The Red Bull Holden Racing Team hit Sydney Motorsport Park yesterday to kick off the season with the first test day of the year.
After last week’s successful shakedown, we were keen beans to get to the track and rip the bulls around the circuit and really break them in.
The hot topic of the day was the new tyre compounds, with teams running on Dunlop’s new soft and super soft rubber that will be used across the 2017 Supercars season.
“Yesterday was really about these new tyres,” said Dutto.
“With only three test days for the year, every second counts .We did have some little issues arise which did cost us valuable testing time, however, this was a reminder as to why we run three cars, with three of the best drivers, the three race engineers worked incredibly well together to maximise time on track.”
The new construction of the 2017 Dunlop tyres, is the biggest change since the switch from 17” to 18” in 2013.
“While each team has four sets of each type available to them, this allocation also needs to double as practice tyres at Clipsal and other events.”
Despite having the fresh rubber available to us at last week’s Shakedown, we opted to not use them and save them for the official Test Day.
“Sydney Motorsport Park is a challenging track and is notorious for being hard on tyres, specifically the right front. The combined high speed and track surface at turn one gives the tyres a baptism of fire to start the lap,” said Dutto.
The tyres proved to be very fast with competitors breaking the lap record.
“Being at the top of the time sheets was not our focus, that said it is always positive to be the quickest on the day, that way you know at least on that day you know how to extract the most out of the tyres and car for those conditions, we have our work cut out for us.”
“Tyres aside, we had a strong day. Car #97 had an ongoing noise in the car, which cost us a lot of track time, we didn’t get to the bottom of it which is not ideal. However, SVG and Shippy were still able to get some good testing done. Shady and Belly are going over the car with a fine tooth comb ahead of Clipsal to ensure it is sorted.”
JDub and his number #88 Holden Commodore VF smashed out 95 laps across the day, with the car performing seamlessly.
“It was a great day to get out on track with everyone,” said JDub.
“The new rig is going well, I am feeling super comfortable and we are there or thereabouts’ with it. It was strong day, so I am feeling positive towards heading out to the concrete jungle that is the Adelaide Parklands circuit, should be a good one.”
With just over a week until the Clipsal 500, we can’t wait to charge into Adelaide, March 2-5.