Winton form is on the road to returning to Red Bull Racing Australia, albeit a tad slowly, but with three top 10 finishes in today’s two 20-lap races, the Holden outfit is feeling optimistic ahead of Sunday’s 200km mini-marathon.
The day’s action got off to a slippery start as the track was covered in oil for the first qualifying session, meaning Craig and Jamie weren’t able to extract the best from their cars, but qualifying for Race Two provided improved results.
“Our morning practice session was ok,” said Craig, who qualified 14th and 10th. “It gave us our direction and we went into qualifying, but didn’t quite get the setup right for the conditions that we had. The oil getting put down prior to our qualifying sessions really hurt us and I probably lost a bit of direction with the car setup coming into the second qualifying session.”
Jamie, who started the races in eighth and sixth respectively, is still struggling to find the pace that the No.1 Commodore seems to have been missing since Perth.
“We just didn’t have any pace again today, which is disappointing. This part of the year is about trying to win races and just make an impact,” the reigning champ said.
“We need to get out there and race hard, but we just didn’t have the pace, which means we don’t have any fun either, which is the main thing. That’s what it’s all about, getting out there and having some fun.”
Despite his frustrations, JDub’s results of ninth and sixth are his strongest results here in the Car of the Future era, something that the team is positive about with tomorrow’s longer race looming.
“Tomorrow is a longer race and that means we’ll be off the pace for longer, but there are also more opportunities to come back,” he continued. “There’s no lack of trying going on behind the scenes. We’ll keep burning the midnight oil and see what we can come up with next time.”
Two strong starts off the line for Craig saw him claim a handful of positions in each race and he’s confident that these can be improved upon tomorrow: “In the first race, the car was ok. We got a great start, but it’s always hard to pass around this circuit.
“We had pace, but couldn’t quite show it and then we made an adjustment for Race Two to give the car more front, which is what I wanted. The car flowed well and I got another great start. We had a great race with Will Davison and we had more pace than we showed, but we’ve learnt a lot over the course of the day.”
Tune in tomorrow from 10:55am AEDT for the fourth and final practice session, qualifying and the 200km race.