After enough Texan beef ribs and buffalo wings to render his Red Bull Racing Australia kit too small, RD has recovered from his food coma and taken time to reflect on Jamie and Lowndesy’s record-making debut in Austin.
Any doubts over V8 Supercars’ reception in the US of A were quickly put to bed when close to 70,000 cowboys and lil’ ladies turned up to witness the noise at the Circuit of the Americas.
And as RD continues his meat-sweats recovery in London on a well-deserved break, he holds no regrets.
“Did the event live up to expectation? Yes, for sure,” he says, the Red Bull pit crew swapping tyre guns for bamboo hand-fans to keep the Big Dog cool.
“We had very polite and enthusiastic fans, as well as a great number from Australia. And even racing aside, we had a very enjoyable experience. Austin is a great city and we all feel that we are amongst ‘mates’ in the USA now.”
As such, RD has predicted a successful return to Texas in 2014.
“I believe V8 Supercars does have real American appeal for the road racing fans, which is a small percentage maybe, but a high number because of the size of the place and they are keen,” he says.
“They’re knowledgeable and not really NASCAR fans and I think we will be even better received next time around.”
But what of the racing? While Jamie and Lowndesy racked up seven from a possible eight podiums between them – including three wins and three seconds – and were clearly the team to beat, some have questioned the actual entertainment value of the races given the race format.
“I think next time we need to race on the long circuit and with soft tyres next to create that value and excitement,” said RD, who is sporting a new Triple Eight Race Engineering tattoo on his left arm.
“We were obviously very happy with our cars, the team performance and the drivers and overall it was a fantastic weekend for the Red Bull team and V8 Supercars. And the racing was very good for our first time there.
“The circuit was fantastic and as a matter of fact we could use more great circuits in Australia. Certainly Queensland would benefit hugely from a new facility somewhere, but it doesn’t need to be quite F1 spec.”
And just when you thought the Red Bull Racing Australia lads couldn’t have any more fun, RD has gifted the entire team a fortnight off – most likely so no one is left to ask questions about his two-week tour of Greece…
So stay tuned for some tour pics from Lowndesy and the lads, Casey joining the No.888 driver, ATB, JJ, Ludo, Irish and a heap of others up in Whistler, Canada for a week of downhill mountain-biking. Luffy, if you’re reading this, put yourself on stand-by for a drive in Darwin just in case…
Jamie meanwhile, is spending a romantic getaway in Vegas of all places, while the rest of the motley crew can be found in LA, at the NASCAR or Indy.
It’s a wonderful life at Red Bull Racing Australia – for some…
Red Bull Racing Australia and the rest of the V8 Supercars field returns to the track on June 14 at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin for the SkyCity Triple Crown. Get your tickets from v8supercars.com.au.