.
“We were comfortably inside the top 10 right through to Qualifying,” Waters explained. “And went a bit aggressive with the way we set up the car for the opening race in an effort to get a strong result to start the weekend. I was comfortably able to stick with the leaders for the first half of the race, but after that the tyres got used up pretty quickly.
“Race two was a reverse grid race (front half of the field), and the points were halved as a result, so we elected to run the same tyres. I knew I’d struggle a little, and didn’t help the situation by locking a right front into the bowl and running off the circuit, but I made it to the finish. Whilst the end result wasn’t what I was hoping for, we learnt an awful lot from those two races, and applied that knowledge for race three to improve our tyre management and move further up the field.
“Off P10 for the final race I gained a couple of spots on my way through to finish eighth and move up the championship order in the process. We’re learning every race, and I’m getting more and more comfortable with every session, and the car is much nicer to drive, so we’re getting closer to where we want to be.”
Minda team boss Bruin Beasley was complimentary of Waters' performance over the wekend.
“Cameron might not admit it, but he put in a pretty impressive drive,” Beasley said. “Consider the budgets that some of the guys who finished in front of him have, and also consider that they’re running the pace-setting Triple Eight, Ford Performance Racing and Stone Brothers Racing cars that dominated the last two seasons of the ‘main game’. Our cars are a couple of seasons older than most of them, and yet the two boys are driving them brilliantly, I was absolutely rapt with the results of the weekend and with what we learnt as a team.”
Whilst the former national Formula Ford champion was celebrating a solid weekend, his Tasmanian teammate Sam Walter too was in a positive mood after another step forward in his return to the category. “It was eight years since I was last at Barbagallo,” Walter confirmed. “So it wasn’t fresh in my memory. Despite that it was a good solid positive learning experience for me.
“I was happy with my Practice pace considering my lack of time in the car, and even through Qualifying we found more improvement. I was sitting in P12 at the mid-point of the session, but I didn’t make the most out of my tyres, which I think is the one important thing I need to work on.
“I had some good dices on track, notably with Casey Stoner in race three, but I have to admit I suffered a bit through races one and two with the tyres.
“The team made some changes to the car overnight on Saturday, and it was much better come Sunday, but there weren’t a lot of overtaking opportunities – not for anyone – so I just had to pick up positions where I could, but certainly I was happy overall with the performance.
“For Townsville – a circuit I last raced on in 2009 – I’ll be in a similar position to Barbagallo, but I will have had more seat time too, so the learning curve shouldn’t be as steep. I’m looking forward to a test session with the car before Townsville where hopefully I’ll learn a few tricks to improve my speed on new tyres.
“All in all, things are going pretty well.”
The third round of the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series is scheduled for the streets of Townsville in two months time (5-7 July).