We were starting to get the shakes after not hearing the sound of a V8 engine for over 10 days, so thank the high heavens our mid-season test happened yesterday.
Dutto, Cauchi and Grant unravelled their list of things “to do”, and like Santa’s list of naughty and nice names, they began ticking them off one by one.
“We had a lot on the list to achieve out at the test day,” said Dutto.
“It was actually a faultless test day for all three cars. It’s easy to say we were faultless, but it is even harder to actually achieve it. Especially when there is so much going on and there are so many changes happening, there’s always room for little things to go wrong, but nothing did. Full credit to the guys and girls here on the team.”
All three Triple Eight cars hit the “Paperclip”, busting out at total of 355 laps across the day on the 3.1km circuit.
Joining the team for his first official drive in car #97, Matt Campbell flew in from Monaco just for the occasion.
“I feel like it was a really positive day,” said Matt.
“Obviously, I was just getting comfortable with the car and up to speed with it all. The car today was really good; it was different to what I thought it was going to be – in a good way. The car is comfortable to drive and really responsive. I am feeling confident ahead of the season, but I will be back for the pre-enduro season test in a few months.”
Co-driver to the burnout king himself, SVG, for the 2017 enduro season, Campbell impressed the reigning Supercars champion.
“Matty got a lot of laps, he looked super comfortable which is awesome,” said SVG.
“He didn’t end up in the dirt – so we can take positives from that! It’s great to have him here, there is a fair bit to get used to, but he’s a quick learner so I have heaps of confidence in him.”
Across the garage in the car #88 bay, JDub and his crew were focussed on aerodynamics, a key to increasing the car’s pace ahead of the Darwin round.
“A really productive day, we got a heap done,” said the six-time champ.
“The big question is – will we be faster? Not sure really at this stage, but we need to go away, look at all the data, and make some calls. I thought we made some great gains today, certainly a performance we can take into Darwin.”
Come mid-afternoon the drivers threw their keys into a bowl (joking… Supercars don’t have keys!) and car swapped, giving all three of them the opportunity to get a feel of each other’s kit.
“Swapping cars allows for us to share data, as ultimately we are all searching for the same thing,” said car #88 Engineer Cauchi.
“So what Irish (John McGregor, car #888 Race Engineer) is looking to achieve on Craig’s car, we are also achieving, but for different reason. So to be able to share information is key, because at the end of the day we are all one team.”
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team head to Darwin for the Triple Crown June 16-18.