Perth: Turn the lights on

The Red Bull Holden Racing Team is keen as mustard to head out into the wild, wild west for the only SuperNight race of the 2019 season.

After consuming way too much chocolate, (but who’s counting?) we return to the workshop with our heads down and eyes forward preparing to roll out into Round 5 more determined than ever.

It’s been two weeks since our epic back to back race weekends, (but again who’s counting?) and the attention has turned to making sure the next round is done right.

“We take pride in what we do and how we do it, so the lack of car pace at Phillip Island and the pit stop issues we had hit everyone in the team hard,” said Team Manager, Mark ‘Dutto’ Dutton.

“Everyone individually at Triple Eight has a massive amount of self-motivation, take that collectively as a team and you can only imagine how intensified the motivation for success has become moving into the next round.”

GALLERY: Behind the Scenes: Phillip Island

However, the only night race of the season already brings challenges before we even hit the track.

Straight off the bat and the obvious challenge; racing at high speeds, in the dark and under the lights.

And although darkness isn’t really our friend, there’s nothing quite like throwing in a resurfaced track into the mix of challenges the bulls will face in Perth.

“Even an extremely well-lit track and pit lane can’t match clear daylight,” said Dutto.

“It’s already difficult to judge what difference no sun or UV will have on the track for racing but having the track resurfaced further complicates this equation,” he said.

READ MORE: SVG looks to flick the switch in the west

Despite the reduced visibility after the sun goes down for both drivers and pit crew alike, the amplified atmosphere is sure makes up for the lost sight.

“It felt like a State of Origin game last year, the crowd was amazing, and the event was much bigger than we anticipated,” said Dutto.

“Hopefully Perth is able to take it up a notch or two and make the event bigger and better than last year.”

It seems that the drivers are also fast becoming fans themselves of the night-time races.

“Last year’s event was a mega concept that was pulled off successfully,” said Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen.

“There were some things that needed to be improved so I’m excited to see what this year’s SuperNight will bring.”

Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup’s reaction was no different.

“Part of the highlights will be watching the cars come up over the hill and down into the last corner of the track at night because they’re going to look very fast and impressive,” he said.

Busting out of the gates with excitement, seems to be the all-round team vibe for the bulls as they’re ready to face the red sun sets in WA.

And J-Dub’s wise words to the team for trying to leave the memories of past rounds behind;

“Anything is possible, eyes wide open, assume nothing and enjoy the challenge.”

Perth turn your lights on and see the bulls charge with live updates on our Twitter account throughout the race weekend starting Thursday, May 2nd.


Jamie’s Predictions for Perth:

Fastest lap time on the track – 0:52.88

Who’s the one to watch in Perth – Nick Percat

Biggest Challenge in Perth – Seeing where to go.

Three words to describe Perth – Super. Slippery. Sandy.

Favourite moment in Perth – I had a cracker battle with Will Davison and Mark ‘Frosty’ Winterbottom one year in Perth and despite losing out to finish 3rd, Dutto got on the radio and told me to take them both out in the last lap which he has never done before.

Highlight of night racing – Watching the brakes glow and the fire stream out of the exhaust.

 Fear of night racing – The only fear is losing as per usual.


Shane’s Predictions for Phillip Island:

Fastest lap time on the track – 0:50.00

Who’s the one to watch in Perth – The new track surface.

Biggest Challenge in Perth – The lights.

Three words to describe Perth – Other side of the world (not three words but we’ll take it!).

Favourite moment in Perth – Pole position in 2018.

 Highlight of night racing – It’s something different.

Fear of night racing: Power failure of the lights.