Drivers' quoteboard: Sydney NRMA 500 Practice

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 06/12/2014
  • By V8 Supercars with teams

James Courtney, Holden Racing Team, p1:
"I really enjoy street circuits, typically throughout my whole career I've done well on street circuits and our car of late has been working well on street circuits. We had a little testing program to run through today and everything went well. We had a few changes that didn't go as well as some others but, we're relatively happy with the pace of the car at the moment."

Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team, p2:
"For me personally, we didn't have a great run here last year so, it's nice to have a good car and the guys have done a great job. I'm actually using the car that Russell Ingall was using last year and he thought that it was an old nail, so it's going pretty well."

Tim Slade, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, p3:
"It's an awesome way to start the weekend. I'd definitely be a lot happier up this end of the field than a lot further down so it's a great result for the team."

Scott Pye, Wilson Security Racing, p4:
"We kicked off the day really well. I felt the car was in the window from the minute we hit the track. From there we tried to make small adjustments as the track rubbered up to try and keep it in that window. The DJR guys did a really nice job all day. We chucked on some better tyres at the end of the day and it was better still.If we can keep this going and start up the field in the race we will be in good shape. We know we have good race pace so I am looking forward to giving qualifying a real go."

Lee Holdsworth, Erebus Motorsport V8, p6:
"It was nice to be the quickest in Practice 2. We certainly had a bit to work on after Practice 1 but we knew where we could make those gains so it was positive to see that we got on top of the car.

"Then it was a question of did we have the best tyres on and whether we were the only ones to run a green set. So it was good in Practice 3 that we confirmed that we were on top of the car and ended up P6.

"The car felt good, I'm really happy with it and think we can make some further improvements for tomorrow."

David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing, p8:
"It is one of those tracks which is challenging but requires you to hit the kerbs hard and have a lot of confidence. We just need to find one or two-tenths to help us out a little. I didn't run green (tyres) then and I think a few people ahead of me did, at least I hope they did as we may have to find even more time if they didn't!"

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p11:
"We've had quite a good day which is promising, Friday is always important to set up your weekend. The car has been really nice to drive, it's now just a matter of maximising the setup. The rest of the drivers put on a new set of tyres at the end of the third practice session and we elected not to and we'll save them for the extra practice we have tomorrow. We're in a good place, we kept it relatively clean and we'll see how we go tomorrow for qualifying."

James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p12:
"We had a bit of an up and down day and unfortunately, we gave the boys a lot of work to do. We tried something with the steering rack in the first session and it wasn't very good, so we had to change that between sessions. I got caught out by some water at Turn 10 in Practice 2 and I hit the wall quite hard. There was quite a bit of damage to the left rear. The guys on my car had plenty of work to do, which is not good this early in the weekend. The last session was definitely our smoothest, so we have some good data to look at overnight, and a practice session in the morning means that we can have another play with the car."

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p14:
"We worked really hard to get the car right today and it's not quite there at the moment but we're getting there. We're very focused on getting second in the championship and I think at the moment we just need to find a little bit more speed in the second half of the lap. This is one of the toughest tracks we race at, it's really hard to get it right. To get a good, clean lap around here is really satis-fying as a driver because there are so many variables."

Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, p16:
"We were just getting some laps in today around the streets, and I feel the conditions are difficult because the circuit seems to have deteriorated since last year. We had to adjust the car to the conditions which meant that we chasing it every session. We have a final practice session tomor-row morning which will be the most important session of the whole weekend. Hopefully we can get the car properly sorted then and see how we go."

Chaz Mostert, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p17:
"There was a lot of rubbing the wall here today but thankfully we didn't have too much damage. It is such a tough track and you have to push the limits. Our one lap pace was not where it needed to be compared to the cars ahead of us so we need to do a bit of work on that overnight. We will be ok with a tank of fuel and in race trim but we've got our work cut out for us tonight trying to find gains for qualifying."

Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p18:
"It wasn't too bad. We got through quite an extensive test program with parts that we wanted to try around this place, and towards the end we were able to tune the car to where it needs to be for tomorrow. I'm pretty happy with where it is with the handling, it became a bit of a race at the end there where everyone put new tyres on, which we didn't have to throw at the car. So where we are at is not too bad a position, we'll get some new tyres on it, and see where we are at tomorrow."

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, p19:
"A good fun day, it's always a very difficult track. It was really difficult to get one clean lap in, that's going to be the key tomorrow in the two 10 minute qualifying sessions, with traffic, yellow flags, and just you as a driver just getting the best you possibly can out of the car. You hit a kerb at a slightly different angle, it fires you into the air differently, and you land differently, and it can really hinder your progress. So you have to wring its neck, and almost be prepared not to bring the car back to get a nice quick lap time. We did that in the first run in the second session, but we just didn't quite get the lap together on the green tyres in the last session. I just tagged the fence exiting turn one on my very first lap, and from there I was just chasing my tail as I didn't quite know if the car had been damaged. I definitely didn't put a clean lap in, but we still need to tune the car a little more, and get it a bit better. Given how the car feels now and where the track's at, I think the track is go-ing to come to us. We're all looking ok, we just need to put our head down in tomorrow's practice, and we'll be fine."

Marcos Ambrose, XBOX Racing DJR, p24:
"It has been a great day for us really. Just to get re acclimatised with a V8 Supercar in competition and on a tough track like Homebush has been good. I have just taken my time with it today, but we will know where we stack up tomorrow when we bolt on new tyres."

Mark Winterbottom, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p25:
"In the last session we made the car a lot better. We fixed our braking issues from earlier in the day but that meant we effectively started the final session from square one. Despite that I was the most comfortable I've been with my braking for the last five months so we had a good gain. Even though I fried the tyres early and then didn't get to set my lap at the end I think we ended the day well."

Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN, p26:
"Tough day, but there's a practice session in the morning, and we'll run our greens then. Qualifying will be the tell-all, and I think we're better than where we finished up. Marcos Ambrose in one of our customer cars is back there too, along with Frosty, so collectively there's a bit of work to do. Hopefully qualifying we can get inside the top 15."

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