Drivers' Quoteboard: Race Three, Clipsal 500 Adelaide

03 Mar 2014
Chaos unfolded on the streets of Adelaide -here's what some of your favourites had to say.

James Courtney, Holden Racing Team, p1:

“I knew the car speed was going to be pretty good but in the start we were pushing on really quite good it was really encouraging and I was able to get past a couple of the guys. We pitted early and had some clear track with these guys and I was running with these guys really well. We had a few issues with the car in the second stint and ran wide a couple of times with a little issue and managed to get that resolved.”

Click here for more from James Courtney.

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p2:

“James Courtney did a good job today and didn’t make any mistakes when it counted. We put the Holden on the line till the end to try and make an opportunity in that final lap but coming in to turn eight I under-steered, kissed the wall, lost a mirror and away we went.  We had to come in to our second pit stop five laps early with a delaminated tyre which threw out our strategy but we were lucky enough to be in a good position to come straight in either way. Qualifying has always been my Achilles heel which I’ve been working on with my engineer Jeromy Moore. Overall it was a fantastic weekend. We had multiple winners, multiple manufacturers on the podium and I think the category is really healthy.” 

Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p4:

"Leaving Adelaide second on points is great. Last year we were 23rd and we finished sixth in the Championship so it's a great start. We just need to keep the momentum going. 

“Qualifying is definitely something we can improve. In every session other than qualifying we've been in the top five. In all three qualifying sessions we've been out of the top 10. We need to have a look at that and try to rectify the problem. I think if we can get a better qualifying car we can run at the front and get a better result." 

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, p5:

"What an amazing race! There was so much going on out there, I must admit I was extremely surprised by a few things out there.

"First of all, I got squeezed at the very first corner with Garth Tander, he ran me into the tyre bundle, it damaged my steering and damaged the car, so in the pitstop it took an additional 20 seconds to change the wheel. But that's racing.

"The next incident was that restart, we got a drive through penalty, and it was a complete surprise to me!

"I still don't know what we did wrong; for me a safety car is put out for safety reasons, so at the end of it you just want to resume racing in a fair manner.

"It's absolutely been a lottery with every restart we have done under this new format. I'm disappointed by that.

"Then I had another drive through penalty for speeding in pit lane, but I obviously have to put my hand up for that one, if that has happened then it is absolutely completely my fault.

"So after those two penalties, we were right back, and we had to race really hard, we lost a lap, I managed to get it back, a safety car came at the right time for us, we pitted for new tyres, and I was able to fight back to fifth.

"It's probably the most eventful race I can remember having, so I'm really excited about that, we've got good points to take away, and we flexed a bit of muscle from Jack Daniel's Racing's point of view to say that we are back." 

Tim Slade, Supercheap Auto Racing, p6:

“The car showed improved race pace today, which was great.

“It was good to get my best result here at home in Adelaide, in front of my home crowd, but we’ve still got some work to do to crack the top five.

“It was awesome to see James take the win. It’s fantastic for the boys. If we can get this sort of result now, then it’s really encouraging for later in the year.”

David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing Team, p7:

“I am very dizzy after that and think I might be partially deaf in one ear! I’m sure I’ll be fine but it was a very good result considering where we started. The weekend wasn’t ideal and while we didn’t have much pace our strategy was good and we had strong track position. We salvaged something, which was the main thing. The restarts were interesting. I gave my opinion when the idea came up and I much prefer the old system as there was less confusion and today was just stupid.”

David Wall, Wilson Security Racing, p8:

“This result was exactly what we wanted. I was trying to drive it to a time and work with the crew to know exactly how long we needed to run each tyre set. It paid dividends and importantly I did not get sucked into some of the accidents on track. It was shame we didn’t finish yesterday but we have scored good points today to get our Championship underway. We can now have a really good look at where our strengths and weaknesses and have a real crack at the Melbourne Grand Prix in two weeks." 

James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p9:

“It was a pretty crazy day for us, so to wind up ninth after all the dramas we had was a great job by every one in the Norton Nissan team.

“In regards to the incident with Will (Davison), it was probably one of those things where the penalty was judged on the result of the incident. I’m not sure my penalty was entirely fair. I had to turn in at some point otherwise I was going to run into the fence. If it had been the same collision at Turn 4 or Turn 5, it probably wouldn’t have been an incident.

“It was unfortunate, and you never want that sort of accident to happen.

“With all the things that were going on, it was a pretty good day, and we’ll move onto the Grand Prix. We’ve got a bit of work to do, so we’ll put our heads down and see if we can come up with a better package.”

Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN, p11:

“We just didn’t qualify well again, but we made improvements to the car, and the gap to the pole time was much closer, the gap to our teammates was much closer, but the position was the same. We’ve got a little bit of work to do there, both myself and Dave [Reynolds]; we’d both like to be starting much higher up on the grid. I just stayed out of trouble, a few times I had to come to a complete stop to miss all the trouble and right at the end I got caught up with car 21. We had a lot of pace on him, he didn’t have a driver’s mirror, so I was up the inside many, many times and he kept coming down on me. That caused a bit of damage, and we ended up finishing a lap down in 11th.

“Thanks to all the guys at Team JELD-WEN for good pit stops, good reliability, and three race finishes to start the year.”

Mark Winterbottom, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p12:

“Unfortunately we had a few issues today which wasn’t ideal as the pace was good. The pit stop delay cost me and put me back in the pack, but that safety car restart wasn’t right. The officials need to have a look at it as while it is great to have ideas, when driver safety is being compromised it is not right. Hopefully they address the issue. The rest of the race was really just trundling around but the way everyone was falling off I might’ve won the race if I had a few more laps. It wasn’t a great weekend but we salvaged some points.”

Michael Caruso, Norton Hornets, p14:

“We are pretty disappointed. We had a top five in the bag, there was only 15 laps to go and we were looking pretty comfortable.

 “Jamie (Whincup) went for a pass from pretty far back and slid into me. It broke some arms in the rear of the car and I was out of contention.

“The boys did a great job to get me back out to finish 14th.


“Without that incident, we might have been inside the top seven of the championship which would have been nice, but we’ll go away and work on it at the Grand Prix.”

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p15:

“It obviously wasn’t our day. I came here to try and get on the top step. I’ve been close the last couple of years but just haven’t managed to get there. We were in the box seat – we did everything we could to be in the best position with good tyres and we were well up the road. After the drive through I was just trying to make up spots and unfortunately when you’re trying to make up spots you’re way out of your comfort zone and you’re forced into difficult situations. Most of the time we manage to pull it off, but not today. We always want to start the season well, we’ve got good car speed which is a silver lining but we’re down the order and going to have to start by fighting our way up.”

Lee Holdsworth, Erebus Motorsport V8, p16:

“We had a really good car, it felt like it was better than the qualifying car I had this morning.

“I was happy to get into the Top-10 Shootout this morning and we managed ninth there but starting the race we made several changes and came out with a really solid car and one that I knew we were going to be able to work our way forward with.

“We had the restart after Will (Davison) got tipped out in turn eight, I saw Brighty (Jason Bright) go sideways through turn one and I was on the outside of three cars going into turn one so I backed off to avoid it all.

“I thought everyone would button off but I think people saw it as an opportunity make up positions which is just stupidity. I think Scott Pye drove over the front of my car and tore the front-end out.

“Luckily enough I was able to get back to the pits and the boys did such a good job to get it back out in time to salvage some points.

“I went back out there, not with the goal to get the fastest the lap, it just came to me. I had a great car and we only had average tyres on but went out there and I thought if I can put some good laps together here, I could show the boys that we’ve got the speed and give them something to come home happy about knowing that there’s some positive signs ahead and I think we knocked out the three fastest laps.

“It’s encouraging for the guys and we can all come home with our heads held high knowing that all the stuff we’ve done over the break has made a massive difference and the team’s in for some competitive racing this year.’’

Russell Ingall, Repair Management Aust Racing, p17:

“Unfortunately we didn’t get our act together in qualifying, so starting down the field isn’t ideal but our main aim was to stay out of trouble.

“We were really looking forward to this race, as always Adelaide is a race of attrition and this one was no different...

“It was a real shame after we battled so hard to get into the top twelve and was looking like a definite top ten finish when we were taken out by a fairly rookie mistake by Dale (Wood).”

On avoiding the Jason Bright accident:

"Mate that's the best bit of weaving you'll ever see, I think I should get a pay rise.

“It was a massive crash, I couldn’t believe what was seeing as I passed Jason Bright’s car up on the fence, while avoiding Holdsworth as he was spearing into me on the right.

“Can’t believe we came out with out a scratch." 

Nick Percat, Walkinshaw Racing, DNF:

“Firstly I want to thank everyone at Coates Hire and Walkinshaw Racing for making this championship a reality for me.

“I felt good in the car today and I was very pleased with my pace and that I was able to work my way forward as the race went on.

“I think our strategy worked well and although the race ended the way it did, we can take many positives from the weekend and build on them for our next race.”

Jason Bright, Team BOC, DNF:

"I'm OK. It was the first rollover of my career. It was a lot more gentle then what I expected but it landed pretty hard though on the roof. The worst part was probably being upside down trying to get out with a very different view of the world.

“The restart procedure definitely needs looking at. The low speed makes it easy to wheelspin and the leader isn't controlling the race. If they want action, they've got it but if they want safety, that's another story. Even if they increased the speed to 80 kays, that would make a difference. 

“This place is really cruel to me. I haven't had a podium since 2001 or something. I think I've had a pretty tough run here ever since."

Scott Pye, Wilson Security Racing, DNF:

“It is very disappointing. Once again the car was fantastic and I had made up a number of places. It is a real shame for the team as well as we leave here with a lot of damage and not a lot of points.”

Chaz Mostert, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, DNF:

“It was probably the worst debut possible. You never want to end a race meeting with a really crashed car but unfortunately the new safety car restarts seem to cause a lot of crashes. It was terrible to get into turn one and see cars everywhere. It was a bit of a NASCAR moment as I encountered cars, dust and debris everywhere and just hoped I wouldn’t hit anyone. Someone bounced off the tyre wall right in front of me and I had nowhere to go. We have to get the car fixed and get it to Albert Park and see if we can have a good run there.”

Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, DNF:

"That's pretty hard to take.

"At the start of the season, to come out of such a big points race with no points on Sunday in Adelaide is not really the way to kick off the season.

"It was tough yesterday too. We had really good pace, and we had a failure with the steering which put me from seventh back to 16th, but we were actually lucky to finish at all.

"So it's a pretty rough start, but the cars were quite pacey, it's just a shame we didn't get a chance to stay out there and see what we could do with them.

"The positive is that it has only broken a throttle pedal, that we couldn't repair in time to get back out, other than that the car is perfectly straight.

"It's not a huge turn around to get to the next round, and hopefully we can show what the car's true potential is at the Grand Prix."

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