Drivers' Quoteboard: Clipsal 500 Races One and Two
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
By V8 Supercars with teams
Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p1:
“In Race Two I knew I had to be good off the grid and I managed a rocket start and got away. Whincup and McLaughlin both gave it a red hot go at closing the gap but I was up in the clean air which is where you need to be for a race like this. To be fair I prefer the longer races but the new format was definitely exciting and entertaining. Hopefully the fans enjoyed the later start, the cooler weather and maybe even saw a disk or two glowing.”
Scott McLaughlin, Valvoline Racing GRM, p2:
“I think it’s good, it’s a massive milestone for the boys. I’m so proud of them – Volvo, Polestar, GRM – the amount of work those guys have put in over the off season, a lot of them missed most of their Christmas [holiday] and in some cases I have done a little bit of work on the car with my fabrication so it is very rewarding for myself and for the whole team.”
“It was a great day for the sport and that’s what matters. In Race Two I didn’t give up till the end. I was pushing hard after that safety car and I knew I had some time to make up to catch McLaughlin. I’d like to think that I was a part of making the race exciting. I wouldn’t be a racing car driver if I wasn’t happy with the end result. We have one win under our belt but we’re still a little rusty for round one but we’ll sort that out. We’re lucky to have the momentum from last season and still have good pace which helped us through the day.”
Mark Winterbottom, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p4:
“It is not too bad to finish fourth in both races. We had a trouble-free run really but fourth was probably where we should’ve been in both races so we will tune the car overnight and hopefully be stronger tomorrow. We need to qualify well as a high starting position is key to tomorrow’s longer race. I am not happy with the car but the points haul still means it was a pretty good day.”
Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p5:
"Race One wasn't bad, we got a great start and moved forward but suffered from a bit of locking at the start.
"After yesterday obviously qualifying poorly, to get two fifth places means it's been a pretty good day. Race wise, it was interesting with the lowering sun. One lap you had sun in the eyes and the next it was behind a board, so that was pretty cool. If you live around here and you drive a car on Wakefield St at that time you know how bad the sun can be – but we're all dealing with the same conditions. We've improved the car as the day's gone on but if we can get another step overnight, hopefully we can get on the podium tomorrow."
Chaz Mostert, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p6:
“Race one was a bit disappointing as we should’ve been in the top 10 with the pace we had. After the repairs we used the race as a practice session to work on setting for Race 2. We had a good start and gained ground and then the car felt a lot better after we changed tyres at the stop. The balance was good, we were able to reel in Frosty easily enough and sixth is encouraging after having a shocking first race.”
Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team, p7 (via Facebook):
“Big effort from the @holden_racing crew… turned the buggy into a better jet & got from 18th to 7th. Load up & go again.”
Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, p8:
“We were running decent in the first race, but we had a drama in the pit stop. That cost us, but we made up for it in the second race.
“We’re 10th in the championship with those two results, and that’s my aim for the weekend – to finish as high up as I can and to bag as many points as possible.
“Sunday’s race will be a different ball game. We know how hard 250km is around here.
“The big thing for me is that our Nissans are clearly better than where we were last year, which is encouraging, so we just need a big bag of points to give us a great launch into the rest of the season.”
Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, p9:
“We lost a heap of ground in the pits (in race two), we lost a lot of track position, and with it being really hard to pass, it was tough.
“Where our car is very strong is through the first sector, but there isn’t really anywhere you can pass through there, and where the passing opportunities are we don’t quite have the car, so it’s something we have to work on.
“It knocked us around today not being able to get that practice session done (after an engine issue), because maybe we’re in a place with the car that we wouldn’t be if we would have been able to try out what we had planned.
“It makes it hard, you don’t really want to make major changes before a race untried, so we were stuck.
“But we’ll tune it up for Sunday, the potential is there with the car, we just need to make the right calls with it.”
Will Davison, Erebus Motorsport V8, p10:
“It was just good to feel like we made progress today and I felt more comfortable in the car.
“It was relatively pleasing after yesterday, I wasn’t too down but I felt very uncomfortable, and today I felt much more comfortable in the car.
“To race up amongst some quick cars, it actually felt like we were getting held up in both races and we just weren’t quick enough to make a couple of moves at the end but I think we certainly had the speed to be running further forward.
“In my second day running, we’re getting the car a bit more to my liking and it was just a good day for my guys who have worked hard. There was a couple of good strategy calls that worked out a treat for us in both races so it was a bit of a reward for the guys.
“For me, I was pretty disappointed with qualifying so it was just good to fight back and not make mistakes and try and be smart which is what I wanted to do.
“The pleasing thing was I felt relatively speedy in the car and now I’ve got a good idea of what we need to do to go even better.’’
Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, p11:
“I’m really excited to be where we are right now, the Jack Daniel’s Racing team have two cars in the top-ten in the points.
“It’s very early days, but the exciting thing is that we have potential.
“I didn’t do a very good time in qualifying, and we didn’t quite have the car setup perfectly, but I was able to jump from 14th to sixth in the first race, and then 17th to 11th in the second.
“Realistically, we really did get screwed by that restart in the second race, the new restart format in my opinion is quite questionable how it works.
“Through no fault of our own, we went from somewhere reasonable and got passed by four cars.
“Regardless, it is what it is, we got pushed back and finished 11th.
“So for us as a team, compared to last year, it’s really exciting.
“In the morning, I want to get up, do a good job in qualifying, and then make the most of that in the race.”
James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p12:
“The drive-through penalty was not ideal in race 1, but I was struggling with a misfiring engine, so I think we probably would have meant we would have been down there anyway.
“The guys worked hard between races to fix the problem for the second race, so that was a good job by them.
“To finish 12th was OK, but really, it was a nothing day. I tried to drive the wheels off it. I got run into by my Nissan teammate Todd Kelly, which is never a good situation, but we’ll come out tomorrow with a fresh mindset and try and drag our Norton car up the front.”
Russell Ingall, Repair Management Aust Racing, p13:
“We lost some time in the pit stop so we should have rejoined a bit further up the field.
“The first pit stop of the year for the crew is always a nerve-racking experience and mistakes do happen until you’ve got your eye in.
“I had a good carrot dangling in front of me with Garth (Tander) just ahead, and I’m sure he was pushing just as hard to make sure I didn’t get him.”
On Will Davison hot on his tail at the finish:
“I thought it was Holdsworth because I know he’s a little fairer than Davo.
“He’s not an idiot in the car so when we’re racing with him we’re doing something right.
“The team made a good decision to pit when the safety car was deployed, which jumped us up in the order.
“Being one of the last to pit also gave us good tyre quality for the run to the flag.
“We were battling some quality cars so it’s nice to know we’ve got the speed of the more fancied front runners.
“It was a little weird racing Slade in the Supercheap car after all those years of being behind the wheel of that particular car and a bit of irony that we finished in front in both races.
“Maybe my decision with LDM wasn’t that silly after all.
“We’re not here just to make up numbers, we’re here to play.”
Tim Slade, Supercheap Auto Racing, p14:
“I was doing well after the stop, and the car felt pretty good but the rear tyres deteriorated massively and I lost my drink straw as well.
“It was hot, and I felt pretty cooked after that. I wouldn’t have liked it to be the full 250km. We would have struggled, so I was happy that it was that length.
“I got hit on that opening lap after the re-start, and it must have bent something in the front because I had a lot of understeer. After that, I was pretty vulnerable down to Turn 9.
“I seemed like a bit of a crash magnet today. We were behind Garth Tander for a while there, and the car felt good. So I think we could have done better.
“We earned some reasonable points from a couple of races so we will see what we can do tomorrow. It would be nice to get into the top 10 in qualifying tomorrow. Our one lap pace seems very good. So we’ll do that, and tune it up more for the race.”
Shane van Gisbergen, Team Tekno VIP Petfoods, p16 (via Twitter, Saturday night):
“Up and down race there trying to make ground thru the pack, couple of mistakes on my part but try again tomorrow.”
Lee Holdsworth, Erebus Motorsport V8, p17 (via Twitter Saturday night):
“Was looking good in that race but copped a hit from a red car causing a flat tyre. Clawed my way back to 17th. Bring on tomorrow.”
David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing Team, p19:
“It was a disappointing day as no matter what we did I just couldn’t get the pace I needed out of the car. We made a small change and that brought some improvement which is a positive but I struggled to fight in the race and that meant a lot of people dived me and that shuffled me back. The team did an amazing pit stop to gain me a few spots which helped but I am still chasing the car a bit.”
Scott Pye, Wilson Security Racing, p20:
“I am gutted to be P20. I think we were sitting P5 when I got turned around. Shane (Van Gisbergen) was keen to get past and the lap before he was on my bumper out of the hairpin. He made a mistake but you can’t give in to that and let these guys past. We had a fantastic car today and the car was holding its tyres really well. We could have finished 5th or 6th.
In the first race we were right between the two HRT cars. Garth had used up all his tyres at the end but I had tried to look after mine and it paid off. So a top 10 first time out was a good result. Everything is working well, and I am really happy with my new team.”
Jason Bright, Team BOC, p21:
"I felt as though we could get a little bit further up. We had the speed in the car but I didn't want to take too many risks there toward the end behind Scott (Pye) and Rick (Kelly). Being the first race of the year and with another an hour later, I mean, if it was for the championship it would've been another story but at this stage it just wasn't worth it.
"We've had a quick car all weekend and haven't come out of today with as many points as we hoped but there's always (Sunday) and we need to really get a good result. The pitstop was disappointing but something else broke on the car so I don't think we could've held on to fourth. We've got the speed, we've got the tyre life and as long as we qualify well and stay out of trouble we'll be right tomorrow."
Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN, p22:
“The first race went pretty quickly, I guess. We moved forward a few places and finish inside the top 20. I made a cock-up in the second race, and got a drive-through that let down the whole team. I don’t think it affected our result too much, but we’ll work hard to get the Team JELD-WEN Ford further up the field tomorrow.”
David Wall, Wilson Security Racing, DNF:
“Practice this morning showed the cars potential and we had a good run up to P14 in the first race. The car was great in traffic and I was able to move up six spots. The second race started in a similar way and I was able to move up a number of spots again and ran in a long line of cars. A big battle with Ingall & Reynolds got another spot, but towards the end I was having drive problems. It was some sort of mechanical gremlin; either a drive shaft or input shaft, then I lost drive all together on the last lap. I am confident if we can get a good qualifying run then we can run in the Top 15 tomorrow.”