Drivers' Quoteboard: Coates Hire Ipswich 400 Practice
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
By V8 Supercars
Scott McLaughlin, Valvoline Racing GRM, p1 (combined):
"We were quite worried earlier on this morning and earlier this afternoon because the car wasn't that good, but luckily it was tyres.
"We bolted some new boots on at the end and the thing was pretty quick."
Chaz Mostert, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p2:
"Practice session was really good but you don't know what everyone is doing fuel wise and tyre wise, you guess everyone put on a new set of boots at the end. It all comes down to tomorrow and maybe that cross will go away and all three of us may not be here but hopefully it stays around."
Nick Percat, HHA/Walkinshaw Racing, p3:
"For me it's really good, my whole crew are all young, my mechanics are younger than me and Alex (Somerset, engineer) is the oldest guy we've got on our side and he keeps us all under control - it's probably like kindy for him.
"Going to keep it all flowing well and getting results from my car is awesome."
Russell Ingall, Repair Management Aus Racing, p5:
"At the end of the day I suppose it was a reflection of the test at Winton last week, it's nice to know that what we found seems to be working here.
"It was always hard to know where we were through the practice session until we got to the last one because we knew everyone was going to throw greens (tyres) at it, so even in the second practice sessions where we were fifth we weren't sure whether it was going to be a true reflection but it looks like it was.
"I'm very pleased with the progress that's going on and if we keep on this track and do the same in qualifying I think we're in for a real shot.
"The car definitely feels good and we know it's going to be consistent, as long as we can get that one lap in qualifying and as we saw then, it's going to be massively close."
Will Davison, Erebus Motorsport, p7:
"All-in-all it was a great day.
"There were some incredibly promising signs. We made some changes for the new tyres in the last session, which didn't work and we were still seventh so all in all it was pretty promising. I think we'll learn from what we tried then and we'll be a good shot tomorrow.
"It's encouraging, as a team we're starting to show that we're serious and we're coming. Any day that you're consistently competitive is good because it creates momentum.
"Obviously tomorrow is pay day but we certainly carried over our speed again so we're no flash in the pan, we're getting there and we've only got more to come.
"We're getting the itch, we're getting the bug and the sniff of champagne.''
Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Aus, p8:
"We had a difficult day today. We're forever trying to move forward and progress the car and our setup because we just can't just sit on our hands and get beaten by the opposition on the soft tyres. We had a good practice day with a fairly radical set up and we went too far in the wrong direction at the start of the day. We managed to clean it up for the third practice session which was much more encouraging. I've got faith that we're in the right area, now we just have to fine-tune the car overnight for the first race tomorrow."
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team, p9:
"We're getting stronger. The boys have been putting in all kinds of hours to make sure we hit the ground running."
Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p10:
"The car wasn't bad. We tried a few things here that we tried at the test day (at Winton) and they didn't work here, so that cost us a bit of time. We only got one lap in at the end of the last session with fresh tyres so all in all it's not too bad. We should be alright tomorrow. We'll have a look at things overnight and work out what's gone on. Quantify it all and go from there."
Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Aus, p11:
"We made a number of adjustments today and the car is reasonable but we have to make a bit more progress overnight. The wind was a big problem today, it was buffeting the car around quite a lot making it hard to get a consistent read. At this stage we're looking for an extra tenth of a second to be in the top pack so it's very close at the moment...We're fortunate that we know this track like the back of our hand and we know the conditions are constantly changing from day to day so I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep so we're ready to punch it out again tomorrow."
Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, p12:
"It was a day of testing. We tried a few things and made a few improvements along the way.
"It's extremely close. There's only 0.3s between us and the front of the field, and if I could have found just 0.1s, it would have had me five or six spots better off.
"Tomorrow is payday, though. We'll go over the data tonight and see how we fair."
David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing, p13:
"I had a good tyre bank today and I have great balance on the used rubber but I didn't enjoy the same stability on new tyres so we have to fix that overnight so we don't end up 13th again. Mark and Chaz were strong on their new rubber and I could get a partial lap together but I was doing it tough so we need to make the car easier to drive and faster."
Jason Bright, Team BOC, p14:
"Early on it was hard to know what everyone else was like with their tyre quality. We were very competitive in that early session. When we went to the greens (fresh tyres) right at the very end we had a lot of understeer and I did what I could with it but it was still bad. We're not actually that far off considering how much understeer we had. We can still easily be in the ballpark, we just need to make it turn better in qualifying tomorrow."
Lee Holdsworth, Erebus Motorsport, p15:
"Funnily enough we didn't finish as well compared to the first couple of sessions but I was happy with the car in that session.
"We've got to look at the green tyre run, we were looking ok before that. This track has changed so much today with the wind direction - it's changed the whole balance of the car.
"Will's car was obviously on the money today, he's a little bit off in that last session but at least we've got something to work with. I felt like we made some good gains in that last session.''
Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p17:
"It's been a lot of fun today.
"We started with a car that wasn't too bad, and we made some good, logical, changes to it.
"The car reacted to it pretty well, and we ended the day in a pretty solid position on a good set of tyres.
"It's not completely ideal, but I felt myself as the driver I didn't get the most out of the car.
"Every time I rolled into the corners, I felt I could have gone in a lot hotter.
"So for us it's great, but I felt that I just didn't milk the most out of it, from the car point of view it is really well balanced, and handling quite nicely.
"We've had a couple of tough rounds chasing the setup of the car around, but today has really started quite well for us, we made some good improvements, and it puts us in good position knowing what it's going to do."
Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN, p18:
"It wasn't a bad day, we were in the Top-20 all day which is a bit of an improvement, and our pace off the leaders was much more competitive than we have been at the last couple of rounds. We're just working away, and did a time on new tyres at the end of the day, like most guys did. We didn't get the most out of it, I made a mistake in one of the corners, so there is a bit more left in it, which is good. We're only four-tenths off the leaders. Four-tenths off last year would have put us well in the top-ten, so it just shows how competitive it is. Hopefully we'll qualify well and race well tomorrow."
James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p19:
"We tried some things in all three sessions and found some improvements over the day.
"We ended up 19th in the final session, and obviously that's not where we want to be. There's room for improvement, so we'll work on it for tomorrow's qualifying."
David Wall, Wilson Security Racing, p20:
"The track is quite different to our recent test day. In fact had we run the times we did at the test we would be looking pretty shiny. However it is what it is. We spent a lot of time tuning the car and making me a bit more comfortable, which we did in the last session.
"I wasn't that happy with the Wilson Security Falcon this morning or in the middle session but we made some gains and started to get one end of the car working quite well. It will be a bit cooler tomorrow which may suit us."
Scott Pye, Wilson Security Racing, p21:
"The old tyre was very good this morning and we finished P1 in seventh place. I made a few little mistakes when we finally put the 'green' tyre on later in the day. It is so close around here we probably lost a few tenths which would have made a big difference.
"Overall I think the car balance is OK, but we got a bit unlucky with the timing in the final session not getting out for a second run. We should have a good package for tomorrow."
Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p24:
"We got through quite a few changes in the sessions today, and we didn't really end up where we wanted to be.
"So there is a little bit of work to do with the car, but the good thing is that all four cars in the Nissan Motorsport camp tried some different things over the day, and there are quite a few good things to come from the other cars.
"Now that we've got some time to go over it in depth, we can look the data and find the good points that we can then use on our car.
"I'm really looking forward to having a good run tomorrow."
Dale Wood, Team ADVAM/GB Gal, p25:
"It felt like we learnt some things at Winton and we brought them here and they don't seem to be working. We came here expecting it to be a strong circuit for me because I've gone well here in the past but it's not proving to be the case for me at the moment. Luckily it's only Friday so we have to time to hopefully resolve the issues. I'm really having trouble getting off turn 3 and turn 6 and they're both really important corners. We've got a bit of work to do still and hopefully we can fix it up for tomorrow."