Trackside Preparations for the Great Race Unlike many of the Super Tourer teams, The New Zealand Schedule S cars have never competed at the Mt. Panorama circuit and they won't have any data from previous appearances to plan for the Great ...
Trackside Preparations for the Great Race
Unlike many of the Super Tourer teams, The New Zealand Schedule S cars have never competed at the Mt. Panorama circuit and they won't have any data from previous appearances to plan for the Great Race.
The teams will be on a steep learning curve over the first two days in Australia testing componentry, practicing pit stops and accumulating data on car performance. Heading the top of the list are the questions of fuel consumption and tyre wear. These two factors are critical to pit stop strategies. Although the weather forcast is fine on Tuesday and Wednesday, the variable weather conditions, normal for Bathurst in Spring, mean that it is unlikely the teams will be able to test for all weather conditions.
Neither can the teams be sure what effect the weight of an 80 litre fuel tank will have on handling or wear and tear. Stresses on the suspension, transmission and differential will be enormous and the teams will be examining these components for signs of wear and deterioration.
What is going to make the Schedule S pit stops really exciting is the prospect of them not only refueling and reshoeing, but changing brake pads under race conditions. There is little data on how far the Schedule S cars can go on a set of brake pads. We may see a divergence of strategy as some teams opt to make a change, while others don't.
With reliability being such a key factor during the week teams have gone to a great deal of effort to ensure they are there at the end. Peter van Brugel's Nissan Racing NZ Team has opted to retain the Nissan Sentra SSS that he has campaigned so successfully over the last four years, rather than risk problems with it's replacement a Nissan Primera. Geoff Short has completely rebuilt the x-Paul Radisich Ford Telstar especially for the race and International Motorsport's Lyall Wiliamson undertook rebuilding three BMWs forthe event. Having won the race for BMW Motorsport last year, Williamson has reassembled part of that team to campaign the Schedule S BMWs.
The New Zealand teams are confident a Schedule S car will make a top ten finish.
Great Coverage Promised for Great Race
Noel Brady, Executive Producer for Seven Sport, who will provide the feed for TV3's live coverage of the AMP Bathurst is positive about the inclusion of the New Zealand Schedule S cars in the Great Race. "I am sure the addition of the NZ guys will make the race more exciting and better still give it a more international flavour", says Brady.
Asked how he plans to present Schedule S progress, he sees them competing as a race within a race, updating the positions of the class approximately every 30 minutes. As he points out, "I've been very much aware over the years at Bathurst that we show ALL the cars and not just the leading ten".
Follow the race live on TV3 Sunday 4th October from 10.30 am to 7pm.