Queensland Test wrap - take two

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/07/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Teams were met with clear conditions yesterday with just Erebus Motorsport and Dick Johnson Racing out on-track for the final lot of V8 Supercars testing before the Coates Hire Ipswich 400.

The day at Queensland Raceway was smooth with both teams getting through their testing programs with no damage or delays.

For DJR, it was the team's first independent test of the year, and while co-drivers were present, more focus was on preparation for the 'QR' event - where they won a race last year with Chaz Mostert.

Mostert was there the briefly test David Wall's Falcon, as part of the technical alliance between the sole Ford teams on the V8 Supercars grid. Both teams have tested this week with a focus on improving qualifying pace.

Erebus meanwhile kicked off the day by announcing new sponsorship deals, giving new signage a run around the 3.12km track ahead of the event there, which begins August 1.

Here's how the teams went.

Dick Johnson Racing

Fresh off a top 10 result at the 250km race in Townsville, Scott Pye was happy with the progress he and engineer Mark Fenning made with the #16 Dick Johnson Racing Falcon yesterday.

He is hoping that roll continues at Queensland Raceway, a track where DJR had success last year.

"Townsville was obviously quite good for us and hopefully we will do the same at QR," Pye told v8supercars.com.au.

The Wilson Security-backed driver said the team worked through and completed its program, adjusting to suit the conditions.

"We were going to finish quite early, but we decided to sit out in the middle part of the day when track temp was quite high and run later in the afternoon.

"Overall, obviously it was about trying to work a little bit on a qualifying car for Queensland Raceway ... we tried to make sure that come QR we're in a good position for both qualy and the race."

Dick Johnson toldv8supercars.com.au the plan for the test was to work from Mostert's setup last year and tweak until the drivers were comfortable.

"We rolled out and we felt we were pretty competitive straight away," Pye said.

"The track today was fairly fast - we went a fair way from our base setup which was intentional, we'd planned a few things to go through, so we kept the mechanics quite busy."

Pye's Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver Ash Walsh drove a handful of laps, but was also busy with his Dunlop Series team testing there. Walsh currently leads by 47 points and will be out on-track in the series at the Coates Hire Ipswich 400, with a dedicated co-driver test on the cards prior to Sandown.

"That's his first laps really in the car this year ... We'll put him in later in the year and he'll get plenty of laps then. It was good to chuck him in and make sure he fitted and everything worked well for him today."

The team will now focus on its Open Day this weekend, with fans invited to the workshop for a look.

Erebus Motorsport V8

Thankfully after the dramas of its last test when Alex Davison put the #9 into the tyre barriers after a brake failure, Erebus Motorsport V8 experienced a trouble-free day Queensland Raceway.

With the Coates Hire Ipswich 400 looming at the same venue, the team worked on honing the two Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGs of Will Davison and Lee Holdsworth for the short six-corner circuit, as well as gathering valuable data for following events.

And with the event also scheduled to be run solely on soft tyres, Erebus spent plenty of its test and development time yesterday on used soft Dunlops from its tyre bank.

"We were getting a feel for which tools in the setup tool kit worked at each particular corner," explained Erebus Head of Performance - Engineering Wes McDougall.

The team also tested new engine developments in both cars.

With the Pirtek Enduro Cup looming Alex Davison got some laps in the car he will share with his brother, while Craig Baird reunited with Holdsworth's #4.

In total, both cars completed more than 100 laps in conditions that were cool, clear and reasonably consistent.

This was the first test for the team since former team manager Dave Stuart departed for his new role as V8 Supercars Sporting and Technical Director.

McDougall and crew chief Ben Croke are working alongside General Manager V8 Ross Stone to handle Stuart's duties.

They even had time to say G'day to Stuart yesterday as he was at QR in his new role!

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