With a break between Winton and Darwin, supercars.com is analysing the drivers’ results and performances in this first part of the season. The racing is the closest in history, with nine different winners in 11 races.
Cameron Waters, Monster Energy Racing Engineer: Brendan Hogan
Average qualifying position: 11.5 Average finishing position: 14.8 Championship position: 21 Points to leader: 470 Wins: 0 Pole positions: 1
Best result: Pole Perth. Aided by conditions, but first of many no doubt.
Low point: Perth Sunday 26th Locked up, flat-spotted tyres, puzzlingly poor and out of character.
For: The ability to drive these cars really fast requires a bunch of different characteristics including one you can’t teach – pure, innate speed. As Waters has demonstrated time and again this year he’s got that in bucket loads. But not just that; he is good under pressure, surviving the crazy conditions at the Clipsal to finish a fine fourth. Then he claimed pole in Perth when there was only one shot at a fast lap. He has also shown he will not be intimidated, going door-to-door and wheel-to-wheel with some of the toughest racers in a tough field, the most obvious example being his stoush with James Courtney at Winton. Would be further up in the championship if not for his Symmons engine failure and Phillip Island tyre detonation, which were both beyond his control.
Against: In his first year Waters has shown understandable inconsistency. Although he is a graduate of Prodrive’s successful Dunlop Series program, he is still learning the car, learning the team and bonding with his new engineer Brendan Hogan – himself new to the team this year and the subject of his own hiccups after suffering a leg injury in a motorcycle accident.
Waters’ involvement in incidents is a double-edged sword, establishing his credentials but also hurting his results.
On Sunday in Perth he had his one true poor outing of the year, locking up, running off and severely flat spotting his front tyres on the way to 26th place. Afterwards he said he was puzzled by what had happened – one of the few times this year that has happened.
The team: The mechanical issues that have struck his car and Hogan’s injury haven’t helped Waters settle in, but there is no doubt the Falcon FG X is fast and capable of winning races. One smart team decision was to place him in a garage with the team’s oldest and most experienced driver Mark Winterbottom, taking pressure off everyone involved.