Wyhoon and Hobson make strong Bathurst debuts Promising opening day at Bathurst for the Hooters Australia team The opening day of practice at Bathurst's notorious Mt Panorama circuit saw some stunning on-track action. With 41 cars entered for...
Wyhoon and Hobson make strong Bathurst debuts
Promising opening day at Bathurst for the Hooters Australia team
The opening day of practice at Bathurst's notorious Mt Panorama circuit saw some stunning on-track action. With 41 cars entered for the Fujitsu Series V8 Supercar category, predictions were always going to be a lottery, and that's how it played out.
For Terry Wyhoon, a former Australian super-speedway champion, his return to Bathurst with competitive equipment couldn't have come soon enough. Supported by Hooters Australia - New Zealand, my105.com Race Car Classifieds and Kitome, the Victorian was making his return to the circuit for the first time in three years and showed he'd lost none of his ability, immediately running inside the top ten in opening practice. Ultimately overheating brakes ("I think I got a bit carried away covering the intake ducts") cost him time in the pits, dropping him to fifteenth (2:16.3786) at the close of the session, but Wyhoon was unphased. "There's plenty there yet, we're losing some time across the top which is costing me entry speed to Conrod Straight, so we'll work on that for session two."
Fortuitous words indeed, modifications to the Falcon's suspension gained Wyhoon an impressive one and a half seconds across the mountain in session two, but traffic and a slight brake lockup in the difficult esses at the top of the mountain on his 'hot' lap, cost him valuable tenths. "It only just grabbed, but it was enough to kill the advantage we'd made with setup. On the data it showed that if I hadn't locked up I would have been in the low 14's, and somewhere just outside the top ten.
"We'll be right tomorrow though, the Hooters/my105.com/Kitome Falcon will be quick enough to get me into the 13's; I'm sure I can maintain that pace throughout the two races, which should put us in a pretty strong position at the end of the weekend."
By the close of the two practice sessions, Wyhoon's best time in session two had improved to 2:15.206.
Wyhoon's Hooters team-mate Brett Hobson too was on a steep learning curve, the former karting champion and Formula Ford sensation was making his Bathurst debut; a daunting prospect for most 20-year olds, but not Hobson. "I'm itching to get out there," he beamed nervously before the opening session. Despite a lack of seat time in the Supercar (he has made just two starts this season in the ex-Steve Ellery BA Falcon), Hobson was quickly up to speed, circulating inside the top ten on just his third lap of the circuit.
Like Wyhoon though he suffered niggling problems, an injector coming loose in the early laps, dropping him onto seven cylinders and costing him time in the pits. He returned late in the opening session to complete three more laps but was held up by slower traffic, which provided him.. "a few interesting moments!"
At the close of the session Brett held down twentieth position (2:17.4063), which like Wyhoon was not truly reflective of his real pace. For session two he improved to a best lap of 2:14.5932, almost three seconds faster than the opening session, but still only good enough for seventeenth.
Considering it was his debut at what is regarded as one of the most daunting tracks on the planet, Hobson was happy, at least as happy as any young driver making his debut at 'The Mountain'. "We had a pretty clean run that time performance wise, although I'm still a bit concerned about mid-range power, but we'll look at that. It was difficult to get clean run, and we discovered that the change we made to the setup after the first session improved the car to a point, then it became an issue again. We'll work on it. I'm just frustrated that it's been so long since we were last in the car; it's pretty hard to top guys like Macrow and Perkins who are in the car constantly (both drivers are campaigning the Fujitsu Series round and the Supercheap 1000 on Sunday)."
"We'll be right though, it's just laps, but racing is a different thing to qualifying, and that's where we'll show our strength.. Roll on Friday!"