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Golding praises PremiAir crew after Darwin surprise

Supercars
14 Jun
“Thanks to the whole team for all their hard work. The last couple of years has been pretty tough"
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  • James Golding surprise Darwin provisional pole-sitter

  • Golding joined PremiAir Racing midway through 2022

  • Victorian had 18th best average grid result before Friday

After the Darwin round in 2022, James Golding was called up mid-season by PremiAir Racing, which parted ways with Garry Jacobson.

The full circle moment has Golding in the box seat to help the team secure its first pole position, which could pave the way to the team’s very first podium — or better.

Golding’s speed in Friday Qualifying came after the #31 PremiAir Nulon Chevrolet placed second in Practice 1, meaning the Victorian was on the money. He had to deliver in Boost Mobile Qualifying, which he did — even if he was slightly surprised by the result.

It came just two weeks after Golding and the team tested at Queensland Raceway, which was headlined by laps in Tim Slade’s car for Will Brown.

"Yeah, certainly a little bit surprised. Obviously the last couple of rounds we struggled a bit,” the 28-year-old said after Qualifying.

golding prov pole 2024 darwin

“This morning rolled out of the truck pretty comfortable. We made a few tweaks to the car, nothing major, just to get it in the window. And yeah, rolling out the first setting qualifying that I knew we're on for a good result.

“It was a pleasure to drive, just really comfortable to push it on the limit without making mistakes. So, thanks to the whole team for all their hard work.

"The last couple of years has been pretty tough, so credit to them.”

When asked if it’s a sign of PremiAir cars being a common fixture at the front from here on it, Golding replied: "Yeah, I think so. I mean, it's baby steps, we'll tick off each box as we get to it.

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"But, yeah, it's a great step in the right direction. Obviously, there's a long way to go this weekend with racing.

“We've got a fast car on one lap and we can now focus tonight on building a good race car for the rest of the weekend.”

It was a sensational turnaround for Golding, who with Race Engineer Romy Mayer, had struggled to unlock one-lap speed in the #31 Camaro. Before Friday, Golding only had three top 10 Qualifying results in 10 attempts this year, with two coming at the season-opening round in Bathurst.

The Warragul driver is 12th in the championship and just 95 points from fourth position, but had the 18th best average qualifying result, five positions behind teammate Slade.

Key for the rest of the weekend is converting to a race result, which could see the team secure its first ever trophy, some two-and-a-half years after it debuted in Supercars out of the ashes of Team Sydney.

“We've had strong results in both qualifying and racing, we haven't strung together qualifying and racing on the same day to get a good result,” Golding said.

“We'll do our best. Obviously, we're still improving, so we're just going to try and put it all together on the day.

"I'm looking forward to the [Shootout] actually. You know, knowing you've got a fast car is definitely a help. We can really just focus on enjoying the lap out there. I’ll really just try and enjoy the lap and wherever we'll start is where we'll start."

Track action will commence on Saturday with Practice 2 at 9:35am ACST/10:05am AEST, before the Boost Mobile Top Ten Shootout at 11:35am ACST/12:05pm AEST.

The first race of the weekend, the 48-lap Race 11, will get underway at 3:10pm ACST/3:40pm AEST.

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