Toyota progressed in 'leaps and bounds' at test

  • ECB SuperUtes Series
  • |
  • 16/04/2018
  • By Joshua Makhoul and Lachlan Mansell

ECB SuperUtes Series leader Craig Woods says his Toyota Hilux improved in "leaps and bounds" across two days of testing at Winton.

The Western Sydney Motorsport driver took out the inaugural round, with second-place finishes in each race at the Adelaide 500 last month.

Ahead of the second round of the new class at the Winton SuperSprint on May 18-20, Woods was among the drivers to test at the Victorian circuit last week.

Woods, who turned roughly 150 laps across Thursday and Friday, was buoyed by the work on his Penrith Toyota-backed Hilux.

“It’s the first time we’ve done some development and we've gone forwards in leaps and bounds", Woods told Supercars.com.

"I think we've found probably around a second and we've been developing a few other things.

“Things like tyre pressures and ride heights, and we're going in the right direction 100 percent.

"We've found that they react really well to change and little changes make a big difference on the track.

"It's been good for us, we pretty much ran faultlessly.”

Woods was joined by eight other SuperUtes, including the Isuzu of Steve Wilson making its first appearance alongside his rivals, after missing the maiden event.

Queensland-based Peters Motorsport chose not to attend with its Mazda BT-50s, while former Dunlop Super2 Series, V8 Ute and GT driver Elliot Barbour sampled Toby Price’s Team Mitsubishi Triton.

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A Toyota stablemate of Woods within the Sieders Racing Team, Matthew MacKelden missed the first day but still relished the opportunity to test between the first two events.

"It's been great for everyone to test in a non-pressurised environment, because a lot of us didn't drive the car until we got to Adelaide", the Kubota Tractors-backed Hilux driver said.

"To be able to do this and not massively focus on reliability and just focus on how to drive them properly and get some performance out of them has been really valuable.

"I'm certainly getting to know the car a lot more and I'm pushing the car a lot more over the limit, which you can't do in Adelaide."

Woods leads Price by 21 points approaching the second SuperUtes round at Winton, ahead of Ryal Harris and MacKelden in a top four split by 26 points.

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