TEAM PAYCE COME HOME STRONG IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS AT PERTH BARBAGALLO ROUND
- Perth, Western Australia.
A convoy of five PAYCE-supported touring car drivers and the respective teams made the big journey from the East Coast to the Barbagallo Raceway, 45 kilometres north-east of Perth.
Team PAYCE were looking forward to yet another super-exciting weekend of motorsport over 6th-8th May 2016. None were disappointed.
Barbagallo Raceway in Perth has always been seen as a popular and challenging circuit and didn't disappoint.
As envisioned, tyre degradation and pit stop strategies played a huge role in the results throughout the weekend of racing. With changeable weather conditions thrown in to keep the drivers on their toes, the meeting proved to be tough on teams while providing some of the best racing so far this season.
Most importantly, the mixed conditions and tenacious driving delivered some podiums for Team PAYCE.
V8 Supercars Wrap-up - Team Arrives in Perth with High Expectations - Brian Boyd.
Coming to the Barbagallo Raceway meeting on a high after Scotty's great clean sweep at Phillip Island and James' best result to date, the Wilson Security Racing GRM (Cyan Racing) team were determined to keep the forward momentum going.
The news during the week from Volvo headquarters in Sweden that they were disengaging from the V8 Supercars category at the end of the current 2016 season was obviously an enormous disappointment to the team, its sponsors and fans.
The Volvo news caused a distraction for all involved, but as usual, the team swiftly put it to one side and moved forward with the job at hand – racing as hard as possible for the weekend in Perth.
GRM determined to get some good results from the weekend despite setback – Brian Boyd.
"Garry Rogers and his great team were on top of the world after Phillip Island and the news during the week from Volvo headquarters was devastating, especially when the team have been performing so well recently," said Brian Boyd from Team PAYCE.
"To Garry and Barry's credit, they wasted no time in settling the team down with lots of encouraging words, which made them all the more determined to get some good results from the weekend." enthused Brian Boyd.
Light Showers Disrupt the Proceedings - Brian Boyd
Light intermittent showers disrupted the beginning of the opening practice session on Friday, though all drivers managed to get back onto dry tyres towards the end of the session in a frenzied push to set some good lap times.
Once again, Scotty turned up the dial and delivered a fabulous time within the last minute of the session to steal the top time. James finished his stint in 19th spot, using the dry track time to try different settings for his overall race strategy.
Mixed Conditions for Second Practice
The second practice session for Friday saw a combination of dry and wet track conditions test the drivers. At one stage of the session Scott and James were first and second on times, but moved down a few spots on the board as the session advanced.
Unfortunately, a late rain shower shut down the drivers who had waited for a dry run on fresh tyres, meaning Scott finished the day 3rd fastest and James 6th fastest. A great result, considering the always-changing weather conditions.
Saturday Practice a Wet Affair - Scott Surges
Saturday's practice was immediately disrupted with heavy rain soaking the track just prior to the commencement of the session. As conditions started to improve, Scotty surged forward and threw down a quick lap that had him 2nd fastest at the end. James was not so fortunate; engine gremlins hit with oil pressure errors, necessitating a complete engine change less than an hour from the start of the qualifying session.
Rain Closes in on Qualifying – Brian Boyd.
Qualifying was disappointing for many teams with the deteriorating conditions again playing havoc. Only those teams who set early times before the rain closed in benefited. Scott and James were unable to set a representative time before the rain arrived, meaning their early times stood. Scott's 15th and James' 24th times pushed them well away from the front of the grid for race 1.
Race 1 Sees Tactics Win the Day
Race 1 was driven by tactics as tyre wear had a serious impact on driver performances - Everyone was out to conserve their tyres. By the 32nd lap, Scotty had pushed up to 11th position and James 13th after some spirited driving from both. The team opted to pit for a second stop for fresh tyres, though a little too late as the rain came back. Both drivers did manage to drag back some of the lost positions. Scott and James finished a credible 11th and 14th respectively.
Race 2 Highly Anticipated with Drying Track
Race 2 qualifying finally saw a run in the dry and the times were extremely close, with less than half a second separating first to 20th. Scott qualified 9th and James 20th.
Race 2 was highly anticipated with dry weather and the qualifying times assuring a very competitive race. Scott and James held their positions for much of the first half. Scott then started moving up through the field and by lap 67 he was holding the lead as he had stayed out the longest of the front runners before the cycle of pit stops were completed.
Tyre Strategy Played a Big Part in the Results – Brian Boyd
With a new set of tyres, Scott again moved through the field after his final pit stop and in the final laps was pushing Winterbottom hard for the lead. He gave it his all and had some good looks at passing, but could not quite get the timing right. Scott took a well-deserved second place.
The GRM team did an excellent job throughout the weekend and took away some tremendous performances that bodes well for the next round at Winton on 20-22 May 2016.
A Challenging Round with Lots of Surprises - Brian Boyd
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd said the Perth SuperSprint rounds were among the most challenging to date, with lots of surprises thrown in.
"Everyone knew that tyre strategy would play a big part in the results and, for those who got it right, it paid off," Brian Boyd said.
"Scotty was quick to lay down some good times and his final lap in opening practice was exceptional. It's becoming a bit of a habit to leave his best runs to the last minute, which is fine but a bit heart-stopping," Mr. Boyd continued.
"And what a herculean effort by the GRM team to change the engine in number 34 in less than an hour and have James back on the track in time for qualifying.
Go Team PAYCE!