Tim Slade 10Th After Opening V8 Round
Lucky 7 driver Tim Slade is heading to the next V8 Supercars event sitting 10th in the championship.
Slade made a promising start to the season, finishing the Clipsal 500’s twin 250 kilometre races in 12th and 10th place respectively.
While the results are strong they don’t truly reflect how fast Slade was in his Lucky 7 Racing Ford over the weekend.
Slade was well inside the top 10 over the course of Friday’s practice sessions, then qualified just outside of the top five for Saturday’s first race of the season.
Starting sixth, which was Slade’s best qualifying performance at his home event, he began strongly.
He was racing as high as fifth before the first compulsory pit stop, but a cross-threaded right rear wheel nut kept the Lucky 7 Ford in the pit bay for an extra 13 seconds, dropping Slade down to 21st position.
Slade drove well to make his way up to 12th given he was blocked in the pit bay during his second pit stop and he was forced to complete a splash and dash stop late in the race – like all cars – to get through to the end of the race. He also had no radio communications during the race.
In the Sunday race, he backed up Saturday’s starting place with seventh in qualifying.
Slade spent the entire race in the top 10, and had the potential to make the top five, but he had to conserve his fuel to ensure he got through to the end of the race without stopping again.
All the pointers are there, Slade was fast over the entire weekend, and had he been a little luckier he would have had two top five results to his name.
The series now goes to the non-championship event at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.
What Lucky 7 Racing’s Tim Slade had to say:
After Race 2:
“To come out of the weekend tenth in the points is really good. We had dramas yesterday losing a lot of time in the pit stop and then today we pitted a few laps too early and weren’t going to make it home on that tank of fuel. So rather than pitting and topping up we tried to conserve the fuel by slowing were we could. It was pleasing to get through to the end but we couldn't show our true potential. The speed is there which is promising, so we'll go to the Grand Prix looking for a good result. We were fast there last year so hopefully we can put it all together and get a really good result.”
After Race 1:
“To finish 12th after qualifying well was disappointing. We had one problem after another with no radio from the start of the race and we lost a massive amount of time in the first stop when the wheel jammed. That was it really, it cost us too much time and we had no opportunity to make it back. It was difficult to pass cars not having the speed in the right areas. Before the first stop the Lucky 7 Ford was pretty good, not as good as it had been earlier in the weekend, but we still had a top 10 car. We were staying with the guys at the front and were pulling away from those behind us, we should have had a good top 10 result. It was a shame.”
What Lucky 7 Racing’s engineer Wes McDougall had to say:
After Race 2:
“It’s a really good start for us, it's actually Lucky 7’s best start to a season ever which is a really positive way to start the season. The positive thing is that the car speed is there, it was encouraging, if we can iron out a few little issues we’ll be strong at the next round. Tim did a great job today, I was asking him to conserve fuel and he was able to do that. His smart driving got us through to the end preventing a further pit stop. I’m really pleased with the way he drove over the weekend, there’s a lot to look forward to.”
After Race 1:
"To have finished where we did after qualifying so strongly was pretty disappointing. By the same token we were down in the 20s after a problem in our first pit stop, but to fight back to 12th with no radio just shows how good Tim was and how cool he was in the car. It’s tough when you have to work out everything and race at 100%, but he drove his own race and understood what was happening around him. To get back up to 12th after being so far back with no communications, safety cars, pit stops and being asked to save fuel was impressive.”