Hmmmm..... Well that didn't exactly go to plan. Although we left Tassie some 5 week ago knowing we had some areas to improve on, unfortunately that work sheet just got a little longer.
We came into the weekend feeling like we prepared well and it was good to finally get in the car on Friday and start working through our test plan. This weekend was another mixed tyre round with all qualifying and races being hard tyres with a soft set thrown in for Sunday's race only. Mechanically everything was fine on the car and we did quite a few laps in practice on soft tyres because that's what Sunday's race was all about and we know tyre degradation at this circuit is critical. The wash up from practice was that we lacked both balance and tyre life so we knew we had some work to do filtering through the car’s data that night.
Saturday wasn't our proudest day at the race track. We pretty much had one good lap to show for our day in the second qualifying session and the rest was pretty ordinary. There's no excuse for the first qualifying session, although the car wasn't nice I ran wide and lost a few tenths and ended up well down the order. Starting P20 I made a great start and would have got 5 or 6 off the line but with the car not being flash and it being really hard to pass that's where I ended up finishing. Race 2 I started 2nd, got another clean start and just didn't have the pace to run with Mark Winterbottom who cleared away to win the race while I held up the pack to finish 2nd.
We have a good bank of data from when we've been strong at Perth so we knuckled down Saturday night to see if we could pull it together for Sunday.
Unfortunately Sunday’s race didn't get off on the right foot either. I was probably pushing a little bit too hard for the car I had and was just trying to stay up there in the early stages but ended up locking a front wheel and plowing the sand trap. Unfortunately it only got worse from there. We are yet to investigate what happened so I won't point the finger at anyone for now but we ended up going down a lap during the safety car period . It was a pity because the car was really good for the last stint on the soft tyres but once again didn't have good tyre life. To be honest for the last bit of the race I was just watching Lowndesy battling with Will Davison hoping he could hang in there, but I knew he had the same car as me and knew he was struggling as much as I was with tyre life. With 5 laps to go Davo got Craig for the lead and went on to win the race. Although it would have been great if Craig hung on I was happy for mate Davo as it been a while between drinks for him and his team.
As usual we head back to the workshop this week and I’m suspecting it’s going to be a long debrief as we put our heads together to work towards Winton which is in a fortnights time.