We’re away for 2016 and bringing #88 back!
Great to be coming at you for the first time this season, I hope you all had a chilled weekend and managed to catch a bit of the first round action from the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. If you missed it, the weather conditions were nuts, a dry 39 degree heat all weekend before the sky exploded with torrential rain just before the start of the final 250km race. I do feel I went the extra mile in pre-season preparation so feeling good in the car all weekend was a nice early reward for the hard work.
Full credit to my crew, I don’t normally like to single people out, but my engineer Cauchi is really in his best form at the moment, which saw us roll out of the truck fast and ready for battle from practice one. A couple of second places in qualifying was a little sweet and sour, I would have loved some Armour All cash, but it’s the next best thing I guess and solid start to the season.
First launch of the year was clean and we lead into turn one and controlled the race from there. We had good tyre life on the soft tyre, which will be the tyre we will use for most rounds of the championship this season.
Second launch of the year wasn’t as clean, not enough throttle meant I bogged down so I had to dip the clutch again, which threw the car into a wheel spin and I lost a spot to James Courtney, which proved to be fatal. I pressured him hard in the closing stages but to his credit, he kept it between the yellow lines and deserved the win.
Sunday was, well, disappointing….. All the effort on Saturday to score some good points was somewhat dissolved with a poor performance in bad conditions for the long 250km race. There were so many factors out of our control in the decision making of the race. Should the race have been started or not? Do you have to put all your fuel in? Are you allowed to spin another car out and say it was due to the conditions? I was semi fired up on Sunday night, but credit to the officials, they made a few adjustments and put a few wrongs right which elevated me from third to second in the points standings.
We need to forget about all of that though, we need to focus on what we can control and at the end of the day the car and driving performance in the wet wasn’t good enough and we struggled to make firm decisions (along with a thousand other things) so we will go away and come up with a plan to do better next time.
The burning question is – how’s the team operating now with three cars? I’ll just say there is plenty of work to be done here also. Sunday’s curve balls showed a few cracks in our armor but we have the right resources and people to ensure that we only get stronger with three cars moving forward.
See you in Melbourne,