Drivers' Quoteboard: Winton 360 Practice

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/08/2013
  • By V8 Supercars with teams

James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p1: 

“Obviously this was a good day for us.

“It’s only practice, but we came into the weekend more confident thanks to a productive test day recently.

“There were some very changeable conditions, so you had to be on your game. There were plenty of red flags, but I’m happy with how things of gone, so we’ll see if that can continue tomorrow.

“On paper, Winton is probably going to least effect us with the way our car is at the moment. Coming into this weekend, we were confident that our speed was going to be better than what it has been over the past couple of events.

“In terms of handling, the cars have been positive, and there’s been circuits this year that have proved that, and a well balanced car is vital around Winton.

“I’m not getting too carried away at the moment. It’s only Friday, but this is very positive for the whole team.”

David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing, p2:

“There’s no reason why we can’t (win) it’s our home track. Hopefully we don’t have conditions like we had today. I see it as more of a game of musical chairs and when the music stopped we were the only three sitting down, basically.“

On his future with FPR: “We will be sorted in a few weeks. We just have to get the deal. I’m 100 percent staying. I’ve got an awesome sponsor in Bottle-O, it’s a multi-year deal and it’s a great team to be part of.” 

Chaz Mostert, Wilson Security DJR, p3:

“We were pretty lucky at QR (Queensland Raceway, where Mostert won his first race last event)… We just had a good car. I thought it might be busy but it’s actually been pretty quiet, just trying to focus on here at Winton. It’s a pretty tough game, you can be on top one minute and off the next, so trying to keep completely focused on each round and get into the enduros and see where we end up. 

“Our car was brilliant at QR and the car didn’t feel far away from that today. 

“We’ll just keep fine tuning it, stick with what we know and see where we end up Saturday and Sunday.” 

Scott McLaughlin, Fujitsu Racing GRM, p4: 

“Day one at Winton was wet and cold. But we finished p4 in the end at practice. The car was pretty good, we just never got a good run, so I think we’re in for a good shot this weekend. We just need to keep pushing on and we’ll be right. Was hard to keep it on the black stuff, it was pretty crazy out there and if you’re one millimetre offline you’re in the mud and dirt. So we move on to tomorrow and we’ll be right.”

Will Davison, Pepsi Max FPR, p5:

“It was a tough day in crazy conditions. Thankfully I kept the car on the black stuff. There was one dry line at the end and crucially we didn’t use a second set of tyres like all the guys ahead of me. While we didn’t learn a heap the car feels pretty good.”

Shane van Gisbergen, Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods, p6:

“We’re pretty good on the board, but the local guys got messed up by all the red flags and didn’t really get to set a time, so we don’t really know where we stand again. No one knows what tyres everyone is running, but the car feels good, it was nice on older tyres in the wet, so we’ll see where we are tomorrow.”

Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, p7:

“James’ car was on rails, which was good to see. He did a great job.

“My car was good in all conditions. It was good in the wet, and as the track dried out, we were comfortable as well.

“We can improve the car, and we didn’t get a chance to run new tyres. The 30 minute practice session tomorrow will give us a good chance to see where we are.” 

Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p8:

"We were just in and out of the pits all the time. We put a better set of tyres on with 17 minutes to go and didn't get a lap. I mean, I started two laps but didn't get to complete them because of the red flags with people going off and getting stuck in the mud.

"It doesn't throw you off really. Winton, every time we come here it's different. We've got a few things we wanted to learn today but the track will have changed so much by tomorrow so it's not a problem at all.

"From what I could tell handling was pretty good in the wet especially. We dropped down the times when everyone put slicks on but in the wet we were one of the fastest. The last wet race we had was at the GP and we did alright there so confidence is pretty high."

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, p9:

“It was really hard to stick to any sort of plan with not only the weather, but people spearing off everywhere. As soon as you go off the track, which we knew heading into the weekend, you're going to cause a red flag.

"I'm not sure how many we had out there, but I'm pretty sure it must be some sort of record. As we said coming into the weekend, we're not going to count our chickens before they hatch, and the car’s handling today was very different to what it was at the test.

"We've got a bit of work to do overnight, but for us to have a car that's misbehaving and be inside the top 10 is very promising.

"As long as we put some good effort in overnight and understand where we need to improve then we should have a good chance of a solid result and it was a great effort by James Moffat and his crew to get that car right up the front. We've got something to look at there as well, so all is in good shape."

Jason Bright, Team BOC, p10:

“It dried out from about 20 minutes in today’s last session but there were so many red flags; it was just a weird session. Every time a car went off they just couldn’t get back onto the track so they had to be towed.

“We only got one hit on our last set of tyres. We weren’t really happy with it but, given it’s a usual Friday and we don’t know what tyres everyone’s got and, knowing ours weren’t that great, I’m happy with 10th. I was surprised to hear that we were 10th.

“We were very strong in the wet. We were P1 and P2 for the whole first period whilst it was wet. Andy [Jones] did one lap and was P1 for the whole of the co-driver session but I think we’ll be strong in the dry too. We didn’t have good tyres for that run at the end of the session and didn’t end up as far off as I would have expected on that set of tyres. Our car was strong here in the dry on our last test day so I’m not fussed." 

Lee Holdsworth, IRWIN Racing, p11: 

“In these conditions it always makes things difficult, if you drop a wheel off, things can get pretty bad, as a few people have found – especially around turn four where I went off.

“Overall, things for the IRWIN Racing team have been going pretty well, we have some good speed. We do have a few things to tune up, if there is a positive from the incident this afternoon it is there is no mechanical damage, so we’ll tune it up and see where we can go.

“Today’s been one of those days – we’ve had every single condition imaginable, the hardest conditions are where it is neither one or another and that is what we’ve found today. We’re trying to feel our way around, we’ll get over it and push on tomorrow.”

Russell Ingall, Supercheap Auto Racing, p13:

“The conditions were extremely tricky, and it was good to get through the day without any damage.

“The car was very good in the wet conditions and still competitive in the dry; it was a shame we weren’t able to improve our time at the end because of the red flags.

“The team learned a lot today, and we seem to have found setups that work in a variety of conditions, which bodes well for the rest of the weekend because the weather is very unpredictable.”

Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, p14:

"It was good to get through the first day in one piece, it's pretty tough out there with the conditions to try and get a lap in where you know the conditions are comparable to everybody else.

“At the end it dried out OK and, for the tyre I had on the car in the end, I don't think we're looking too bad. I think we ended the day in about 14th, but we know the tyres we put on were pretty second hand.

"If it stays dry I think we're in a pretty good position and based off where James Moffat finished the day, it's shaping up to be a pretty good weekend.”

James Courtney, Holden Racing Team, p15 (via Twitter): 

“Crazy day today... Car didn't feel to bad. Looking forward to seeing how it all plays out tomorrow.”

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p16:

“We actually have learned a lot and have some good information for tomorrow.

“We’ve had very few opportunities to drive in wet conditions this year and we actually progressed the car some. It was actually quite nice to drive. We were really pleased with the car in the wet weather and if it stays like this, I know we’ll be in with a good shot.

“We put our best tyres on at the end there and got three corners in. But as funny as it sounds, those three corners felt really good and it was actually really encouraging for tomorrow. Let’s just hope he can get more than five laps in at once.”

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p17:

“Almost the whole field tests here, so we have a lot of ground to make up.”

Alex Davison, JELD-WEN FPR, p19:

“It was good the track dried out at the end and we are definitely not as far back as the position on the timing screens suggests. We spent a lot of time mucking around with different tyres and settings and by the time we got the car back to where we wanted it we got caught out by the red flags. I am not too worried as the car is good and I think we will be okay tomorrow with a less messy day.” 

Tim Slade, Heavy Haulage Australia Racing, p20:

 “We ran around in the wet at bit in the first session which wasn’t too bad, but it’s hard to get a read when the track is drying out as it was. In the second session, we had some smoke come into the cabin on the outlap, so we brought it in, conducted a search and there was nothing major, so we went back out on slicks.

“From the start of the session right through, we only got about two flying laps, there is definitely more in the Heavy Haulage Australia car than timesheets suggests, but everyone is in the same boat.

“The only time we’ve run this car in the wet previously was at the Grand Prix when the package was nowhere near where it is now, so it wasn’t really an indicator, where today gave us a bit more usable data.

“It’s impossible to get a read on anything from today, but everyone is in the same boat.”

Alex Premat, Fujitsu Racing GRM, p21:

“It’s been a working day. We’re trying different things on the wet setting and the dry setting. We didn’t put any fresh or new slick tyres on, so 

the car was quite good – and we’ll see tomorrow for qualifying. But definitely we’re hoping for a top 10 in qualifying and to have a good race.”  

Tim Blanchard, Wilson Security Dick Johnson Racing, p22: 

“Today was probably the most competitive Friday we have enjoyed this year. The first session was wet and we had good speed early on but the tyres were shot towards the end, but still held p18. On full wets the car could run times in the Top 10 so it was very promising. Later in the day we had a wet and dry session and my slicks were worn but not too bad. I think my last lap that I caught the Red Flag on would have been good enough for somewhere between 10 and 12th position so I think we can carry some good things out of today (Friday).”

Mark Winterbottom, Pepsi Max FPR, p23:

“I stayed on the track and spent the day either heading out onto the track or sitting in the pits after the enormous amount of red flags so I can’t say it was overly constructive. Importantly Steve (Richards) was quick in the wet so that was really good to see him so strong on the track.”

Tony D’Alberto, Team HIFLEX, p24:

Was a tough day for the guys today, probably for everyone in pit lane in fact. Being caught in heavy traffic, having a hard run with hot laps and red flags and the rain coming and going, really was frustrating for us. Was still some good signs though, the car seemed to be performing better and better throughout the session and Jonny (Reid) got some valuable time behind the wheel. The team is looking to put a big impression on Practice Three and Qualifying tomorrow.” 

Jonathon Webb, Team TEKNO Darrell Lea, p25:

“It was wet, dry and everything in between! I think it was good, the car wasn’t too bad at all. On the wet run, we were pushing on and as the tyre temps increased we were just going quicker and quicker.

“Right at the end of that first session we weren’t really going anywhere, so we decided to park it and work on a dry set up for the second session. 

“We’re not too far away, which is good. The car is doing pretty much everything I want it to do, and we have some pretty good tyres as we didn’t get to use them today. We’ll see what practice tomorrow brings.”

Maro Engel, SP Tools Racing, p26:

“Everything went fairly smoothly despite getting messed around with the red flags. We were unable to get some good rubber on the car, so looking at the time differences I think we’re looking pretty good pace-wise.

“We were able to stay on the track, which was an effort in itself today. We have another practice tomorrow where we can take to the track, hopefully, on some better rubber.

“I’m dialing in well to the track and am feeling fairly confident for where we are likely to be.” 

Co-drivers

Craig Baird, IRWIN Tools Racing #4:

“It is always nice to get a feel for the car in the wet, especially a new car like this. I think overall, the IRWIN Racing car is reasonably competitive. It has been a while since I have run a V8 Supercar in the wet – it is bound to happen at either Sandown or Bathurst – so it is good to clear the cobwebs somewhere like here ahead of time.

“The conditions are really difficult, if you run just a little bit wide, you can’t get back on, it is just so slippery and boggy off to the side of the track.

“I think the main aim for these blokes in race conditions will be to just keep it on the black stuff!”

Steven Johnson, SP Tools Racing #9:

“Winton is a tricky track in the wet, having the old surface it does, there are a lot of bitumen repairs that make it like ice in the wet, but can be really grippy when it’s warm.

“The key around here in these conditions is to drive nice and smooth. The SP Tools #9 had a lot of push in the early part of the session, we made some changes and it was really good, so it was pleasing to get out of the car in second among the co-drivers.

“It is so refreshing for me to come here and be part of the team like this and I’m really enjoying my time in the SP Tools car and with Erebus Motorsport V8." 

Andrew Thompson, Heavy Haulage Australia Racing #47:

“Today for me was about getting some laps in the wet and not doing anything stupid and hand it to Tim, it was pretty hard because you wouldn’t get any more than one or two laps before a red flag came out.

“In the wet, there are always things that can be done to improve the car to make it better, but it’s a tough track with plenty of bumps and other obstacles that don’t necessarily help the cause.”

From the teams

Bruce Jenkins, TEKNO Team Manager:

“I think today was pretty good, actually. Conditions really dictated where we were today, and when you were out there at the right times. Shane’s run was pretty good, he’s pretty comfortable with the balance he has there. There’s a little bit of improvement to happen on Jonathon’s side, but we’ll get that done in the morning. I’m very confident of both of them being in the top 10.”

Tim Edwards, FPR Team Principal: 

“It was a bit of a nothing day today. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many red flags in my life at any race track. Unfortunately those delays made it impossible to get into any sort of a rhythm what with the rain and then the drying track and lots of muck on the surface. Hopefully tomorrow will present better conditions.”

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