Drivers' Quoteboard: sydney.com Test Day

15 Feb 2014
See what some of the drivers had to say after today's sydney.com Test Day at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, p1: 

“The weather made it difficult – wet, dry, wet, dry – so that definitely hindered our progress of what we really wanted to try. But by the end of the day we actually got through everything we wanted to. I could’ve done with a bit more dry running, or one or the other, not so much here nor there, but otherwise pretty happy.” 

Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, p2: 

"All of the cars have been completely stripped down, back to a bare shell on the jig in the workshop, and rebuilt from scratch for the start of this season.

"The first run this morning you expect one or two little teething problems, but all four cars were spot on. They also seemed to be quite fast.

"We've had both wet running and dry, and in both scenarios, we seem to have a few cars up at the top, so we're looking good.

"It's a little bit hard to tell (if the aerodynamic changes have made a difference), we don't get any sector times or speed trap times like we would at a race meeting.

"The only data we can get is physically standing on the pit wall and listening when the other cars are changing gears, and looking at overall lap time.

"Both of those don't look too bad, we really need to get to Clipsal and the Grand Prix to see where we really sit, but I'm pretty confident that we're better than we were last year."

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel’s Racing, p3: 

"It's very early days at the moment, obviously we are trying to find out what the aero package is doing, and do some worthwhile running.

"Unfortunately it's been a bit wet, but it's been good for us. We rolled out at the Grand Prix in 2013 and were really quick in the only wet race of the season.

"We tried some things in the wet, and the car was really pacey, so that was good.

"Considering the weather, it's a pretty impressive turnout (at the Test Day), everyone is having a look around the back of the pits, and the grid walk at lunch time was a great success as well.

"There's been very good support for us so far in the second year of Nissan in V8 Supercars, and we can't wait to see that support continue at the Clipsal 500."

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia, p5:

“Knowing that we’re racing here later in the year, it’s really important for us to fine tune the car, although today has been an awkward one with the wet and dry conditions.

“Overall it’s nice to be back in the car and circulating again and getting a feel for what it is.”

Michael Caruso, Norton Hornet, p8: 

“It’s great to be back inside the car. After two months out of driving, it’s great to get back in the old girl.

“We have the brand-new aero package, so it has been important for us to assess where we are at.

“This test will definitely help us. After testing so much at Winton, it’s great to get to a different style of circuit. It’s high speed here, you build your confidence up through Turn 1, which is similar to the dreaded Turn 8 in Adelaide, so it’s good to get in, shake off the cob webs and set us up for the new year.”

James Moffat, Norton Hornets, p10: 

“It’s was great to get back in the car for the first time since last year.

“Obviously the weather wasn’t kind to us in the morning, so that was a little frustrating. With all the aero changes we’ve had in the off-season, I’m glad we had some dry track time for us to really see where we are with the new-spec Altima.

“Compared to the other cars, our cars seemed very fast in the wet conditions, which was very encouraging.

“It has been a great team effort by all of the Nissan Motorsport and Norton Hornets team to get us out here and running around strong.


“We feel that this package will be better for us, compared to last year, but the true test will come in Adelaide in a few weeks.” 

Russell Ingall, Repair Management Australia Racing, p13: 

“The rain didn’t help but then we’re going to have wet races this year so it’s nice to know what the cars going to do in the wet.

“The car handles quite different between dry and wet, and you’ve got to be prepared for both conditions.

“Drivers tend to have some bad habits they can’t get out of so sometimes you mold the car to the way the driver likes and I’ll mold the car to me as well and we’ll find somewhere in the middle.

“If you haven’t got a good car, it won’t go fast. We were consistently inside the top ten, even in the wet conditions and this is one of the toughest tracks to set up for as well so if you go alright around here that’s not too bad.

"The type of tyre can have a big effect on times and we didn’t get a chance to put a soft tyre on in the second half of the day.

“Today we were more concerned with getting a good hard-tyre ahead of Clipsal, with that being the nominated tyre for the round.

“You never really know until everyone rolls into the first round and then we’ll know the full story but it’s not a bad indication to see where we’re at.

“No one messes around at these test days, everyone is on the gas pretty hard so we’re definitely not last.”

Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Racing Australia, p15: 

“(Engineer David) Cauchi and I are a new team so we’re using today to iron out any wrinkles.

“The weather conditions made comparisons challenging today but we’ve still got a list of things we need to work on between now and the Clipsal 500 so a big two weeks ahead getting everything sorted.” 

Chaz Mostert, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p17:

"It was a pretty tough day with the weather but the conditions were the same for all of us. Other than the rain it was good to learn the car and the team which was the main goal for the day anyway. The car felt pretty comfortable and apart from a few homely touches, which we will make back at the workshop, I feel reading and raring to go for Clipsal."

Mark Winterbottom, Ford Pepsi Max Crew, p18:

"I didnt really get much out of today to be honest. It was good to get my mind back into the game and show off the new car and I was working with my new engineer for the first time which meant the day was productive. Though with the amount of rain hitting the windscreen for much of the day it made it hard to push too much. We didnt get a great dry run in but we have an understanding of some of our new bits and while it wasn't a great day I am pretty sure we weren't the only ones."

Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team, p20 (via Facebook):

"As productive a day we could have with the rain showers most of the day at the 1st test. No new tyres or softs used for car 2. Good day..."

Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN, p21: 

“We had a really good day, it was the first day at school, getting to know the car and the team, and we ticked all those boxes today. We were really comparable with [FPR stablemates] Chaz, Frosty and Dave all day. We’ve been within a couple of tenths all day, which is really good from a team point of you. 

“On days like today you can only really compare yourself to your teammates, due to outside influences like tyres and track conditions and whatever else, so I’m pleased with how things went. I can’t wait for Clipsal now!”

David Wall, Wilson Security Racing, p22:

“It has been really easy to settle in here at DJR. The team is very focused on doing well and it is a good atmosphere to work in. This morning the car was quite good in the wet. We had some similar problems to Scott (Pye’s) car but we were able to get a lot of dry running in after the boys fixed the steering rack. We are chasing a bit of set up but we are on used tyres so there is lot to go. Having to sort out some problems here is much better than on the Adelaide street circuit. I am really looking forward to getting the season started now.”     

Scott Pye, Wilson Security Racing, p24:

“It has been really good to kick off with DJR. The atmosphere is fantastic and the guys really work well together. We have had few little dramas today, which has put us back a bit, but in saying that the weather has put everyone back in their program as well. With no dry running this morning it was hard to really judge the differences between my DJR Falcon and last year’s Commodore. After lunch the track was a lot better, but we are having some ongoing steering problems, which the boys are focussed on getting on top of. I am happy to get some problems behind us and show up at Clipsal ready to go.”

Click here for full results.

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