Rookie winner James Moffat has put controversy aside, focusing his efforts on building with the team ahead of the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
Moffat hopes his team is allowed some sort of fuel economy parity ahead of the long-distance season which begins at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, believing his team will put in the hard work required for the best possible result in either circumstance.
“That’s all we can really do,” Moffat said. “The team has been working fantastically hard all year and I’m happy Michael (Caruso) and I were able to give them the result we did, because it gives them all a bit of a pep in the step. It’s not just us that won, the whole team has.”
The 29-year old was speechless when he leapt from the vehicle after the 60/60 Super Sprint and while the result was a cause for celebration, the team had to press on and prepare to back-up during Sunday’s two races.
There was plenty of focus on the yellow Nissans after it had been announced they had run a different fuel mixture on Saturday.
V8 Supercars confirmed there was no advantage gain – the two Norton Nissans were no faster in a straight line than the Jack Daniel’s Racing Nissans, and were in fact slower than the leading Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon. Jamie Whincup had been leading the two Norton Hornets in that race, until a mechanical failure forced him to retire.
The two Nissans switched back to the same fuel as the field for Sunday’s two races, but the team had made overnight set-up changes for first qualifying (24th) before reverting back to the configuration of the previous day to qualify ninth in the second session and just .23 seconds from ARMOR ALL Pole Position.
“We probably outsmarted ourselves a little bit – we tried to make a couple of changes for the first qualifying session to the car and they didn’t work. We qualified nowhere,” Moffat told v8supercars.com.au.
“I think, similarly to (Saturday), a tenth of a second would have put us on the front row. Saturday we were on the right side of that tenth, Sunday we were on the wrong side of it. That’s just how close it is.”
In the first Sunday race Moffat made up an impressive 14 positions to come home 11th, and to close maintained his top 10 start to finish eighth. He was the only Nissan to finish the race cleanly, with the other three suffering after incidents on track.
“The car was pretty good in both races – it looked after it's tyres well and we certainly got a few positions in the back end because of that.
“I think there were a few coming back to me in that second race, but the safety car – I think the first safety car hurt us because a whole lot of people elected to pit and we didn’t.”
Moffat has been a consistent performer in the Nissan squad – he and team boss Rick Kelly both in the top 50 percent of the Championship points and Kelly having finished fifth and qualified twice in that position this season.
And while nothing is as good as winning, Moffat acknowledged on Sunday night how well the weekend at the Winton 360 had gone and what it meant for the crew.
“All in all, obviously it has to be a positive weekend given what we achieved Saturday. I’m just disappointed for all the rest of the boys, it looks like they had a pretty rough end to the weekend.
“It’s never good to see damaged cars and the boys will have quite a bit of work to do before Sandown. Which is never good, but that’s racing.”
The win came after Moffat signing a multi-year deal to stay with Nissan – while he did consider options, Moffat’s preference was to stay with the squad and described the deal as just a formality.