Winton Race Report

After a successful test at Winton earlier this month, the team was feeling very confident heading into the race weekend.

The weekend was an all sticky tyre event and we also had the opportunity to run our endurance drivers during practice sessions 1 and 2 on the Friday. 

We flew Marcus Marshall down for the weekend to give him a few laps and he did an excellent job in the # 33 car providing some great feedback to Lee and the crew. 

Robbo was looking forward to a big weekend in his 50th V8 Supercar event. 

He ran in the # 34 car for all four practice sessions and was quickest in the first and third sessions. During the final session the crew made some changes to Robbo’s set up which had them struggling. 

The boys changed the car back but ran out of time and didn’t have the opportunity to benefit, from the final stages of practice.

Saturday we headed into qualifying confident of a strong result. We were able to achieve this with Lee qualifying 4th and Robbo 10th. It was great to have both cars in the top 10.

Another opportunity for Garry to done the lycra, but unfortunately we could not find it!!

Saturday’s race was a 120km (40 lap race), which required just the one pit stop.

Both Lee and Robbo got great starts, both making up 2 positions off the line, with Lee moving up to 2nd and Robbo to 8th.

Lee and Robbo had very good pace!! 

Lee was only passed byWhincup as his tyres slowly went off but he would make the place up again after a very slick pit stop by the crew.

Robbo stopped on lap 18. 

After another very slick pit stop Robbo was tagged at turn 3 by Coulthard, causing Robbo to spin off the track, which undid his and the crew’s good work!!

Robbo lost a number of positions but set a new fastest lap time of 1.23.3377 on lap 20 and his next lap he went even quicker with a 1.23.1047, setting the fastest lap of the race. 

After dropping to 23rd after the contact with Coulthard, Robbo raced a great come back to finish 15th. 

There was an exchanging of non niceties after the race between the two parties.

Coulthard later received a 25 championship point penalty for the incident and Robbo a suspended fine for allegedly making contact to Coulthards car after the field parted and he slipped threw at race end!!

Lee managed to hang onto second place by “.033” seconds from Steven Johnson who was charging through the field in the final laps, scoring Lee’s 2nd podium of the year.

It had been predicted that the world was going to end on Saturday evening 21st May at 6 pm so it was great to go out on a high with a podium, being sprayed with champagne and a good hot roast dinner!!

Sunday morning rolled around and much to our surprise, we awoke to find that the world had not ended and we headed back to the track. 

Rain had been forecast with thunderstorms late in the day.

There was a brief shower prior to qualifying, but not wet enough to require fitting the wets.

Heading out for the 20 minute qualifying session the skies had cleared. As the track dried the times were getting quicker and quicker with each passing lap.

Robbo qualified 5th and Lee 11th.

Sunday’s race was a longer race, being 200km or 76 laps.

We took the strategy to pit both cars early, Lee on lap 15 and Robbo the following lap. This strategy worked with getting both cars out of the traffic and into clean air. 

As the rest of the field pitted we continued to move up, with our cars running in the top 4.

The skies were getting darker and darker outside.

Robbo was running3rd and would pit on lap 41 and Lee in 4th position on lap 43, both now needed to look after their tyres to get to the end. 

Lee and Robbo did a great job but the field slowly came back to them. 

Robbo brought his car home in 6th and Lee in 15th.

The rain stayed away for the entire race but would pour down during the podium presentation.

Our performance across the weekend I thought was quite good, with our pit stops, qualifying and race speed being very consistent.

We head north to Darwin in 4 weeks and it will be nice to escape Melbourne’s early winter for a few days.

Once again thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing everyone in The Top End.