Two-day format gets tick from drivers

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 31/05/2019
  • By Mitchell Adam

Supercars drivers have given the Winton trial of a two-day format their early approval.

While Supercars running at SuperSprints is largely completed across three days, with practice on Friday, it was condensed to two for the Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint.

That was part of a trial by Supercars, with Friday instead reserved for the support categories.

When Supercars did hit the track on Saturday morning, a 30-minute session for co-drivers, 40 minutes for full-timers and ARMOR ALL Qualifying were all held across four-and-a-half hours.

Sunday's schedule was similarly compact with the earlier race start, but largely in line with other SuperSprints.

Noting the Saturday was "full-on" for teams, race winner Scott McLaughlin said he enjoyed the way it played out.

"I think it's good for everyone here [on Saturday], especially, to see Supercars just go bang, bang, bang with all its sessions," he said.

"But it is pretty full-on for the guys.

"Even my engineer Richard [Harris] was complaining that he only had 50 minutes before the race [to work on the car], after quali."

Teams' Saturday plans were complicated by a wet start to the day.

The co-driver session was run in the rain, but the track dried through the single pre-qualifying hitout for full-timers.

"[It was] a bit unique with the weather, for sure," Chaz Mostert, the Saturday polesitter, said.

"I think we probably would have leaned on our co-drivers a lot more if it was dry, to try and get a set-up direction.

"It's pretty hard for us to get our eye in in one session."

Scott Pye said he relished the increased focus on driving when he was at the track, paired with a later arrival from his Melbourne base.

"I worked on Friday morning in the office and then came out Friday afternoon, did the track walk and straight into it," he said.

"I like the format. It's cool that the majority of our work on a weekend is driving the racecar.

"That's what we're here to do, it means there's less time to do other stuff."

Tickford Racing boss and Supercars Commission member Tim Edwards was measured on the direct benefit for teams and personnel.

"The jury is out a bit for me," he said.

"Unfortunately, we unloaded the trucks on Thursday, so we’re all here, and it made Friday a day of just standing around almost wondering why we weren’t on track.

"Anyway, it’s just one of those things we had to try.

"The output of it might be we need to unload the trucks on Friday if we do a two-day meeting in the future.

"You take all the lessons out of it, as we do with the qualifying format changes and all those other things, and we sit down and discuss it at the Commission, and decide whether it worked or it didn’t."

Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter