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.
HELP US FIND A CURE FOR SPINAL CORD INJURY!
Ever wanted to be a part the Red Bull Racing Australia team, but didn’t quite have the driving prowess that Jamie or Craig does? Well, now’s your chance to join the team and fight for a cause that’s close to the team’s heart... spinal cord injury. Driving accidents are one of the biggest causes of spinal injury, so we’ve joined forces with Wings for Life World Run to help find a cure.
Wings for Life World Run is a global running event with a difference. On 3rd May 2015, participants in six continents and 35 locations around the world will start the race at exactly the same time, Australian runners will kick off in Melbourne at 9pm AEST, running through the night and into the early morning. More than 40,000 people around the world have already registered.
Open to runners of all abilities, ages and nationalities, it’s the only race where the finish line catches you. Your race is over once you’re overtaken by the ‘Catcher Car’ that sets off 30 minutes after the start.
Unfortunately, due to the Perth V8 Supercars round falling on the same day as the Wings for Life World Run, Jamie and Craig aren’t able to take part. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t. We’re asking our fans, friends, supporters and anyone who has wanted to be part of the Red Bull Racing Australia team to run for those who can’t – by joining our official Wings for Life World Run team. Come in colours and run as one... as one team fighting for the greater cause. As one team who wants to make a difference.
In thanks for your support and coming together as one family, everyone who registers for the Wings for Life World Run and signs up for the Red Bull Racing Australia team, will have their name printed on the rear wing of the car for the Perth round of the V8 Supercars Championship. We know you have our backs, so we want you to know we have yours!
‘We all want to find a cure for spinal cord injury. By taking part in the Wings for Life World Run, it’s an opportunity to raise aware- ness and help raise funds for more research. We can’t make it this year as we’ll be racing in Perth, so we need you to join in – run for Red Bull Racing Australia, run for those who can’t, and run to make a difference.’ – Craig Lowndes
It’s not about running 40km at Olympic pace, it’s about running for those who can’t. It doesn’t matter if you run 1km, 5km, 10km or 50km, each and every runner is another step closer to finding a cure for spinal cord injury. It’s a strength in numbers game and by taking part under the Red Bull Racing Australia banner, we can fight the cause together. 100% of the entry fees go towards research.
Signing up is easy with a few clicks of the mouse. Just jump onto to www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com hit the SIGN UP button on the top right and then follow the links to join the Red Bull Racing Australia team. Simple!
I’m back on the Gold Coast after a good (but cold) week away in Tassie.
We seem to get it right at Symmons Plains but we were behind the eight ball most of the weekend with Car 1 so it was nice to have things go our way on Sunday.
Lowndesy had cracker pace all weekend. He and his crew deserved the success they achieved this weekend; it was a shame to see him miss out on the hat-trick and 100 race wins, though with that pace I’m sure it’s just around the corner.
I enjoyed the format of the weekend, the 2 long practice sessions on Friday allowed us to do plenty of laps and the balance of the 2 shorter races on Saturday with the longer one on Sunday seemed to mix it up which I think is a good thing.
I wasn't expecting to be standing on the top step of the podium this weekend, but I'm absolutely thrilled to have done so. We didn't have a bad day on Saturday but we just struggled for ultimate pace to match the top guys.
We worked really hard Saturday night to improve the car but after qualifying Sunday morning we still weren't quite there. With this in mind Sunday's race strategy was to stay out of trouble and try to maximize what we had which is exactly what we did. After a crash at turn 1 and a drive through penalty for 888 I found myself leading the race. The team did a great job with strategy and our pit stops were excellent which kept us ahead of the pack to come home with the win just in front of Chaz Mostert and Shane VanGisbergen.
It's still early days, we're not really thinking about the championship at this point, but it's nice to be at the pointy end.
I’m off Thursday for Easter to test out my new Malibu down in NSW. Really looking forward to slowing things down and sitting on the side of the river with nowhere to be for 5 days straight. I wish all you guys a happy Easter with friends and family and please remember if traveling to take it easy on the roads.