Well, it’s been a pretty hectic start to the 2015 V8 Supercar season for me and my new team, Lucas Dumbrell Motor sport (known as LDM).
We’ve had two race events (the Clipsal 500 and the Grand Prix) in as many weeks, and now we’re gearing up for the third V8 event in Tasmania.
I’ve generally been happy with our progress on track so far. In Adelaide we were frustratingly close to a top ten finish, until the starter motor failed during a late race pit stop. From a top ten to a DNF in a heartbeat. That was hard to take, but we all had to focus on the positives, shake it off and move on to the next event.
At the non-championship round at Melbourne’s F1 Grand Prix we made big improvements as a team, which was positive overall. What WASN’T positive was the rolling start chaos in the final race of the weekend.
My car was caught up in the start line incident and was heavily damaged in the rear. At the track my mechanics could see the damage to the rear chassis rail, but it wasn’t until the car got back to the workshop that they realised it was too damaged to repair in time for Tasmania.
Our team manager Barry Hay’s first point of call was to Triple Eight Racing, as my current car is an ex-888 chassis. Unfortunately the only complete spare chassis they had was their ride car, which also doubles as their emergency spare.
Fortunately Jonathon Webb, a customer of Triple Eight, was very helpful and had a spare chassis available. The car was trucked from Brisbane and arrived in the workshop in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The deadline for the rest of the V8 Supercar teams to ship their cars to Tasmania was Saturday the 21st. V8 management have given us permission to extend our travel for a few days in order to prepare the car. So now, with the help from the Spirit of Tasmania- our car was shipped to Tassie yesterday. Read more about that here.
It’s one of the tracks I love racing at. I won there in the Formula Ford category, and I was quick there last year in practice in the V8 Supercar.
I made too many mistakes in qualifying though, and had to race my forward. LDM’s previous driver Russell Ingall qualified third there last year, so we have a good database to work from.
It’s such a short circuit and it’s the hardest track we go to on brakes, with two big braking zones at the hairpin and the end of the back straight.
The key is to have a car that is settled, can brake well and not arrive at the corner out of control. If you can achieve all three then you’re usually in for a good lap time.
It’s been a couple of busy weeks for our team who’ve been working ridiculous hours with such a tight turnaround between events.
I hope I can reward them with some solid results at the Tyrepower Tasmania Supersprint before they enjoy some well-deserved time off!
Remember, you can keep you can keep across my race results by following @nickpercat on twitter, facebook or @nickpercat on Instagram.