The V8 Championship returned to Eastern Creek, now Sydney Motorsport Park, for Round 9 of our championship. The circuit is going through quite a lot of development with track extensions and ground and facilities upgrades. Our cars ran on the original circuit but will race on the extended version in the future if we are to return.
The two day race format was run over Saturday and Sunday and this was very well received by the large crowd that attended.
Saturday’s practice and qualifying had the # 33 & # 34 cars travelling quite well.
On the harder compound tyre Alex was struggling with oversteer but once he moved onto the softer tyre the car was a lot better.
Alex and the # 33 boys had tested the Monday prior to the event at Winton and with the changes and data that were gained from the test, were carried across into the race meeting.
The crew made a spring and geometry change to Robbo’s car in the early stages of practice which he ran with right through and all were happy with the car.
The crew were confident heading into qualifying and Robbo set a very good time on hard tyres, before moving onto softs and qualified 4th.
A great result!!
Alex ran the same strategy but wasn’t quite able to get the best out of his car and qualified 22nd for the afternoons race.
Robbo had a great start to Saturdays 36 lap race, moving to 2nd place by the first corner, but it was soon apparent that he did not have the same grip level and speed as others around him and lost a few positions.
Alex on the other hand had good pace and was running strongly only to be turned around again, by Steve Owen. Alex recovered well from the spin but was given a drive through penalty for a pit lane speed infringement.
Alex finished 28th.
Robbo went onto the soft tyre and ran good strong consistent laps and made up a number of positions late in the race to finish 8th.
With two relatively straight cars the crew got stuck into their maintenance and were able to head in for an early night.
Sunday’s format was very similar with an early practice, qualifying and a 56 lap race in the afternoon.
We used the early practice session to evaluate how the cars were on both the hard and soft tyre which enabled us to tune the cars for qualifying. The first session worked well for the team as Robbo went out and qualified 6th and Alex 15th.
This was definitely one of our better qualifying sessions for the year and had the team in a good position for the start of Sunday’s race.
On soft tyres Alex started Sunday’s race strongly and made up a few spots. He was on the pace early until a coming together with one of the HRT cars punctured his front left and forced him into the pit early.
After rejoining the race Alex’s car was very competitive with top 10 race pace, but with an extra stop it was always going to be a battle. He drove very well and came home in 26th position.
Robbo started well again but struggled to find good race pace with the hard tyres. His car did improve when he moved onto the soft tyres, setting one of the fastest laps of the race on lap 36, and held the race track record for a number of laps. Robbo came home in 11th position.
Leading into the season of endurance we have a two day test at Winton on the 3rd and 4th of September. Greg Ritter and Jack Perkins will be there for a drive and looking to get in some valuable seat time.
It is a great time of the year and we can’t wait to sink our teeth into the endurance races. We will be making an announcement regarding our Gold Coast drivers shortly so please stay tuned.