Testing takes a turn at QR

When RBRA rocked up at Queensland Raceway yesterday for our first test since February, we headed in with a different plan of action. Things haven’t been going quite to plan for us on track recently, so the guys figured some new perspectives might do the trick. Therefore it only made sense to chuck the rest of the crew in the car for a spin and see if we could get to grips with what these drivers are banging on about.

This obviously left all four drivers with a bit of time on their hands, so we thought we’d leave them to their own devices and do some testing of their own creation. The results are in…

Craig Lowndes – the Scoville Scale

As a lover of all things hot – we’re talking food, not Victoria’s Secret models – Lowndesy jumped at the chance to put his tastebuds to the test. Chef Super Mario’s day was therefore consumed with dishing up the craziest curries known to man, leaving no time to cook the team’s lunch, meaning Team Coordinator Mel had to do a last minute dash to the shops and grab anything she could find to feed 25 hungry blokes. This resulted in a meal of assorted chips, tinned custard and 1,972 packets of mints (reserved exclusively for the guys who opted for cheese and onion flavour).

“I usually ask for extra chilli with everything, even ice cream. Fortunately, I’d recently had a shipment of Trinidad Scorpion chillies delivered to the workshop so the guys had packed them in the truck for me. The box has those explosive warning stickers all over it, so they were pretty worried, but to be honest I didn’t see the fuss. I kept asking Mario to put more in, but he wasn’t looking so super after he put his finger in his eye. We decided to call it a day after that…”

Steve Richards – testing the team

He’s the new guy in Red Bull town, and obviously not quite comfortable enough with the crew yet to cause them indirect grievous bodily harm unlike his co-driver, so Richo spent his day grilling his new teammates. Things got a bit awkward when it started becoming reminiscent of the interrogation scene in Meet the Parents though.

“It was a great opportunity for me to get to know everyone really well. I was surprised at how people reacted when I got the lie detector out though. I thought that was common practice at Triple Eight, I’d heard rumours that Roland ran full on interrogations after New Zealand with torture tools and everything. Well anyway, it’s safe to say they’re all stand-up guys and I can’t wait to get stuck into the enduro season with them. I hope they’re feeling the same way after the test.”

Jamie Whincup – DJ decks and desserts

It’s lucky he can make quick decisions when there’s a steering wheel in his hands because he sure can’t when it comes to testing. There was a lot of um-ing and ah-ing before J-Dub finally settled on something to spend his day finetuning and perfectly engineering, and even then he couldn’t just stick to the one.

“Yeah, when you’re faced with a decision like this you just don’t want to miss anything off, you know. I’ve chatted to David Guetta, Avicii and a few others recently about what decks are best, but I needed to work it out for myself. And I did find a pretty good set – the upgrade from what Tiesto’s using at the moment – but I still need to make some improvements to it. It was hard work though and it’s no secret that I love my desserts. Everyone in the team knows not to come between me and sticky date pudding on a race weekend, so I really wanted to capitalise on this opportunity and make sure we’re getting the very best of what there is available. I really did it for the good of the team.”

Paul Dumbrell – office chairs

Yes, it’s true. The CEO finally escapes into the open air for the second test of 2014, us expecting him to spend the day frolicking through the QR grass on his Ironman pins, but instead he chooses to park his backside in an office chair. Well, 27 office chairs to be exact. And from what we understand not one of them met his expectations.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to get any quotes from PD yesterday. He muttered something about world domination, swivelled his chair around to face the opposite direction and that was that.

Mark Dutton – the cars

Fortunately Dutto was still on hand to ensure the rest of the team didn’t run amok with the Red Bull Holdens and overall it was a very successful test.

“It was always a danger doing it this way round, but sometimes you’ve just got to take risks and I really feel this one paid off. Everyone got a few laps in and had some fun, but essentially we knew we were testing and had to come back with some good data to go through. The main feedback was that we need to install some cup holders as there’s currently nowhere to put your Red Bull. There were also a few requests for some big speakers to drown out the engine noise. The girls reckoned that some air con would have been nice too, but some things just aren’t practical.”