WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The PIRTEK Enduro Cup finale is upon us as the team heads north for the Gold Coast 600. While the prospect of Garth Tander and Warren Luff taking out back-to-back titles was dashed at Bathurst, the concrete streets of the Surfers Paradise circuit have been a happy hunting ground for all four HRT drivers and the Team.
The Gold Coat 600 will be Garth Tander’s 250th event start making him the first driver in history to start 250 rounds exclusively driving Holdens. Saturday’s race will also mark the 50th Gold Coast race start for the Holden Racing Team.
All four of the team’s drivers have won a race at the GC600, for Jack Perkins his 2016 race win was not only his first at this track but his first ever in the Supercars Championship. The 2016 race win was also a milestone for James Courtney who took line honours for the first time in Surfers Paradise. It was an impressive win for the pair as they started 11th on the grid which was the lowest starting position ever for a GC600 race winner.
Tander has enjoyed a massive seven race wins at the track and has been on pole position three times while Luff is also a previous Gold Coast race winner standing on the top step back in 2013. Tander and Luff finished on the podium in Sunday’s race last year, which saw them seal the PIRTEK Enduro Cup title. The Holden Racing Team equals the record for the most number of pole positions at the circuit with six, and the Team has enjoyed a total of six race wins.
While results in the past have been strong, a new surface on parts of the track means there will be some unknowns heading into the race. One thing that is always certain is the Gold Coat event never fails to provide plenty of “hold your breath” moments.
FROM THE ENGINEER’S DESK
Alex Somerset, Research and Development Manager:
“I’m confident heading into the Gold Coast event, I think every weekend has been a learning weekend and it has helped us refine our practices, our philosophies and our principles. We had a very strong car at Sandown and about 95 per cent of that will transfer over to the Gold Coast.”
“The Gold Coast, however, is going to throw a bit of a curve ball at us because of the new surface. We’ve done a lot of research and seen pictures of it, but we aren’t going to know exactly what it is like until we get there.
“We are excited about going to another street circuit and we have come a long way from last year with regards to damping. We have traditionally been strong at the Gold Coast and other street circuits but it’s more that these types of circuits combine low grip surfaces with short duration corners
“We are still good at short corners and are excited about the fact that we now have a car that will be able to attack the kerbs, especially at the beach chicane. The drivers now have a more predictable platform to work with and are confident to push harder.”
Track Length 2.96kms
Track Direction Anti-clockwise
Average Speed 146km/h
Top Speed 265km/h
Qualifying Lap Record 1.10.0480s
Race Lap Record 1.10.0851s
Event Format Endurance
Tyre Allocation 28 – Soft tyre compound only