Slade details "heartbreaking" end to Tasmania

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 28/04/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Tim Slade says the Supercheap Auto Racing team must do all it can to earn maximum points this weekend in Perth, after Sunday race results have gone begging in 2015.

Slade finished the last V8 Supercars race in Tasmania in pit lane, after a fuel miscalculation and unscheduled pit stop caused chaos for him and his team in the closing stages of the 200km race.

The stop was touch and go because pit lane closes once the leader begins the final racing lap - and though he was only seconds out, Slade got caught in the lane and was not able to cross the finish line.

The Supercheap Auto racer, who currently sits 16th in the Championship, described the end of the 200km race as "heartbreaking" when speaking to the Inside Supercars panel this evening.

"I was 10th on 82 of 84 laps and it sort of came up as a surprise," Slade explained on the Inside Supercars panel.

"Basically I got the low fuel light, or alarm, with four laps to go and radioed through to my engineer Bushy [Jason Bush] - and I think it was as much of a surprise to him as it was to me.

"He called me in with, I think, two laps ... to go.

"And it's one of those things, the moment in the car, you hear something on the radio and you think, 'did he really just call me in, or do I come in or not?'.

"So I thought it'd be better to trust my instincts and come in and unfortunately I think the flag went out just as I was taking off out of my pit box and they shut me in the pit lane.

"To do 82 of 84 laps for no result is pretty heartbreaking but obviously a bit of an error there - and it's not just me, it's everybody in the team that it hurts, especially [losing] the Sunday points."

The 29-year old showed solid form in the second part of the 2014 season - standing on the podium at the Gold Coast and Sydney Olympic Park - but has not been able to bank the points this time around, with engine dramas plaguing him at the Clipsal 500 and just one top 10 finish at Symmons Plains.

"Clipsal - I wasn't unhappy with our weekend, I think we showed some good speed - but then we had an engine misfire which hurt, and obviously the big points were on offer Sunday," Slade recalled.

"Tassie ... no points on the Sunday there.

"So for sure we have to do everything we possibly can to make sure we get the maximum amount of points that we possibly can - but that's no different to any other weekend. So nothing will change in that respect."

Slade was joined on the panel by Volvo star Scott McLaughlin, who has also had a harder start to the year than he would've liked, his S60 experiencing mechanical issues.

"A bit of me, a bit of the team, a bit of everything - just stuff that shouldn't happen if you want to win a Championship," 13th-placed McLaughlin said of his start to the year.

"I need to shape up myself as well - driver needs a bit of a tune up - and we'll get this car going faster."

McLaughlin and Volvo won the manufacturer's first Championship race since entering the new generation of V8 Supercars, but the young kiwi driver warned the competition would be tougher than ever this year.

The V8 Supercars hit the track for the Perth SuperSprint this Friday.

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