Drivers' Quoteboard: Race 27

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 26/08/2013
  • By V8 Supercars

James Courtney, Holden Racing Team, p1:

“I said yesterday that I’d love to stand on the podium today and I’m really stoked to have taken the win.

“The whole team has worked really hard and it’s great to have had this result today.

“I’m really looking forward to the endurance races and can’t wait to drive alongside Murph (Greg Murphy) at all the events – it’s going to be a lot of fun!”

Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p2: 

I wouldn't say coming out of the pits in 13th felt like being in contention! All I could see was the snake of cars in front of me. My engineer was telling me I should be able to get about five of them so to get on the podium, on a weekend where we haven't been 100 percent happy with the car, is good going.

"Our pit stop was phenomenal. We came in behind Garth Tander and had the same amount of service to do but came out ahead of him. That made life a lot easier than it could have been.

"In the first race something happened between Chaz and Will at Turn One on the first lap. Will ended up hitting me in the door and I thought it had damaged the steering but it was still pointing straight. I just think Will had nowhere to go; pretty standard stuff for Turn One at Winton.

"The rest of the race was pretty boring. Once we cleared Chaz we had race pace good enough for top four but you can't get ahead of the guy in front at this place."

Chaz Mostert, Wilson Security Dick Johnson Racing, p3: 

“We had a great start and settled into second. I could not catch James but had a good car to run at the front. Qualifying here is the key and to be up the front really helps your race. It is really hard to pass and I guess there were a lot of cars behind us who may have thought they should be up on the podium. The Wilson Security Falcon was strong enough to run right at the front on a track I know very well. We had made some big changes since Saturday and it did make the difference.”

Will Davison, Pepsi Max Crew FPR, p6: 

“Overall it has been a solid weekend points-wise but the car has frustrated me this weekend as I haven’t quite been able to get it to do what I wanted. We really should’ve tuned the car more in between today’s two races as we weren’t quite there in the last race. We were probably on for third but other people took a tyre strategy gamble and it paid off for them. 

“I am looking forward to the endurance part of the season, we head there well within striking distance and now we need to work hard to get everything ready for the big races.”

David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing, p7: 

“We had a fairly consistent weekend and today we improved a few things from yesterday which allowed us to make further progression so that is encouraging. I had great car pace today and if I had qualified better we would’ve been in the hunt for the win.

“We now head to the enduros and I feel we’ve improved our overall tyre life recently so that will be a big help at the next three events." 

James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p8: 

“Saturday was a great day for us all, and to be one-two with Michael made it even more special, but today, we missed it in qualifying by outsmarting ourselves.

“We went the wrong way in the first qualifying and ended up in 25th. We went back to the way the car was yesterday and ended up ninth, so that was a huge improvement.

“In the first race, we finished 11th, which was fantastic because the car was really looking after its tyres and I had great pace. Unfortunately, I was coming from too far back to move up any further.

“In the second race, we took the approach of looking after the tyres, and we got to a stage where a few of them were starting to come back to us and the Safety Cars came out, which hurt us.

“But it wasn’t a bad day to finish eighth, but looking at the results of the other Nissans, it was pretty disappointing for them.”

Tim Blanchard, Wilson Security Dick Johnson Racing, p9: 

“Very happy with today's results after a pretty tough year so far. It proves that if we can put it together in Qualifying then we can run well in a competitive position in the races and we proved that today. We had to make a risky call on whether to pit or not with only 10 laps to go, but we took the punt and stayed out and it worked out well. This weekend has seen an improvement in qualifying and racing so I am really looking forward now to our second test day then onto Sandown.”

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p10: 

“We had much better race speed today and the car was working much better, we just weren’t able to capitalise on it until after qualifying really.

“In clear air we were among the quickest on track, but it’s a difficult place to pass. We still got some points so for us, to maintain one-two in the championship after the weekend we’ve had I’m pretty happy. Bring on the enduros!”

Alex Premat, Fujitsu Racing GRM, p11: 

“Last day at Winton has been a bit better... In qualifying we’ve shown the speed was definitely better, because I qualified 11 and14 so it was quite good pace.

“In race one I had a pretty bad start and I got so much wheel spin that Caruso and Garth Tander just overtook me. And under braking Garth didn’t give me any room under braking and he squeezed me. We just touched the rear wheel of his car and mine from the front and I got a big puncture from my front left tyre. That’s why I went straight and it was over because someone touched me in the back when I rejoined the track … After that race two has been a really good call from the team and a good result for the last race of the weekend.”

Alex Davison, Team JELD-WEN, p12: 

“I paid the price for poor qualifying today as it is nearly impossible to pass at Winton. We were stuck back in the pack and Campbell made a good strategy decision which worked out and by staying out on the track we managed to make up a few spots in the final race while also holding back quite a few of the fast guys on new tyres. From where we started 12th isn’t a bad result.”

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p13:

“When you start at the back you are vulnerable for first corner incidents and that’s exactly what happened.

 “Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good weekend for us and one I’m sure we’d all rather forget. It was always going to be a tough day after qualifying – we just didn’t have any pace. We were only four tenths off but had no pace. And that was the issue.

“Championship-wise you need to finish races and to finish races you have to at least qualify somewhere within the vicinity of the front. We’ve lost massive Championship points this weekend and we may be fighting to get the lead back come the enduros.”

Scott McLaughlin, Fujitsu Racing GRM, p14:

“Last day at Winton wasn’t too bad our qualifying was a lot better than yesterday, we qualified tenth and fourth for the two races. 

“First race I got a pretty good start and went from tenth to ninth and sort of just held it there the whole time. I think it was a bit tough we were losing out tyres a bit at the end. We made a massive setup change for the last race and unfortunately it didn’t go to plan. I started fourth and made a pretty bad start, went back, I sort of held sixth for a while and all of a sudden my tyres hit a cliff. The Safety Car came out, we pitted, unfortunately had a crossed wheel nut in the stop and we went basically to the back of the field so to come back through and finish where we did was awesome and to come out tenth in the championship was great. Probably our worst weekend of the year was probably our best result to come back into the ten, so very happy.”

Mark Winterbottom, Pepsi Max Crew FPR, p17: 

“It was awesome to come out of the weekend 70 points down in the Championship as it is certainly game-on now. The first race was both a relief as well as being important for our points. I’ve tried to win here for years so it was nice to get one in front of our loyal Ford fans. 

“The qualifying for the second race seriously hurt me but I am lucky to finish as there was actually quite a bit of damage done to the car after the contact with Rick (Kelly). All-in-all, to go into the enduros where we are, it shows just how good this Championship is getting.”

Lee Holdsworth, IRWIN Racing, p20:

“I was fighting pretty hard out there to keep it on the track out the at the end. I was on old tyres and getting belted around, I was lucky to stay on track. Everyone pitted midway under a safety car. In hindsight it was the best thing to do and then there was another safety car and that brought the other guys back on me again, I thought we’d get a bit of a gap and maintain a decent position…

“We learnt a lot about the car this weekend and it was funny because we were well out of our window all weekend, all three cars. So there’s a bit of work to do back at the shop, have a look at what we learnt and what we can take to Sandown to have a strong car.”

Tony D'Alberto, Team HIFLEX, p21: 

“I’m rapt with our performance at Winton.

“To score my first front-row start was a great achievement, but the frustrating thing was that we could have done that and more in the other races as well. The HIFLEX Commodore was clearly very quick in qualifying, and it was great to take advantage of that in two of the three races.

“Finishing fourth (Race 26) was great. I was hoping to hold off Courtney, but I simply didn’t have any tyres left and couldn’t do anything with him. Still, fourth was very good.

“I was hoping to improve on that in the last race, but a mechanical problem just left me nowhere. All I could do was watch everyone pass me and try and stay out of trouble. With the way the last Safety Car fell, I was back inside the top 10, but I got gobbled up pretty quick when the race got back underway.

“All in all, it was a great weekend and the perfect way for us to launch into the endurance races.”

Jason Bright, Team BOC, DNF: 

"I totally fluffed the start in the first race and I was lucky to hang onto second. D'Alberto made a mess of his as well so it was only Frosty that got us off the line. He was pushing hard from the start and it made me think he may have been going to pit. I really didn't know whether he would pit or not until mid race. Then you know they're committed to doing the whole race so I pushed on and caught him. We had pace on him but it's hard to pass especially when we're both struggling with tyres.

"I don't know what happened on the start of the second race. It was like it was wet. There was no grip at all and I hear Scott McLaughlin made an equally bad start on the same bit of road. The other side didn't seem to have any trouble at all.

"We definitely had the pace to get a podium pretty easily. I waited until everyone's tyres had gone off and got Tander and caught up to Will. There was an opportunity to pass down into the second last corner. I got my foot hooked on the brake and was way too deep and locked up. The mud is so deep it was impossible to get out of."

Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, DNF: 

"The car was improving all day, we had a completely different set up for qualifying and it was a lot nicer to drive.

"I didn't get the most out of it in the second session, but we improved it for the races and made a couple of really good changes for the last one.

"It would have been good to see where we ended up. I got a really good start, but it only lasted for a few seconds and I'm still unsure of exactly what happened there, but the car is pretty second hand."

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, DNF:

"We had an incident out there and I got to watch the last bit of the race from the side line and I've got to say it's been a long time since I've done that and I've got to commend the volunteers and the safety guys.

"The job they did out there to recover the cars and to keep everything running smoothly, I haven't seen that perspective before and it's definitely impressive, so well done to those guys.

"Also standing on the sideline watching the end of the race it was an exciting one, but the cars are fantastic to watch and it's an exciting sport, so you've got to pinch yourself that you've got the chance.

"It was a very eventful weekend for us, today the track shifted a bit and we didn't get the car up the front in qualifying, so we were back in the race.

"We tried something in race one and it wasn't kind to us as far as drivability goes and then in the second race EP (engineer Erik Pender) got the car straight back into the window and it was very pleasant to drive.

"As far as the incident goes, it's very disappointing, but sometimes that's motorsport."

Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, DNF: 

“Unfortunately, we were looking good all day, but it wasn’t enough. 

“I don’t know if it was wrong spot at the wrong time, but both my incidents today were out of my control. 

“In the first race, I got hit from behind which bent the lower control arm, and then in today’s race, we came from 20th to 10th, which I would have been stoked with. However, the car ended in the fence with three corners of the race to go, and the boys don’t deserve that.

“We’ve got a bit of time before we head off to Sandown, so we’ll go home and regroup. 

“We had a great day yesterday, and that makes today even more disappointing. It’s difficult, because you have to take every position you can in this category. I’ve had too many DNFs this year, and I don’t think any of them are my fault.”

From the Teams 

Ryan Maddison, CEO Erebus Motorsport: 

“One cannot say that V8 Supercars isn’t a contact sport after today’s action!

“For the first time this year, we have come home with all three cars in one piece in every race after what has been a torrid weekend to say the least.

“To have all three cars finish every race strongly this weekend is a huge confidence boost for our team. It is so tough out there at the moment, I think the last few races have shown that qualifying is absolutely crucial to the outcome of the race… I’m proud of how our team has fought through this weekend, each one of our drivers can be happy that all of our cars are in one piece. In comparable situations this year, for sure, we would have been in the wrong spot at the wrong time and exited the race.

“It’s a huge moment that we can say for the first time, despite everything being thrown at us, that all three of the Erebus Motorsport V8 E63 AMG V8 Supercars have finished every racing lap.”

Tim Edwards, FPR Team Principal: 

“It was great to finally get the Winton win monkey off our back. Mark has been trying to win here since he joined the team eight years ago so it was not only a relief but also further reduced our points deficit. The second race didn’t have the final result we were aiming for and I am annoyed we gave up places in the closing laps. Overall it has been a positive weekend for the championship so we head into Sandown in a much better position overall than when we arrived here.”

Al D'Alberto, Team HIDLEX team owner: 

“I’m very proud of all of our guys this weekend.

“We proved to have a very fast car and I think we made the most of it when it counted.

“Tony drove his heart out in qualifying and almost had pole position. Both he and the car were in great form. It was also great to see him dicing with the guys at the front, fighting for a podium finish. We didn’t quite have the tyre life to hold on, but regardless, we proved that we are continuing to move forward.”

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