Yes! We are nearly there… We have made it through the long, agonising break in the middle of the Supercars season.
Yes, it’s only four weeks but it’s actually a nightmare. We don’t know how, but somehow, we have managed to fill our past three weekends with ‘normal’ people activities like sleeping in and seeing our friends – that’s when we’re not watching replays of the past six rounds (ssssh!).
So now that we’re basically halfway through the Supercars calendar, what’s next?
Darwin! Yep, we will be in the Top End in a few days and we cannot wait… Can you tell? We can peel off the winter layers and get our pasty skin out for some good old sunshine – provided that the weather forecaster isn’t telling us porkies.
So, after all of our sun baking (joking), media and sponsor commitments, we’ll be hitting the track on Friday for some post-test practice sessions – how do the drivers feel about that?
“I like the Hidden Valley circuit mainly due to the high quality of the facility. The government and local council get right behind it and it’s always a picture when we arrive,” said Jamie “J-Dub” Whincup.
“The heat is right up there, especially now it’s getting chilly down here in Queensland, and it is 100 percent a challenge, but in saying this, I like the heat and enjoy the challenge.”
“I love it, it’s an awesome track and being so close to the city, it’s always a cool event as a lot of people come out for it and it has a great atmosphere,” added Shane “SVG” van Gisbergen.
Aside from the atmosphere, which SVG unfortunately can’t completely soak up as he has some racing to do, the track is another winner with the drivers.
“It’s a good compromising track, it’s right next to a drag strip so it has a really long straight for basically half of it, so you want to be as fast as you can around that, but the other half is all corner,” SVG said.
“You really need to figure out the best balance for aerodynamics and setup to be quick through the whole lap.”
Last Monday’s test was huge and we’re hoping it’s made us faster, but then again, every other team completed a test day so it’s only going to be VERY interesting how that plays out in Darwin – even Shane can’t predict what will happen.
“We had a good day on our car with a lot of changes while the other two cars learnt a lot as well, so between the three I think we can move forward,” said SVG.
“Although all of the other teams have tested too, so everyone will think they’re fast at Darwin, we can only hope we have all the information to make ourselves faster.”
“What I have learnt from this game is that there are no silver bullets. We got some really good information from the test day and it’s now up to us to make the most of it in the attempt to turn it into qualifying and race pace,” J-Dub added.
It seems J-Dub has used his mid-season break wisely, chipping away at the test day data and trying to make the cars go faster.
“I’ve been fairly busy working with the engineers to try and make the cars faster. Fingers crossed we can get some results for our efforts, but I am sure all of the other teams are working really hard as well.”
J-Dub will do anything to get out of scrubbing rims at his car wash café.