LEARNING CURVES ON THE STREETS OF THE GOLD COAST The international drivers took to the new look track on the streets of Surfers Paradise today for Day 1 of the Armor All Gold Coast 600. Team Penske superstar, Helio Castroneves was the first to...
LEARNING CURVES ON THE STREETS OF THE GOLD COAST
The international drivers took to the new look track on the streets of Surfers Paradise today for Day 1 of the Armor All Gold Coast 600. Team Penske superstar, Helio Castroneves was the first to fall victim to the street circuit's unforgiving walls when he made contact with a concrete barrier at the end of the back straight causing considerable damage to the Wilson Security Racing Falcon.
The SBR crew pulled off an amazing effort to repair the damage to the right front replacing the radiator, front guard and front suspension before sending Castroneves back out early in the third practice session.
SP Tools Racing's John McIntyre also had a scare scraping the wall on his out lap in the opening session. After hitting the tyre wall a rear hub and wheel was replaced on the #9 FG Falcon.
The IRWIN Racing Falcon finished the day without a scratch thanks to Davison and Braham who spent the four practice sessions working towards a new setup.
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"Today was okay, in the first session I was just settling in but in the last one I was pretty comfortable, we ran through some tyres and it was all good. We just need to make it all a bit sharper.
"I think a fair few of the other guys were taking a few more risks than me belting the tyre bundles so there is definitely time to be made there, we could have been better if I had put it on the line."
John McIntyre - Co-driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"I think we had we had a really good day after a stuttering start! I feel really comfortable in the car in what feels like good competitive race pace, and Shane proved it's capable of qualifying in the top ten. I think tomorrow's race is all going to come down to who makes the fewest mistakes.
"When I hit the wall Shane was running more rear brake than he normally would and I just locked it up and the car spun."
Tim Slade - Driver, Wilson Security Racing Car #47
"The incident with Helio really didn't affect what I was up to, the guys got the car repaired so quick I didn't miss out on any track time. The car didn't feel too bad, we were fast through the first sector but then it's lacking a bit through the beach chicane and in the end I got traffic so I think we are better than where we are placed on the timesheets.
"Helio is a ripper bloke, I am really enjoying working with him and after the test and his laps today I am confident we can walk away from here with a solid result."
Helio Castroneves - Drivers, Wilson Security Racing Car #47
"I've found it really difficult to find the limits of these V8s and before the crash I thought I was going pretty good but then it understeered through the corner.
"The boys did such an incredible job to get the car back together and actually give me more time on track. The team are doing a hell of a job but now it's all up to Tim!
"These cars are awesome, I really respect the main series drivers because it's very difficult, I knew it would be a challenge especially on a street circuit and not knowing much about these cars but I love a challenge so lets see what happens tomorrow!"
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"There was a couple of objectives today and one was to get David up to speed on this track, it can be quite a daunting place with the concrete walls and can take a while to get your confidence up to really push it.
"The second was to just work on the car and get it to a point where its competitive, we are just going to keep working through a program to get up there tomorrow."
David Brabham - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"For me the first session was all about learning the circuit and getting a feel for the car because we have a new setup on it. I was happy with the first stint with plenty of time for me to make gains.
"The second session was a bit more frustrating, although the car felt better I didn't really progress alot and just couldn't get into the swing of it. I kept locking up the tyre and destroying the right front so I lost a bit of confidence on getting on the brakes so I just need to look at the data and see where I can improve and go from there."
The V8 Supercars will take to the track for the first of two 300km races at 1:35pm after qualifying at 9:35am.