LDM will be strong by Sandown

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 27/05/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport's two cars will be solid, consistent performers bySandown - that's the word from team boss Barry Hay, who has helped build the developing outfit up to a two-car operation this year.

Hay - who came on-board for the 2015 season after years of success at Stone Brothers Racing/Erebus Motorsport - has focused on hiring the right people and taking progress one step at a time, and is confident of improvement as the year stretches on.

It has been a challenging start to the season, as Hay and team owner Lucas Dumbrell have boosted crew numbers - but both cars have finished each race equal or ahead of where they qualified, with Nick Percat earning two top 10 finishes and Tim Blanchard one top 12 result in 2015.

While the team is itching to get closer to the front, Hay is careful not to push for too much too fast, with his eyes on the future.

"Sandown was what I set in stone when I started, that was always my deadline ... that we'd arrive well-prepared, two cars with speed, two solid co-drivers, with a real race team," Hay told v8supercars.com.au.

"It's coming along. We're still trying to progress each meeting but we're trying to be sensible about it, take baby steps and do stuff 100 per cent properly and take on the next thing.

"Otherwise you can get a bit caught up in the fact that there's so much stuff and you want to fix everything in one hit, but all you do is start 10 jobs and half finish 10 jobs.

"We're doing it one thing at a time and getting on top of it, and everyone's much happier... That's why I spent so much time getting the right guys - I spend more time on the team just about than what I do on the cars - the guys are number one priority."

The crew experienced a heavy workload preparing first for the sydney.com SuperTest, and then for the Tasmania round after Percat's crash at the Australian Grand Prix.

His Repair Management Racing Australia Commodore had more significant damage than initially expected, forcing the team to purchase a new chassis from TEKNO, which ultimately got to the Apple Isle on the back of the Spirit of Tasmania.

While Hay was proud of his crew's efforts to have Percat on-track, the hard work took its toll during the race meeting.

There had been extensive plans post-Tasmania, but Hay scrapped them to rebuild Percat's car for Perth, which resulted in an impressive top 10 finish for in Sunday's race. Numbers increased behind the scenes, and it reflected in the results.

"The boys were refreshed, the cars were better, and we made a solid step for both cars in Perth, and we've ... got more of a team now.

"I've put on the last couple of guys so we've got a full team now - I think it's 19 now, which is what we need - so that's us, we don't need anymore.

"We were starting with really small numbers, everyone was multi-tasking, it was really difficult, but because I was so determined to get the right sort of guys, I was happy to do the hard yards and wait."

Car speed is the focus for the June 19-21 SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin - Hay believes the next step for the team is qualifying better.

"For Darwin, I've organised the next stage of developments on the cars. I hope to have those in place so we've got a bit more speed. We're concentrating now more on engine and all the stuff around it...

"We'll probably see if we can get the engine side of things under control, find some more speed and then we'll concentrate on qualifying. Your whole weekend is based on qualifying now, if you qualify badly you just can't come back."

ConfirmingBlanchard's co-driver is also on the to do list - Hay is happy they have a 'gun' international driver soon to be announced.

"The guy I'm bringing in is big on helping the team he's part of, so he's part of our development, and that's what I want to try and do it for as well.

"They (internationals) bring that air of experience and calm that when you take a whole lot of new kids to the big races, it just keeps it all level-headed."

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