Four rounds of Supercars action in four weeks.
For many of us, it’s like Christmas has come early, but for our crew on the road, it presents many challenges.
The next three weeks are going to be demanding; mentally, physically, and logistically. To better understand what our crew will be up to during this ‘festival of racing,’ we sat down with team boss Roland ‘RD’ Dane to explain the team’s movements over this period.
“The plan currently is that they’re up in Darwin between the two events and are deliberately staying up there just in case there’s any change of circumstances beyond our control. Hopefully, there won’t be any changes, but we’re playing it safe,” RD said.
“Post-Darwin #2, the plan is that the team will return to Brisbane, then fly to Townsville two days later, and everyone else will be there by the Friday. This allows our crew a couple of days back in Brisbane to catch up with family, get some clean clothes and then head back up north.
“They will stay up in Townsville for ten days to do the two events up there, and then will return back to Brisbane. We’re awaiting instructions from Supercars as to what happens after Townsville.”
A weekend of racing for anyone involved with the sport is quite taxing, let alone four consecutive weeks. When asked how the team will keep mentally and physically fit, RD explained the importance of allowing the team to have time off when there’s opportunities to do so.
“Race weekends are quite taxing particularly on the Saturdays from what the guys have told me, but there’s also the opportunity to have several days downtime during the week between events, which gives them an ability to recharge their batteries. By the time we get to the conclusion of Townsville #2, I reckon the whole of pit lane, whether it’s officials, team crews et cetera will be ready for a well-deserved break.”
During the break between both Darwin rounds, the garages at Hidden Valley Raceway will become a makeshift home-base for the crew, which allows the team to prepare the cars for another weekend of racing in the Top End.
“The Darwin garages are available for teams to work on the cars. There will obviously be differing amounts of work to be completed car-to-car depending on what sort of weekend you’ve had.
“There’s also things like crew suits which have to be washed, de-briefs to be done and analytics to be reviewed with regards to on-track performance. Those sorts of things are easy to do away from the factory, but the engineers who are here (Triple Eight Race Engineering workshop) give them some support during the week in terms of inputs as well,” RD explained.
When asked how grateful he was to the Victorian teams who have sacrificed so much to keep the Supercars season alive, RD offered nothing but praise.
“They have made the biggest sacrifice. I think everyone is now having to make personal sacrifices that were inconceivable a few months ago, but the Victorian teams are clearly away for much longer, which is extremely taxing for them, and we are massively appreciative for what they’re doing.
“I think the only upside for a lot of them is that they’re in better weather, and have much more freedom than what they would have if they were still in Melbourne at the moment, so there’s a small silver lining for them.”