Xiberras dares to dream after stunning Gen3 debut

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 13/03/2023
  • By James Pavey

Podiums are in the sights of Nulon Racing Team Owner Peter Xiberras after a strong Chevrolet debut for PremiAir Racing.

James Golding finished fourth in Sunday’s Thrifty Newcastle 500 finale, with Tim Slade ninth.

It ticked an early box for Xiberras — having both cars in the top 10 in a race.

It was just rewards for the team after a luckless Saturday race, which came after Slade (fourth) and Golding (10th) both qualified in the top 10.

Slade’s race was ruined by a wheel nut issue, while Golding was undone by a fuel issue.

Come Sunday, and both Nulon Racing Camaros finished in the top nine, with Golding just 1.95s off the podium.

Golding notably duelled with eventual winner Shane van Gisbergen early on, and edged towards David Reynolds' Penrite Mustang in the closing laps.

“We went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows,” Xiberras said after Sunday’s race.

“The boys recovered, we learnt a lot, and we turned it into race form. The goal was to bring two cars home in the top 10.

“There are lots of things you can try and do to lift your team — but results lift.

“When the cars went out again today and were fast… it was like a light switch. They all lit up, and off we were.”

On Golding and Slide making the podium, Xiberras added: “We’re all hoping for it one day.

“Our day will come, it will come, I guarantee it."

Golding, who has commenced his first full season since 2019, was elated by Sunday’s performance.

“This is a huge result for myself and our young team, and something that we can all be proud of,” the Victorian said.

Slade added: “It is true that it was a difficult day yesterday.

"But there were still lots of positives to take out of that with plenty of good car speed, and we brought that into today.

“It was definitely a case of a bit smoother sailing for us today, and it was an awesome result for the team with two cars in the top 10 for qualifying and then the race.

"I must say congratulations and awesome job to the #31 guys for P3 in qualifying and the Shootout, and P4 in the race.

“We struggled a little in the #400 [with early pace] in the race, but that is all part of the learning process.

“There are definitely lots of things to take out of the weekend and build on for the next one at the Grand Prix, which we are all very much looking forward to.”

Golding and Slade are ninth and 14th in the drivers’ standings, and Nulon Racing seventh in teams, heading to the next round at Albert Park.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint on March 30-April 2.

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