Drivers' Quoteboard: Races 20 and 21

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 05/07/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team, p1:

"We have been turning the cars around, they have been getting better. We had a big upgrade prior to Darwin that improved the car considerably. Really good test prior to Darwin.

"The problem we've had this year is that there is simply not enough time between races to get everything on the car that we need to get on to the car. It's been taking time and the cars are probably a little different, setup wise, to what I've been used to over my career."

James Courtney, Holden Racing Team, p2:

"It's a great result. Fantastic for the team, and I couldn't be happier for old mate [Garth Tander]. You guys like to slag them and say we forget how to drive but that just shows today that he's a class act and they guy has still got it, so it's going to be good fun for a couple of years juicing it out."

Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p3:

"The morning race was tough, the car got battered from pillar to post and we were lucky to make it out for the second race. It's credit to the boys, they did a fantastic job fixing it and it looked pretty battered and bruised but it seemed to trundle around OK. I think the car's good. A weakness of ours has been on the hard tyre and I feel like we've bridged that gap a little bit and obviously there's still more to come but it's all very promising."

Chaz Mostert, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p5:

"I am mentally wrecked after that drive. That was a hard drive as that long on hard tyres isn't easy, but to have someone breathing down your neck for that long, and none other than Craig Lowndes, a guy I watched growing up and is a great driver made it so much harder. To go toe-to-toe with him for 30 laps was amazing and I can't remember being that focused for that long in a race car. It was definitely my best drive - my best in V8 Supercars. I unfortunately didn't get a win but the result feels a lot like it. The pit crew were so fast. We jumped (Jamie) Whincup and another car in pit lane and that made a huge gain. If we can qualify well and get the most out of the car there is no reason why we can't go better than today."

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p6:

"It's certainly been a yo-yo day of emotions with a lot of ups and downs. After being turned in to the wall by car nine in the first race we came back to the pits and there ended up being a safety car so knowing we had a lap in grace to try and get some points I went back out. I went around turn three, over the crest and in to turn five and turned the wheel and nothing happened so I went straight in to the wall. It all happened very quickly but thankfully the tyre wall absorbed most of it and it probably looked worse than what it felt like. The team did an absolutely incredible job being able to turn the car around and get me back out on track for Race Two and all things considered we're happy with the result. It's going to be late night for all of us as we focus all of our energy on tomorrow."

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p7:

"Race One was excellent for us. We qualified poorly in the morning so we knew from then that it was going to be a tough day. We had a great run in the first race with a good pit strategy, really good car and to win the race was just awesome. The second race I was a little more conservative off the start after seeing all the carnage in Race One so I went a little easy and lost a few spots. As we settled in to the race we had good pace and it was more of a 'get to the end' kind of drive as opposed to going hell for leather and we still managed to make up three spots so we're happy. It's going to be a long race tomorrow with the 250km stint and after long day today I think it's going to end up as survival of the fittest."

Mark Winterbottom, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p8:

"The second race was much better and we found a good direction with setup. It was good to salvage a top 10 from 19th especially given all the mayhem that was going on around us today. It was good to watch Chaz fight - I had the best seat in the house. He held on and didn't make a mistake. Even though we had a rough day he was having a good one and a top-five was well-deserved. It is a longer race tomorrow so hopefully that will suit us even better."

Nick Percat, Walkinshaw Racing, p9:

"To be coming out and battling for a front row grid spot and a fourth place finish, plus another top 10 is awesome for everyone on the team.

"I can't wait until the longer race tomorrow as our car seems to hold onto the tyre quite well. It would be nice to be battling for a podium.

"Qualifying was really pleasing. When the car hooks up it makes life so much easier. Even the lap that gave us second on the grid didn't actually feel special.

"It was great to battle with the likes of Whincup and really take the fight to him. Fighting with the top guys throughout the races and we never touched and gave each other racing room.

"It's good to be part of the younger brigade giving it to the gurus of the sport."

David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing Team, p11:

"We should've qualified stronger. My race car wasn't that bad. We re-used tyres in race two which meant I was a little deficient relative to everyone else and I actually expected to be worse off than I was. To be 11th is not too bad and we are confident for tomorrow's 250km race."

Scott Pye, Wilson Security Racing, p12:

"We have shown so far this year that the racing is the strongest point for the team. Today we moved from 22nd and 20th to 12th in both races. The car in race trim is really good, but we need to get it tuned for qualifying.

"I was disappointed where we qualified and I was determined to get further forward so I pushed hard and was able to capitalise on some other guy's mistakes. The Safety Car helped us as well so all around a pretty good day."

David Wall, Wilson Security Racing, p13:

"We just need to make our lives easier and qualify better! One good qualifying lap tomorrow and it will help enormously. Our tyre life in the second race was better so it was a big step in the right direction today.

"I had a real battle on my hands in the last few laps of race two as Scott (McLaughlin) and Lee (Holdsworth) closed right up on me and I had to hang on and drive the car as straight as I could to hold them out so to be in P13 from P24 was a good result."

Scott McLaughlin, Valvoline Racing GRM, p14:

"Pretty good day today. It was ok race-wise, we qualified really well, two fourth places, which I was really happy about, really consistent. Got a good start in both races - I left from the first lap, first corner that race and just pushed on, it was really good. Unfortunately there was a safety car, a few things happened and we ended up falling to sixth. Overall the car was pretty good. We tuned it up a little bit for the second one.

"Another good start, just got tagged at turn one, I didn't realise van Gis was there and accidentally turned... Went back to about sixth.

"Unfortunately I sped going into pitlane. My mistake I feel sorry for the boys. We soldiered on from there, saved my tyres a little bit.

"We got a safety car and just pushed from there on. It was pretty good, I got 10 or 12 places, which is awesome and managed to get some points back... You've got to make the most of the bad days, and we did. So see how we go tomorrow."

Will Davison, Erebus Motorsport, p16:

Race 20 podium:

"All in all it was a great day, it was probably the opposite order that I expected - I didn't think I'd do it from eighth on the grid.

"The car was good all day and the podium was very special. I've been pretty keen to get that stat, so everyone should be really, really proud of themselves.

"It's a big effort for us at the moment, huge effort, so it's very, very encouraging.

"That's what our goals are and we've been gradually pushing the goals further up.

"Everyone should be proud of themselves, it was a perfect race - a great stop and great strategy.

"That was a really good race and hopefully we can qualify well and repeat it tomorrow.''

Jason Bright, Team BOC, p17:

"After getting hit by Van Gisbergen, it put us on the back foot and we didn't have the pace in that period because all of the rear diffuser was damaged so we were really oversteery. I got it better but it wasn't ideal. Our pace was pretty good towards the end but unfortunately it was too late.

"(In the second race) We don't know what's broken on the car yet, it's really disappointing, we've had really good speed all weekend and I really don't feel like we got the results that we deserved speed wise today so hopefully we'll have a good day tomorrow. There was no incident that caused the problem, it's just a brutal track for the cars and it's easy to bend something. I think we've got good pace and if we can qualify well and run our own race I'm pretty sure we'll have a good day."

James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p18:

"Today is not worth writing home about.

"We didn't really have the pace and we had some dramas with the car. It's just a day that we'll write off.

"Tomorrow is a new one, and a longer 250km race, so hopefully we can use the strengths of the car to move us forward."

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p19:

"We've had a tough weekend trying to nail the setup here in Townsville.

"We made a bit of forward progress in that first race with our strategy.

"I had a tough start and went back to second last in the second race, but we had the pace to move forward.

"Once I got to a point with the safety car, unfortunately the anti-roll bars broke on the car and it made it incredibly difficult.

"It was really hard to drive and I fell back.

"The headline of my day was really big brother saving it; Todd was behind me and had a freight train behind him.

"If it wasn't for Todd behind, I would have got punted and ended up dead last.

"It allowed me to get home because we had 20 odd laps to go, so for me that was very, very lucky.

"Overall it's unfortunate because we wound up with a pretty good car."

Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p20:

"There was a fair bit going on out there.

"We had a bit of a strategy going with the tyres all day long to make sure we can have a crack at the main race tomorrow.

"Unfortunately with that strategy, the safety car screwed us a little bit in that last race, but I was getting around pretty well.

"I had good consistent lap times, and then we had to pit 20 laps too early with the safety car, and I had to put some pretty average tyres on the car.

"I think we were about 15th at that point, and we would have kept slightly moving up.

"Hopefully we can tune the car up overnight, because it wasn't really pacey enough, and have a good crack at it tomorrow."

Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN, p21:

"Tough day for Team JELD-WEN today. Second qualifying session was a great improvement, only six-tenths off pole position but unfortunately outside the top 20. We had a pretty quick car, and we're competitive with our FPR teammates, but we just didn't make it all happen. Got a really good start to the race, moved up four or five spots early. After the pit stop cycle started we were in 16th or 17th, when car 16 got a little bit 'exuberant' at turn 10 not long after the restart, pushed us wide and we lost four spots. Later on in the race we got turned into the fence pretty obviously by car 7. It was very disappointing, and there was massive damage, but the FPR crew worked really hard to get it fixed where other teams would have given up. I'm so proud of them, their hard work got me back out for the second race. With it being such a rushed job to get it fixed, car set-up wasn't perfect so we struggled a bit through the race. We ran as high as 17th, but finished up 21st. I'm looking forward to tomorrow now, and the long 250km race."

Robert Dahlgren, Valvoline Racing GRM, p22:

"First race I think I went from... 23rd to 19th or 18th, and came up a bit. I had good car speed. The second one, started 18th good car speed, went up a bit. Had a few fights, a bit of rubbing, went a bit wide, got pushed a bit wide and dropped back a few spots. All in all I think I had a good car and we'll push through tomorrow."

Dale Wood, Team ADVAM/GB Gal, p23:

"It's always chaotic in races at that end of the field, the race (one) wasn't that good. We thought we'd do something different and go long before the compulsory pitstop but that cost us when the safety car was brought out mid race. We picked up a few spots but it was nothing spectacular. I'm struggling with the car's setup here.

"Starting 15th was definitely better but after a few laps I was really struggling. I'm just not happy in the car at the moment - with the setup and feel of it. We had a bit of a drama in the pitstop too with a wheel nut that was difficult to get off. We never really recovered from there. We need to have a look at what we can do to get the car working for me and then focus on qualifying and getting a good race result tomorrow."

Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, DNF:

"It was a mixed day for us. Our 10th place in the first race was exceptional. We qualified 12th, and we were able to match it with the leading guys around us.

"In terms of the Championship, you have to keep plucking away and getting those good results.

"In the second race, it was extremely disappointing, given that Will Davison just drove straight into the back of our car and ended our race.

"It wasn't a small contact. It was complete driver error (on his behalf). I spoke to Erebus and they told him to wait and he just didn't listen.

"We have to focus on tomorrow now. The boys will do a good job and get it back together, then we've got to qualifying as best we can, keep it together and make up some ground."

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