It’s Supercars season in the Top End, and blimey are we excited!
Heading north to the land of sun, salties and Saturday nights a Monsoons, the Red Bull Ampol Racing team are excited to hit the ground running after a longer than usual break between events.
For championship leader Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen, a three-day event format mixed with an introduction of super soft tyres is a melting pot for an epic weekend of racing in Darwin.
“The track is quite tough. You have the drag strip for the main straight, so you want as much straight-line speed as possible, but then coming back the other way it’s all corners, so you need a car that’s balanced for both areas. It’s a bit of a compromise, but hopefully we can put together a car the suits the entire track,” SVG said.
“The super soft tyre will be the most interesting part of the weekend. We obviously didn’t get to try it out at Winton, so we’re not sure how it’s going to play out. Everyone’s on the same playing field though, which should make it interesting.
“I don’t deal well with the Darwin heat, and it will be even tougher now it’s a three-day event. I’ve really been liking the quick-fire two-day events, so it will be interesting to see what going back to three-day event will be like – it will at least give people more time to process set ups rather than it being a rush on Saturday.”
2021 will mark the last year Territorians will see Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup race on home soil as a full-time driver. As heartbreaking as this sounds, JDub is looking to go out with a bang in the Top End!
“It will be my last full-time drive in Darwin, a track where I’ve done a few races and driven a few different cars around Hidden Valley. I’ve always enjoyed the Darwin round and managed a few wins at the same time, so it has been great,” he said.
“SVG has got a very healthy lead in the championship at the moment, but my role is to keep pushing him to the end – I’m happy to be the best of the rest at the moment. As we always do, we’ll continue to work together as a team to make sure both cars are quick. At the same time, if I can get a few more points in the coming races, that is the plan.
“The introduction of the super soft tyre is going to be key this weekend. That will throw it up a bit, with a heap of work happening in the pits to try and get it right for racing.”
All of the on-track action begins on Friday June 18, with drivers battling it out for the Darwin Triple Crown over the three-day event. See you there, folks!