Courtney praises soft tyre Saturday race

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 26/05/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

James Courtney has backed the V8 Supercars Commission's decision to switch Saturday's second race at the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin to a soft tyre only run.

The change has come after an analysis of the SuperSprint format on Saturdays, which has seen less exciting racing than the strategy-fuelled Sunday mixed tyre run across 200km.

Teams had already been allocated an additional set of hard tyres to use during Friday's two hour-long practice sessions before the last round at Winton, and now this change to softs for one race on Saturday is expected to further benefit teams, drivers, and fans alike.

"I think it's good, I think everyone's been happy with the racing on the soft tyre and we enjoy driving the car on the better tyre, so I'm happy," Holden Racing Team's Courtney told v8supercars.com.au.

He was certain the change would spice up Saturdays, and with the Hidden Valley circuit having been resurfaced ahead of this year's June 19-21 V8 Supercars event, expect the cars to be quick during qualifying.

While the V8 Supercars have qualified on the soft tyre before in Darwin, the lap record - a 1min.07.8546sec lap around the 2.87km circuit by Jason Bright on the control tyre - remains from 2002.

"I think for sure everyone enjoys driving more so on the soft tyre - it produces better racing and the track has been resurfaced so it will be quite grippy, hopefully," Courtney, who sits fifth in the Championship standings, said.

Recently both Wilson Security GRM and Red Bull Racing Australia have expressed difficulties running on the hard tyre - Courtney agrees his Holden Racing Team also performs better on the softs, which will be a benefit to he and Walkinshaw stablemates Garth Tander, Tim Slade and Lee Holdsworth at the upcoming round.

"I think for us as a team it's a good result," Courtney added.

"Our car has clearly been working better on the soft tyre than the hard, just purely with the speed we've had on Sunday [in the mixed tyre race] over Saturday - so for the team it's a win.

"I'm sure everyone else is the same - they'll be excited."

At this stage the change to Saturday is just for the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin, though there are four additional SuperSprint events remaining.

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