It’s been 94 days since Newcastle… With the all-new car build, some aero testing and a couple of launches in between, the days have whizzed past us that fast that it’s felt more like three.
Now, we’re two days out from the first event of the 2018 Supercars Championship season and we can’t believe how we got here.
We’ve got two brand new bulls packed up and in the truck, as well as some recharged drivers and a team (with some new faces) ready to go.
The Adelaide 500 is hot on our heels but we aren’t complaining… Does anyone else crave the sound of these race cars in the break? The sounds of the cricket or the grunt of the tennis players just doesn’t cut it around here.
So, what better way to get back to it than the 20th anniversary of the Adelaide 500, which will no doubt bring a truckload of welcomed action around the track this time around.
Our drivers, Jamie “J-Dub” Whincup and Shane “SVG” van Gisbergen have had their well-earned break and have made it through their first pre-brief; their next challenge is to make it through 500 kilometres of high-octane racing.
The track is a street circuit, which follows the former Formula 1 circuit, and offers very little room for error whilst providing close-up action for the fans.
“For a street circuit it’s pretty standard but it’s bloody tough; 250 kilometre races both days, it’s always the toughest race,” said SVG.
“It has a fast Turn 8, which I believe was recently resealed, which will make it interesting and will put on a show.”
There’s no better way to start the season than to dive straight into the deep end, our drivers are here for the challenge after all.
“Coming back at the start of the season is the same for everyone; no doubt we will all be a little rusty to start the year,” J-Dub said.
“Cutting some laps at the Bathurst 12 Hour certainly helped, as well as the latest test day in Sydney.
“Adelaide can turn on a 30-plus degree day in March and heat is always a big factor for this event, especially for Race 1. You just need to go as hard as your heart rate will allow.”
Yep, it’s not that muggy heat you feel up here in Queensland, it’s the dry scorching heat that just doesn’t give way.
“It sucks, especially when the races are so long and it’s the first race of the year so you’re not really race fit to the V8’s yet,” SVG said.
“The last few years we’ve had some tough days with 40 degree heat, it’s really tough when it’s hot but this year is looking slightly better.”
For SVG, the lack of actual driving training hasn’t put off any pre-season training and we hear he’s been putting in some hard yards in the gym.
“I haven’t done as much other racing in the off-season; however, I’ve done a heap of physical training,” SVG continued.
“I’ve done a couple of tests and I feel good, I just can’t wait to get out there now.”
Last year saw SVG come through with a clean sweep, something he’s undeniably proud of, but we’re really keen to know what the magic ingredient was and if we’ll be able to get it again.
“We just had good momentum from the year before, as well as some good continuity in having the same guys in the engineer and crew, as well as the same car.
“This year is pretty similar and we finished last year with a good few rounds, so hopefully we will be the same with the good momentum – it’s a new car but after the testing, I believe it’s a good car.”
By the sounds of things, we’re in for an action-packed weekend – we really can’t wait.
Tune in from 1-4 March and we’ll have the action covered with live race updates on our Twitter account.