Drivers' Quoteboard: Castrol Townsville 500 -Driven by TAFE Queensland
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
By V8 Supercars
Lee Holdsworth, Erebus Motorsport V8, p1 (combined times):
"It's exciting for our team when you hit little milestones like that and it means a lot to everyone involved.
"To see we are progressing forward and hitting new goals is fantastic - it's a real confidence booster for the team.
"I've always loved this circuit. In 2009 I was able to take out the first pole which was the first of my career and I have a really good memory of that. I had a really good run in the race until I had an engine issue so I feel like that was one of the ones that got away and I have always been trying to get on the podium ever since.
"I feel like it's a more realistic opportunity this weekend than has been in the last couple of years so we will just keep punching forward and see where we end up.
"It's a good start, we haven't had an Erebus 1-2 in any practice sessions this year, or any sessions at all, so it's a really good boost for the team at the start of the weekend.
"I just hope we can carry our form through. The car feels quite good but it still feels like there's a bit of room for improvement which I'm sure everyone else does.''
Will Davison, Erebus Motorsport V8, p2:
"I have been part of a few teams, a few situations and it is these little moments like today which are special. We know it's Friday, I have been around in this game long enough but it does mean something for the weekend.
"It gives everyone a big pep in their step and I don't think it's false speed. Who knows what everyone else did but I sort of know what speed I did on old tyres as well.
"This sort of track, last year I was quite competitive as well and it sometimes doesn't feel that great, you are sliding around a lot, bouncing off kerbs and sometimes it does feel good and you're slow and sometimes it doesn't feel good and you're fast.
"It was a bit of a surprise when I crossed the line - more than anything I was just pumped for the team. All the guys and girls in the team are really working hard and for Betty - I was looking at the big screens coming around in to the pits after the session.
"These little things are really special for our team going forward. Obviously we know we have to carry it on to tomorrow, we will be pushing. A podium would obviously be a great result, a clean weekend, I'm proud of how our team's bounced back from Darwin.
"We didn't have a great weekend so we tried a few things today and in particular we know we have got some big things to come in the next few events that aren't on the car yet so it's encouraging signs."
Scott McLaughlin, Valvoline Racing GRM, p3:
"It's encouraging signs and we have been very lucky that we have been quick pretty much straight out of the box so it's good to see Mercedes and even Nissan coming up, it's pretty cool and good for the sport."
Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p4:
"We rolled out of the truck not as competitive as we would have liked today but we had a good direction and things were making sense so we were able to confidently improve as the practice sessions went on. We were slowly chipping away and every time the car went on track we were slightly better and we were at our best at the end of the third practice session but we still have a long way to go. The key is to have a good direction and we're confident we have that so it's just up to us to catch everyone else."
Jason Bright, Team BOC, p6:
"I was happy with the pace of the car today, especially at the end there when we grabbed sixth spot. It's hard to know what tyres everyone else has on so we'll just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow when everyone is running fresh tyres. We made a mistake in second practice and it was locking the front right up really badly. We had to pull the pin on that session till we found what the problem was,it put us a bit behind but it was all good at the end there."
James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p7:
"The second practice session was good for us. It was clean and smooth, we didn't have any problems and we ended up second.
"We had a problem in the first session that restricted our running, and then in the last session we had another problem. It meant that we didn't get to achieve everything that we wanted.
"We've got a bit of work to do, and because of our problems, it's difficult to know where we stand."
Nick Percat, Heavy Haulage Australia Racing, p9:
"It was a better day for us and to be quickest of our four cars in the final session is pretty cool.
"We still have a lot of work to do - need to find around three-tenths of a second, but I feel confident we are headed in the right direction.
"Tyres right now are everything, and in that last session if you had a good tyre bank, you were going to end up in a good position.
"The track is evolving a lot and even at the end of the session we sat on the second fastest time and in the final 60 seconds we dropped back to seventh."
Mark Winterbottom, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p11:
"I think we are going ok. We are probably fifth at the moment but when we put the right tyres on we should be fine. We didn't have a full set of great tyres today so we were great in some areas, but would lose a heap of time in another. Our used tyre pace improved so we made some gains there, which is important. Tomorrow is obviously when it counts and we're aiming for good qualifying pace."
Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p12:
"We pretty much limited ourselves to one session today when we had a reasonable tyre to tune with so I feel like we're a little bit behind at this stage. It's hard to know where we stack up, tomorrow will make things much clearer."
Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p13:
"It was a big learning day for us.
"We tried some stuff early in the day, and it just didn't work for us, which was interesting because it was something that worked here last year quite well.
"It's good to see that in the past year there has been a lot of progression with the cars, but we're now back on track, we've used some things we've learned in the past few rounds and it is working well again.
"We still need tomorrow morning's practice to get that little bit more out of the car, so we've got some work to do tonight to improve it.
"To say we have come a long way over the three sessions is an understatement, we've come a very long way, the car wasn't nice to start with, but we've got it to a car that's reasonable now.
"I really hope we can take it to that next level."
Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, p14:
"Today was all about getting the car right for tomorrow. It's going to be crucial to qualify well at this street circuit. It's hard to pass and you want to be as far up the grid as you can and give you a little less work to do in the races.
"We tried a lot of things. It's hard to know where you are because you don't know what conditions the tyres that everyone was on.
"We have one more practice session tomorrow morning, and I dare say that will be where we get the best indication of who is fast and who is not."
Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p16:
"I think we lacked a bit of speed today so we're a little disappointed. We put on a new set of tyres at the end of the third practice session and only matched our best time on the used tyres so there's a little bit of work for us to do overnight. We're still confident though, we've had a good run here the last few years so we'll be able to turn things around. Erebus clearly had a good set up in the last practice today, you need a car that rides kerbs well here and I think that's what they've got that so it's great for them and I'm sure they'll be inspired by that."
Russell Ingall, Repair Management Australia Racing, p17:
"It's like the Friday night rush getting home from work... You normally have very little time to get there, and it's always a rush, hitting obstacles on the way.
"It's always an extreme challenge of getting the car to where we would like it to be in such a short period of time with only three 20-minute sessions.
"Saying that I think we've got some good information out of it and will be putting that to use for the fourth and final session before qualifying on Saturday.
"We just don't know how good of tyres everyone is on, so up to a point it's still a mystery of who the pace setters are until we get into qualifying."
Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p18:
"It was good to get back in the car, we got through quite a few changes in each session and have come up with a really good menu of things to fine tune on the car for tomorrow.
"We get another 20 minute practice session tomorrow, but today everything really went to plan, and we were quite competitive in some sessions and not so much in others.
"When we sit down and put all of the good bits together, hopefully we can be somewhere reasonable."
Chaz Mostert, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p19:
"We still have our good set of tyres to chuck on tomorrow which is good as I wasn't really happy with today. I am not in tune with the car or the track just yet so we need to have a look tonight, do some homework and see how we roll out tomorrow."
David Wall, Wilson Security DJR, p20:
"It looked like most of the field ran a green tyre in that final session. It made a big step forward but not enough as our outright pace is still not quite there. We need to have look tonight to tune it up and try and get that one lap pace.
"Both our Wilson Security / PAYCE Falcons were similar today and we ended up line astern so we both have to find more overnight to make the cars good qualifiers."
Scott Pye, Wilson Security DJR, p21:
"We were OK in the first two practice sessions and made some improvements throughout the day. I think in the last session a few little mistakes cost a few tenths but after today, my engineer 'Rowdy' (DJR's Mark Fenning) has a good handle on what we need to do for tomorrow.
"The short Qualifying sessions put a lot of pressure on but I'm happy to go for the lap straight away. I think we do have a good direction for tomorrow so hopefully we can have a good run."
David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing Team, p22:
"I am a bit disappointed with today. We had a good first session and then we made one change and we lost our way a bit after that. The tyre quality was questionable but our better set wasn't much better. We need to do a bit of work between now and the morning. The practice session tomorrow morning will be critical."
Dale Wood, Team ADVAM/GB Gal, p24:
"I'm not happy with the car today, it's not consistent enough so I think we've got a lot of work to do on setup, hopefully we'll bang our heads together and work out what was good and what wasn't. I'd like to end tomorrow's practice feeling like we've got a good qualifying car. We'll work hard to achieve that overnight and tomorrow morning."
Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN, p25:
"Our day wasn't too bad, it was probably one of the better Friday's for car #18. We just worked to our program and didn't put our best foot forward in terms of tyres that we used. We've got a practice session tomorrow before qualifying where we can refine things and we are aiming for the top 15 tomorrow. We were reasonably competitive compared to Chaz and Dave today which is positive so we'll see what we can do from here."