Drivers' Quoteboard: Races Seven and Eight

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 05/04/2014
  • By V8 Supercars with teams

Lee Holdsworth, Erebus Motorsport V8, p1: 

“It’s only my third win, so it’s up there.

“This is really special because it’s my first win for Erebus, and my first win for this team even when we were Stone Brothers Racing. It’s been a long time coming and I haven’t had a race win since 2010.

“This one is probably the biggest relief but it’s also very special as well.’’

Click here for more with Holdsworth.

Mark Winterbottom, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p2: 

“It is really good to fight back from where we were. Qualifying 24th is not acceptable and I am relieved we dug ourselves out. In the final race I got stuck behind (Shane) van Gisbergen but once we were clear we were really quick which was encouraging. Our tyre life and overall speed is a great recovery by the team. We scored vital points and turned a potential very bad day into a very good one.”

Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p3: 

“It was a pretty good day for sure. I'm happy with how it progressed. The car was excellent in the first race. The safety cars were hard work, I had to do three perfect ones but we managed to do that and dictate the race. Some people called it domination but we just did what we did. We can still develop the car though and make it feel a bit nicer but I'm relatively happy with it. The track evolved quite a lot through the day. The grip went down as the day went on. There was no way I could hold off Lee (in the second race). I knew even on the first lap when the rear was walking around a fair bit, I knew it was only a matter of time. 

“It's good on paper to be sitting second in the Championship but it's such a long year and we're guaranteed to have a bad result somewhere along the way so, like I've said from day one, I'm not looking at the championship until the end of the year when it starts to matter.”

David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing Team, p4: 

“I got a rocking start, catapulting myself into fourth, then McLaughlin had a drama and had to head into the pits. I dropped in behind Coulthard and Holdsworth and managed the gap to Frosty and van Gisbergen. I was in conservative mode, and obviously it wasn’t enough, because I got smoked at the end. I tried to do my job as best I could, and under-drive the hell out of it, and I still ended up with no tyres. The tyres only lasted 10 laps or so, and then I was worrying. Tomorrow will be better, as we get three sets of tyres.”

David Wall, Wilson Security Racing, p5: 

“I really tried to look after the tyres for the full distance. My engineer was hard on me telling me to be patient and ensure the tyres would come on late in the race when others had burnt theirs up. We had the same strategy in the first race but I got turned around by Ingall and that ruined our race. We have got really good pace in the car and the DJR boys did a great job. I’m sure we can get another really strong result tomorrow for the Wilson Security Team.” 

James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p6: 

“Our day started off well, qualifying fifth and seventh, which I feel is the maximum that the car has at the moment. That was very encouraging.

“The first race was going OK until we got the Safety Cars, and we’re quite venerable in those circumstances at the restart. The car seemed to lose all balance after that, but David Wall finished me off while I was trying to give him room. That was the end of that race. It meant that we dropped some points we probably didn’t deserve to.

“In the second race, we improved the car a bit, but hurt the car’s tyres in the backend of the race. It’s amazing how much tyre degradation and tyre drop off there is out there. The lap times just plummeted.

“To come away with sixth was good. It’s about as good as we were going to get, considering we were just holding on.

“It was great to see Lee Holdsworth get up for the win, and for his team to take its first win. That’s a great effort.”

Jason Bright, Team BOC, p7: 

"For the first part of the race I was just looking after my tyres waiting for everyone else to fall off but then we had three ridiculous safety cars that ruined any chance of that paying off. 

“I was pretty happy with the pace in the races all day. We lost the right rear tyre though pretty early on so I felt like we would've had much better pace if that wasn't the case. We need to qualify better. Both races our race pace was great but we didn't qualify well enough. Tomorrow is a much different race. More strategy and if we qualify up the front I'm confident we can do a lot better.”

James Courtney, Holden Racing Team, p9: 

“It wasn’t a great day. We had some mechanical issues, which left us in 17th spot for both races. In the first race, right when our car was starting to improve, I got taken out in that re-start so we didn’t finish. In the second one, we managed our pace throughout the race and looked after the tyres. In the end, it paid off and we came through to ninth. It’s still nowhere near good enough; we just have to make sure we get on top of qualifying tomorrow morning.”

Chaz Mostert, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p10: 

“Not a bad day, two ninth positions in qualifying, so hopefully getting that average up a bit higher now. The first race, we didn’t have a great race, ending up 12th, got some good points. We changed the set-up in the car a bit for the second race and the car didn’t feel too bad out the front, but the car hurt its tyres again. We’ll go over some data, see if we can make it better on its tyres and we should be up where Frosty and Dave were today. Full credit to them, and to the team, they deserve that result. They’ve been working hard, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we can get all four cars up there.”

Tim Slade, Supercheap Auto Racing, p11: 

“It was a long day! In the first race, we had trouble keeping the tyres in the zone and the lap times and your position suffers as a result. The re-start was bedlam, and then my right-front tyre came into contact with James Courtney’s left-rear – which caused some suspension damage and we ended our race there which was disappointing. After that, my cool suit froze – which we couldn’t fix before the start of Race 8. I knew before the race that I wasn’t going to be able to run a cool suit, so I just had to prepare myself mentally for that. We didn’t get much time to make the changes in setup that we wanted to do today, and we’re still suffering from some tyre issues. We’ll look at the data overnight and try to work out what we can do for the race tomorrow. It was a great effort from the boys for getting everything sorted for this afternoon’s race.”

Scott Pye, Wilson Security Racing, p12: 

“The car set up and tyre life went hand in hand today. We saw Dave with some great speed in the #17, but we had two very different setups in the WSR Falcon’s today. I think over one lap we are quicker but over the race distance we were not great. The track condition is causing everyone to drive like we are all rookies! But P12 and P14 in the first race gives us some good points. We’ll bounce back tomorrow and most likely throw the settings Dave has got into my car.”

Dale Wood, Team ADVAM/GB Gal, p13: 

“It was a good day. I can't believe the turnaround from Tassie. The thing is I haven't done anything massively different. I feel very familiar with Winton though and the car felt like it was in the performance window really quickly. I'm just getting more and more confident in the car. I'm pumped for the guys in the team.

On fighting with Brighty in race one: “There's parts of having your team mate behind you that are comforting and parts that are not comforting. He had a bit of a lunge and it didn't pay off but I was lucky enough to cut across the grass and get back on where I was before. We're all good though. Everything's fine.”

On the second race: “The tyres fell away really badly – I've never felt anything like it. It didn't just happen to us but we've got to work out why it happened because if we don't get on top of it, it'll make tomorrow very difficult.”

Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN, p14: 

“It was always going to be a challenge qualifying up the back. For a lot of the race I was stuck behind Lowndes and Whincup, I thought the day that I was stuck behind those guys I’d be tasting champagne! I was able to pass them, and pull away and then pick my way through the field. I looked after the car at the start of the race, and then we had good speed at the end. We were catching everyone in front of us at the end, and it’s probably the first time I wished there were 10 or 15 more laps, as we would have been on for a really, really good result. Obviously to pass that many cars – probably the most out of anyone in the field – we just got to make sure we get the Team JELD-WEN Ford further up the grid tomorrow, and then we’ll race well. If the car looks after its tyres tomorrow like it did today, it should be pretty good. Hopefully we can keep the upper hand in the long runs, qualify better in the morning and taste some champagne.”

Nick Percat, Walkinshaw Racing, p15: 

"It was a tough old day for us in the Coates Hire-backed HHA Racing Commodore. Qualifying went well in the first session ending up in eighth position. The second session was hampered by a power steering failure on our fast lap, which forced me to abort the session. It ended up with me being 15th.

“The two races were hard work, with the track conditions (referencing the track breakup) managing the tyres is key here.

“After the restart in the first race today, we had some contact off a restart and that put us to the back of the field.

“In the second race, I made a good start and passed a few cars. However, towards the end, the tyres were going off and I dropped a few spots towards the end, so we finished 15th.

“The team are working hard on the car now. We have another qualifying session and longer race tomorrow. It’s our home track, so obviously we’re hoping for a strong result. Tonight we will give it a tune up and hopefully have a better day tomorrow."

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p16: 

“I think a combination of factors between the track and our car setup contributed towards our results today. It is a little bit frustrating because we looked after the tyres during the race hoping that we’d have good pace at the end but we didn’t have the drive we need to attack others and we found the track gripped up more so than previous years. We definitely improved the car from Race One to Race Two but before tomorrow we need to go another 50 percent again. We kept the car straight and got points, which was the main thing and tomorrow is a new day.

"It was great for Lee Holdsworth and Mercedes to get a race win today and have another manufacturer on the podium and I’m sure Betty is happy!”

Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, p17: 

“Where we qualified, 11thand 15th, and I didn’t think was too bad considering we only did a handful of laps in practice.

“We wanted to move forward in the races, but in that last race, we just didn’t have the car to do it.

“Fortunately, James had a great race and we can have a look and see what his car is like.

“I’m having an on-going brake problem, and to get through a 200km race tomorrow, I need the car to be able to stop and turn and then we can worry about how the car is handling.”

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, p18: 

"We definitely had a good car.

"The track surface that was down, which was obviously from the repair work that got spread everywhere gripped the track right up, and the car was quite fun to drive and quite pacey.

"We just had a lot of bad luck in that first race with getting spun and getting the penalty on the restart, it just didn't go our way.

"The second race was definitely a tougher race for us – it just shows how close everybody is, and once you are in the pack you can't get by.

"There just needs to be more emphasis on qualifying, which we know anyway, but it just really proves how important that is.

"For us, we just want to improve the car overnight as a race car, and get a bit more out of it in qualifying to be up the front and use it."

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p19: 

“Motorsport is all about adapting to the conditions and that’s the challenge we faced today. It just goes to show, and we’re not surprised, just how competitive the field is. If you’re not quite there with your setup you drop to the back because that’s how competitive it is. We missed the mark today, we’ve got some serious homework to do tonight to turn it all around but we’ve got the right team behind us to do that. There were two main factors today, not making any mistakes and having car pace and we only had one of those by not making any errors but the team will all get together tonight and put our best foot forward tomorrow.” 

Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team, p21: 

“It was a tough day today, and ultimately disappointing as I went backwards in both races – finishing 15th in Race 7 and 21st in Race 8. We have another qualifying session and race tomorrow so we will look over the data tonight and work hard at nailing it on Sunday.”

Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing p23: 

"It's been a bit of a rough day.

"To try to work out what to tune the car to in these conditions is quite hard.

"We didn't quite have the best setup in qualifying, and clearly not so in the race.

"We had a couple of little niggles which were just enough to slow us in the race.

"We had a little engine drama in the first race, and a little electrical drama in the last race.

"If it wasn't for those two things there would have been a little bit more pace, but probably only enough to go up one or two spots.

"There's a lot of work to do tomorrow, we've done it here before, we just need to work out how to unlock this new track surface."

Robert Dahlgren, Valvoline Racing GRM, p24: 

”Qualifying didn’t go as well as I hoped for. I had good sectors but couldn’t get it together for a full lap. Then we got disqualified as we downloaded data from the car too early after qualifying in the parc ferme. Something broke in the transmission just before the start of the first race. The team worked really hard to get the car out for the second race. I had a pretty good pace, but it is hard to overtake and then my tyres went away in the end. Tomorrow is a new day.”

Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing GRM, p25: 

”Today was mixed emotions. Qualifying was great and the team had put in another fantastic effort with the car. But the engine went in the first race and the battery in the second race. I’m gutted for the team, but we just need to push on for tomorrow, the pace is there.”

Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter