Two rounds into the 2017 Dunlop Super2 Series and it’s starting to shape up as a three-way fight at the front.
Paul Dumbrell, Todd Hazelwood and yours truly have now shared all the race wins and podiums so far between us, in starkly contrasting track and weather conditions.
At the Clipsal 500 season-opener we raced under blazing sunny skies, in Tasmania a week ago it was the total opposite … boarding on cold, very wet at times, and wet-dry at other times.
As always, the wet track was the great leveller and we were able to take our first win in the new Nissan program, the GoGetta Altima first over the line in the fourth and final race at Symmons Plains.
It was also Nissan’s first-ever win at Super2 level, so that’s something special to have achieved.
Over the two Dunlop Super2 weekends what’s become apparent is that the Triple Eight spec Commodores have a slight acceleration edge over our Nissan, which allows them to punch out of slower corners (or hairpins!) a bit quicker than we can.
Nissan Motorsport is aware of that and is working on it, and we’re working hard on suspension setup to try and overcome that characteristic … over the course of the Symmons weekend we improved that aspect, and we’ll keep at it.
When the weather’s wet the acceleration deficit isn’t so noticeable, as you saw in that final Symmons race, and I don’t think it’s going to be an issue at high speed circuits either.
Key for us will always be to qualify at the front and then we’ve got a fighting chance to stay there.
Phillip Island is upon us now and I think it’ll be a track that really suits the GoGetta Nissan.
The Altima has great aero and the majority of corners there are fast sweepers, so we will hopefully be able to keep the momentum up and hopefully fend off the Commodores out of a couple of slower corners.
Over the years I’ve done a lot of laps at Phillip Island, in a huge variety of cars, so I know the place pretty well, and I feel we should be very competitive there … having said that, there’s such quality at the front of the Super2 field these days it’s never going to be easy.
Matt White and his crew have done a great job preparing the GoGetta Nissan and the program has really jelled now, everyone is on the same page and we’re enjoying being the under-dogs!
Nissan has taken an active interest in what we’re doing, there’s plenty of dialogue back and forth between the teams as we develop together to try and make the Altima faster in both the main game and Super2.
Hope we can keep the momentum going this weekend at Phillip Island.