David Wall will this year reemerge with Dick Johnson Racing, which he believes is a step forward after career-best results in V8 Supercars in 2013, with three top 10 finishes and qualifying efforts.
Wall spoke to v8supercars.com.au about last season.
V8supercars: What was your best race in 2013?
Wall: “I don’t know about best race, but best meeting in general probably was Texas and very close to that would have been Phillip Island, the second last one of the year.
“From the time we rolled the car out of the truck at Phillip Island and off the pallet so to speak at Texas over in the USA it was good – we had a lot of car speed and it was good to be running where we feel we should have been running.”
Most disappointing race?
“Probably Bathurst. We qualified ok, we only just missed the shootout, qualified 13th. We got all of our stops out of the way, probably thinking towards the end of the race and unfortunately had a power steering failure – we were looking in reasonable shape at the end of the race, certainly top 10 or something better – so we gave something away there that would have been a worthwhile result, for sure.”
“There’s been a fair few actually! Don’t know, maybe Queensland Raceway when Todd Kelly turned me around in one of the races and I got going again and got all the way back through the field and back to Todd Kelly in the race, so probably that one. There was a fair bit of battling going on there.”
Best off-track memory or achievement?
“Definitely to be part of Brighty over at New Zealand getting the trophy for the Jason Richards family, for Charlotte and the girls. That was a big thing to be part of.”
What was your goal coming into the season and how did it play out?
“I didn’t really know what to expect. We knew we’d make a fair old jump with the new cars, but I didn’t realise how much of a jump it would be. Definitely we were far more competitive in 2013 than 2012 due to a lot of things. We set ourselves goals to try and run consistently to get into the top 10 and more of a regular occurrence and early on in the year showed we were able to do that, so our goal moved forward a little bit, we wanted to be in the top 10 on a regular basis – sometimes we fell short and sometimes we were there.
You touched on the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy – what would you say was the best achievement by the team?
“It would probably be that. That’s definitely one that springs to mind for sure.”
Most challenging part of running the new generation cars?
“There’s been a lot of challenges really. Just getting on top of the car – we’ve seen a lot of things during the year that made it a lot nicer to drive, basically just learning the car and getting on top of that was probably the biggest thing all year, the biggest challenge.”
How would you rate your season out of 10?
“Probably a six, a little bit above average. As I say, a couple of times we fell short of what we wanted to achieve, unfortunately I definitely made a few mistakes in the year and had a couple of little things that let us down from time to time, so that probably put us at a six, whereas if we’d had a couple of other things go our way we’d probably be a seven or an eight.”
Best performance by another driver?
“That’s a hard one! Probably Fabian (Coulthard) at Symmons Plains, that one springs to mind.
“We didn’t know how we were going to go there leading into the weekend, none of us were that rapt with our car there in 2012, and then we turned up there and we all had a lot more pace and Fabian got his first Championship win there. That was probably a very standout performance.”
Most valuable co-driver?
“Definitely mine! Look, there were a lot that spring to mind, Steven Johnson did a good job, I think Chris Pither did a good job, Luke Youlden did a good job as well. They’re three guys that jump into my mind.”
Best change being made to the Championship for 2014?
“I like the idea of the fuel races coming back into it, so I hope we can get back to what it was like in that regard with the fuel side of things, which we’re working on.”