Grand Prix Race Report

 

It was a very tight turn around from the Clipsal 500 weekend to get the cars back to Melbourne and into Albert Park for the Grand Prix on the Wednesday.

 

At the Grand Prix this year it was great to have our own pit lane and garages to work from especially with the weather turning nasty on the Thursday for practice.

 

Previously we had to move all our equipment from the V8 paddock by hand into the F1 pit lane, to run our sessions.  

 

With the new facilities, we remained high and dry and were able to complete pit stops during our races for the first time at Albert Park.

 

During the practices the track would slowly dry, with Lee 6th fastest and Robbo 11th across the two sessions.

 

Qualifying would also be late on the Thursday afternoon.  

 

This year V8 Supercars had decided to spice up the qualifying with an inverted grid to be drawn chook lotto style by the fastest driver after qualifying. Depending on the number (grid position) drawn from a hat, between 8 and 20, the field would be reversed.

 

We thought we were in a great position to march into the top ten with Lee qualifying 13th and Robbo 15th.

 

With great anticipation we waited for the draw but it all ended up being a non-event with the fastest driver, Shane Van Gisbergen drawing an 8, which really set the cat amongst the pigeons by changing the running order of the top ten shoot out!! 

 

This weekend we would have the opportunity to race with both hard and soft tyres. Both our cars would start all three races on the harder controlled tyre then changing to soft’s during their stops. 

 

Friday we would hit the track at 6.20pm for our first race of the weekend.  

 

Lee had moved up to 11th place before his crew would call him early for his stop on lap 8. This was an excellent decision. By the time all the stops were completed Lee had moved up to 5th and would finish the race in that position.

 

This was a great result for all the team and Lee, especially as Lee had been unwell all day. 

 

Robbo continued to have issues with his car, similar to those that the team had been trying to work through at Adelaide. Robbo didn’t get the best of starts and would drop back to 21st on the first lap. He would end up finishing 20th.

 

Saturday, and again we would race in the dark (well twilight), with a race start at 6.20pm.

 

After moving through the field on Friday Lee was happy with his car and looking forward to the race. He initially had a good start but was held out wide and would drop back to 8th after the first lap. He would maintain this position until he stopped on lap 9. By lap 15 Lee was back up to 7th and was on track to move up further when he was then turned around by David Reynolds (Reynolds would later receive a 40 second penalty). Lee then suffered a fuel sensor issue that caused him to pit again on Lap 22. 

 

He would come home in 25th spot.

 

Robbo had a good start to race 2 moving up two places on the first lap. He would continue to work his way up through the field before pitting on lap 8. He would then continue to move through the field finishing in 13th.

 

The start of race 3 was excellent, with both cars moving up a number of positions. Unfortunately there was also an accident that would bring out the safety car. Most of the field would use this opportunity to pit, including both Lee and Robbo.  

 

Once the race got back underway Robbo was in 10th and Lee 21st. Both would have a great race, passing a number of cars, with a number of great on track battles. 

 

Robbo would finish in 6th and Lee 14th.

 

With cars back in the workshop we are now preparing and concentrating on Hamilton and looking to turn our championship season around.

 

Our cars have traditionally performed well at Hamilton, with Robbo 3rd and Lee 4th in Sunday’s 2010 race. 

 

Thank you again for all your support and we look forward to seeing all our friends across the ditch. 

 

Best regards

 

Garry