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Drivers braced for tricky Adelaide surface, Turn 8 aero affect

Supercars
16 Nov
'Even under Safety Car, you had to pick your line and if you got it slightly wrong, you almost end up in the fence at 40km/h'
3 mins by James Pavey
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  • Adelaide circuit was resurfaced before 2022 event

  • New surface led to mistakes, notably at Turns 11 and 13

  • Turn 8 set to be greater challenge with low downforce Gen3 cars

A year-old track surface and reduced aero is set to create a new challenge for drivers at next weekend’s VAILO Adelaide 500.

The Adelaide circuit, held on the city’s streets, was significantly resurfaced ahead of last December’s event.

The major resurfacing works contributed to fast times, but several drivers was caught out by the tricky, slippery conditions across the weekend.

The Adelaide Street Circuit, like Townsville’s Reid Park, features a hybrid layout, with Turns 11 through to the Senna Chicane a permanent sequence of race track located within Victoria Park.

Van Gisbergen bungles lap, fails to reach Shootout

Turn 11 and Turn 13 were particularly tricky, with an increase in grip enticing drivers into climbing onto the inside kerb, leading to errors.

Brad Jones Racing driver Andre Heimgartner believes the slippery surface will have cured over the last 12 months, but still expects there to be plenty of grip.

“The track being resurfaced last year was definitely tricky,” Heimgartner told Supercars.com.

“I remember, even under Safety Car, you had to pick your line and if you got it slightly wrong, you almost end up in the fence at 40km/h.

“It’ll be better now, the roads have been driven on and it’s been cured a lot more, normally that gets rid of that.

SVG smashes the wall at Turn 11
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“But I don’t think it’s a very high use area, some parts of the track. We still might see some action in those parts, I don't think it will bring up the oils like last year. 

"But there should be plenty of grip and tyre degradation.”

The notorious Turn 8 will be one to watch this year, given the the Gen3 Supercar, with reduced downforce, is more unpredictable and harder to drive than the previous Gen2 Supercar.

Turn 8 is already a car-killer if drivers get it wrong, but with less aero on the cars, Tickford Racing driver Thomas Randle — who crashed at Turn 8 last year — expects the fast right-hander to be a handful.

Randle slams the wall at Turn 8

“In ways, Gold Coast and Adelaide are similar,” Randle told Supercars.com.

“They both have a staircase section — Gold Coast, Turns 11, 12 and 13, and Adelaide Turns 4, 5, 6 and 7 — and they have hairpins as well.

“But then Adelaide's got the infamous Turn 8, which will be the last high speed corner we’ll do for the year. Gold Coast doesn’t really have high speed corners like that.

“The Gold Coast beach chicane's crazy in itself, but it's not super fast like Turn 8. Turn 8 is sixth gear, which will be a test for the aero.”

Track action at the VAILO Adelaide 500 will commence on Thursday November 23.

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