We’re headed back to the paperclip for round 8 of the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, the Ipswich SuperSprint.
The track layout looks simple from the outside. It’s six corners, 3.2km in length, and dead flat in terms of landscape.
However, with a mix of high speed and low speed corners and a few bumps to rock and roll the cars, it’s a technical little circuit.
The 12m wide surface means there are four genuine passing opportunities as well, so don’t be surprised to see JC or Scotty fire it down the inside, with enough room to run four-wide in spots.
We’ve had two weekends away from the racetrack since Townsville, but the work didn’t cease.
We saw some progress in Townsville, with Scotty on the Saturday, and JC grabbing a top-10 on the Sunday, so the focus has been continuing to build on that.
It wasn’t as far up as we would like to be, but finding that progress to move up the grid is the key. There is no silver bullet in this game.
Being a SuperSprint round means we’re back to a 120km race on Saturday, and a 200km race on Sunday.
The 120km races this year have seen a few different strategy calls, with the option to pit early or run long in the first stint (who could forget JC’s charge at the end of Winton before being turned around), so keep an eye out for that one.
Sunday’s race will mark Scott’s 150th race start, after debuting in 2012 at Sandown.
A Queensland winter awaits us, with the mercury expected to sit between 25-27 each day, with no rain on the forecast at this stage.
We’ve also got the pleasure of welcoming back Jack Perkins and Warren Luff to the drivers’ seat on Friday, as they take the wheel for the co-driver session to kick of the weekend.
JC and Scott will jump behind the wheel at 12:55pm for the first of their two practice sessions of the day.
Mathew Nilsson – Acting General Manager of Motorsport
“It has been a busy couple of weeks since Townsville. Our initial plan was to head straight to Queensland Raceway, but it was felt to be more beneficial to bring the cars and equipment back to Melbourne to keep working on improving performance.”
“As always, our staff have risen to a challenge and I can’t thank them enough.”
“Queensland Raceway is a unique layout. They are all relatively long loaded corners, but the biased nature from a corner direction perspective is a feature that cannot be underestimated. It is also a circuit that can change in grip level quite quickly, and some awkward bumps can make the ride through Turn 1 pretty exciting for the drivers.”
“The extra track time associated with the additional driver practice presents us with an opportunity to work with Warren and Jack again, both from a car performance perspective and to keep building on the lead up to the season of endurance which really isn’t too far away.”