Minda Motorsport teammates Cameron Waters and Sam Walter had mixed experiences during the Coates Hire Ipswich 360 round of the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series at Queensland Raceway.
For Waters his journey north continued to follow the trajectory of his Townsville experience, with dramas during the opening race from which he found it tough to recover. Walter meanwhile saw a return to form that has him itching to get to Winton for round five.
“I had a fantastic weekend,” the Tasmanian admitted. “In the end that opening race drama at Townsville was just the tonic I needed to find my mojo. It turns out the key is to be more aggressive in the opening laps, rather than sit back and wait for the field to sort itself out – more like I drove during my previous DVS seasons.”
Neither driver managed to find a great rhythm during practice, but overnight the Minda Motorsport team improved both cars ahead of qualifying, although for Walter, the key that unlocked his weekend was his attitude once racing started.
“I just attacked, simple as that, and it paid off.”
Sadly for Cameron Waters, that approach didn’t work so well in the Linde Material Handling Commodore after contact with Rodney Jane mid-race.
“I didn’t qualify as well as I would have liked, but got an okay start, although I dropped a wheel off at one point and fell back a bit. After that I caught Rodney Jane pretty quickly and went for a move into turn five. He protected and I bumped him a little, so I backed off, but he was slow to get back on the throttle, and I got into him again and turned him around. From there it was all hard work after a drive through penalty put me to the rear again.
“From that point on it was just a matter of battling back through the field, but after two incidents like that now in successive rounds, it’s hurt my confidence a bit. It’s nice that we’re going to Winton next which is a circuit I’ve done plenty of laps around, and it’s our test track, so we’ll do a session there before the round and hopefully I can find the speed I had in Adelaide and Perth.”
Whilst Waters was struggling to find form, across the other side of the garage, teammate Sam Walter was all smiles.
“It’s going well,” he beamed. “Couldn’t be better.
“Unfortunately qualifying didn’t go according to plan, but by race one the team had improved the car, and we started our climb through the field.”
Off the 12th row, Walter quickly moved forward, taking five cars on the opening lap. “Controlled aggression,” he laughed. “Seriously that’s the only change since Townsville, and it paid off. In the past I waited during the opening laps to avoid the carnage and let the field settle down.. sadly that strategy didn’t work, so I went for the approach I took in the past, and pushed off the line.”
It was an approach that paid off handsomely for the Blackchrome Sports & Workwear Commodore pilot, Walter moving forward to 16th in race one, 12th in race two and a season best eighth in race three.
“Not a scratch on the car and 15 passing moves during the weekend, I’d say that’s a pretty good result!
“Now it’s off to Winton, a circuit I’ve done more miles on than any other, and a circuit I actually look forward to racing on, and after this weekend, I can’t get there soon enough.”
The fifth round of the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series is scheduled for the Minda Motorsport team’s test track at Winton from August 23-25; tickets are available now.