Drivers' Quoteboard: Practice, Perth

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 03/05/2013
  • By Various

Will Davison, Pepsi Max FPR, 1st overall:

“I am pleasantly surprised to be at the top of the times given we were using older rubber. That said, I’m not sure what everyone else did so it is a bit early to get carried away as until we use new tyres in qualifying we won’t really know exactly where we sit. We trialled some things in the first session which didn’t quite turn out as we’d planned and I was also bit tough on my tyres so it was a bit messy early but with our performance this afternoon I think we are going to be okay tomorrow.”

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, 2nd overall:

"I’m reasonably happy. We only really got an opportunity to do qualification-style runs – one or two lap runs. The car was reasonable, which it has been over one or two laps but our race pace we won’t know until tomorrow.

“The conditions here are quite cool and the track is slightly off in terms of being at its best, so none of the times were great. We’ve still got a good qualifying car – it’s there or thereabouts but it was like that in New Zealand.”

Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, 3rd overall:

"It's alright but not great. I think we struggled a little bit with the choice of tyres that we brought. We made a change but couldn't really feel anything. We put a better set on, I wouldn't say a great set, and I feel the car is more balanced; more the way it should be. 

"I feel like we wasted the session a little bit but that's life when you come with a limited amount of tyres and things like that. I think on the whole, we ended up third for the day and the true test is tomorrow when everyone is on the same rubber at the same point but the car should be OK."

Mark Winterbottom, Pepsi Max FPR, 4th overall:

“I’m pretty happy with the day today and the car felt great. We don’t get any new tyres until Qualifying so we won’t be sure of exactly how quick we are going to be until then but the tyres we had in practice were pretty good and that allowed us to make some positive steps. My run on the better rubber wasn’t great at all so it was a nice surprise to be so close to Will and is encouraging.”

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, 5th overall: 

“We’ve made huge headway set-up wise to what we had in New Zealand and we’re quite happy. We made a lot of big changes then which resulted in some good understanding and good feel. I’m pretty excited.

“I know there is more in the car as it sits right now because I didn’t extract the best from the tyre. So I’m happy. I had a little bit of understeer at the end but overall, it’s been a pleasant surprise.”

Scott McLaughlin, Fujitsu Racing GRM, sixth overall: 

“We were fastest in the first session and third in the second session.

 “The car was better on its used tyres, when we put the new tyres on the car felt completely differently, so we have some thinking to do overnight. Having the Practice session in the morning is going to good for us.

“The car is very good, we need to work out what the problems are and hopefully tomorrow we are faster. At the moment I am not happy to be 17th (where McLaughlin finished in the third session) but I know our car is better then what it has showed. 

"Watch this space.”

Jason Bright, Team BOC, 8th overall:

"I thought the car was really strong out of the box. We turned up with something we thought would translate well to here from New Zealand and we were right. That being the case we didn't make a lot of changes; we just concentrated on what the car is going to do in the race.

"I was very happy with the tyre life compared to everyone else. It's early days yet though. There's another practice session tomorrow and, although I think a lot of guys used their tyres today, we won't know exactly where we stand pace-wise until tomorrow. My gut feeling after the way it came out of the gate is that qualifying pace should be pretty good."

James Courtney, Holden Racing Team, ninth overall:

“Garth (Tander) and I were out of our heads waiting to get out there today.

“The team has put a lot of effort into the development aspect of our cars and I was very keen to work through our practice program.

“We’re pretty happy with our general direction at this point – there is still some work to do but we feel confident that we’re heading down the right track."

David Reynolds, The Bottle-O FPR, 11th overall:

“We had no choice but to run another set of tyres at the end of the final session as I had braking dramas in the first two sessions which hurt my first set of tyres. I didn’t really want to and we hadn’t planned it but by doing so we found the car was handling okay and it gives us a good base to start from tomorrow.”

Alex Premat, Fujitsu Racing GRM, 12th overall:

“Today was a good day, we showed that our pace was good with the used tyres, but when we went to the new tyres we were missing grip.

“We need to work on the set-up to get it better for the weekend, especially for Qualifying, as it is very important to qualify well here, with 20 cars within five tenths (of a second). Our aim is to be in top 10 for Qualifying.

“The car is good and the pace was good on the used tyres. Looking forward the weekend and scoring a lot of points.”

Chaz Mostert, Wilson Security Racing, 13th overall:

“Straight out of the box the car didn’t feel too bad. We had out test day at Morgan Park last week and the car feels very similar to how it did there. The DJR car feels almost the same in the front end to our FPR FG Falcon from last year. A bit different in the rear but you just have to get your head around that. The cars will get better in time as we continue the development program. I am really pleased with today, although I didn’t get the best run in P3. I wasn’t quite happy with the balance in that final session, but I’m sure we will tune it up for tomorrow.”

Russell Ingall, Supercheap Auto Racing, 19th overall: 

“The aim of today’s Practice was to find a good base set-up for the races.

“Barbagallo is very hard on tyres so there was no point throwing new sets of soft tyres at the Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore. It would have left us with no security for Qualifying or racing.

“We showed at the end that the car isn’t too bad and there’s more time in it, so we’ll tune it up for a bigger bang tomorrow.”

Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team, 21st overall:

“It’s great to be back in Perth racing.

“When you hit rewind, I have had some great race results here and we’re certainly looking forward adding to those this weekend.

“The car felt pretty good out there today – we still have work to do but so far, so good. We’ll make some changes overnight and we’re looking forward to getting back out there again tomorrow.”

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, 22nd overall:

"It was a good day, the track's very greasy and for us, we really got caught out with our second set of Practice tyres, which were in really poor condition.

"They had only done a small amount of kilometres but it was a different batch and it meant the difference of about two seconds. The first one and a half sessions we were quite frustrated and going slower and slower and we had to use our better set of tyres and we found two seconds.

"We finished in P18 and if I had driven the car a little bit nicer, we could have got at least another tenth, and one tenth puts us in about ninth or 10th, so that's not too bad.

"We've got some work to do now that we know what the car is going to do on a decent tyre and we can move forward."

Alex Davison, JELD-WEN FPR, 24th overall: 

“We are reasonably happy with today as we were easily in the top 10 until the end of the session when everyone else put better tyres on. We had good pace so it is encouraging. Our second set of Practice tyres we can now use tomorrow before Qualifying so that will be a help. It is a tricky track to get right as the surface is so abrasive but we are working on a few things which should help us be strong in the race.”

Tim Blanchard, Wilson Security Racing, 26th overall:

“We struggled a little in the first session on the harder tyre. We moved to the soft tyre in P2 and it seemed to suit our car a lot more. We were far more competitive on used soft tyres, so it was encouraging. In P3 we had some engine dramas and didn’t get past the end of Pit Lane. It was very disappointing as it would have been good to build some more data for tomorrow. With the FPR relationship we will have a good spread of data so I am looking forward to Qualifying on Saturday to see what we can deliver.”

Michael Caruso, Norton 360 Racing, 27th overall:

 "I'm pretty happy with the balance of the car, but saying that, I haven't been on any tyres worth talking about, and that shows where we ended up today. 

"It doesn't matter how you go on Friday – I've done it before where you're first but no where on Saturday. It's called practice for a reason and we've banked a lot of useful data today.

"With another practice session, at a different time of the day, we felt it would make more sense to do our qualifying testing tomorrow and concentrate on race set-up today."

James Moffat, Norton 360 Racing, 28th overall:

"Today was a bit of a struggle for us, to be honest, and finding the right balance is difficult.

"The track is very hard on tyres, and trying to look after them will be very crucial to getting good results.

"We've definitely got a bit of work to do overnight to try and find some improvements with the car before qualifying.

"Hopefully with a few tweaks overnight, we'll sharpen it up for tomorrow.

"Having a bit of an off at the end of Practice Three was just me trying to get the most out of the car at the last corner. We'll back it off a bit for tomorrow when it counts and we'll have a go again."

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