After two rounds on the bounce where he went in as a complete rookie, Monster Energy V8 Supercars driver and Motorsport.com columnist Cam Waters is looking forward to racing somewhere more familiar when he hits Phillip Island this weekend.
I’m excited to head to Phillip Island.
It’s a round that I’ve actually driven the FG X at – I raced in the main game there last year while I was subbing for Chaz Mostert after his nasty Bathurst accident.
Knowing a little bit about what to expect will be a big help, particularly having gone in blind – to an extent – to the Australian Grand Prix and Symmons Plains events.
It’s a nice change of pace to be heading somewhere that I’m more familiar with. Dunlop Series miles are obviously important, and the category gives you excellent insight into the driving style required in V8s at a certain circuit – but you can’t replace genuine main series miles in an FG X.
There is plenty of practice across the weekend as well, with two hour-long sessions on Friday afternoon. That means I have time to acclimatise to the car and the circuit again, try a few things in terms of set-up, and hopefully make some changes to help us get even further up the field.
Now I’ve got a few rounds under my belt, I’m feeling more comfortable in general. So hopefully we can look to be inside the Top 10 again, and get back to banking some points after DNFing Sunday’s race in Tasmania.
Fast, Flowing, Technical
It’s hard to say if Phillip Island is a circuit that suits my natural style, because I’ve only been there a few times. In fact, I’d only raced there in Formula Ford before I started with V8 Supercars. So running inside the Top 10 when I made one of my main series cameos there last year, I thought was actually pretty good.
It’s just so different to every other track. We tend to race on tighter circuits, or street circuits, and suddenly where somewhere where you’re nearly always over 200 km/h.
It’s so fast, and the corners are so long – you feel like you’re always in the corner. That’s the biggest difference compared to other rounds, and that’s what makes it so technical. The car has to be working well through those corners.
Each car has its own personal traits, too, which is what makes a bit of FG X experience so crucial. It takes a while to learn what they are, but once you’ve raced a car for a while you learn its traits, you learn what it needs, and you know what feeling you’re looking for.
That really just comes with time.
My pace in general has been Top 10 at pretty much every round so far this season, so things are looking up. Hopefully, with that little bit extra experience, we can push even further up the grid.