SUPERSPRINT AT BARBAGALLO RACEWAY PERTH - BRIAN BOYD WRAP-UP OF V8 SUPERCARS
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd said the Perth SuperSprint round threw up some surprises as expected, matched with some exciting close racing at one of the championship's most challenging circuits.
"Tyres played a big role at the abrasive track as did pit stop strategies, but fortunately, unlike last year's downpours, the autumn weather stayed fine and overall track conditions remained good all through the weekend," Mr. Boyd said.
"For Team PAYCE, the Wilson Security Racing GRM team arrived in the west with a confidence boost after a good showing at the drama-filled Phillip Island round.
"To have both Garth Tander and James Moffat in the top 10 on the leaderboard and the GRM team in fourth spot in the Teams Championship is outstanding so early in the season with the #33 and #34 Commodores still in their development stage," Brian Boyd added.
The First Half of Practice One was all About Car Setup – Brian Boyd
Action got underway on Friday with two 45 minute practice sessions. With no previous worthwhile data at the Barbagallo track for reference, the GRM team spent the first half of practice 1 trying various settings before switching to a set of green tyres late in the session for a serious attempt at times.
Brian Boyd said it was to be a great start to the weekend, with James jumping up into the top 10 with a great run that put him third on times.
"With just over a minute left on the clock, Garth then produced a stunning run that took him to the top of the time sheets and was never headed. James' time was just a mere 17/100ths of a second off Garth's top time, "offered Brian Boyd.
"A great performance by both drivers and a strong indication the team is on the right track as far as its 2017 development program goes.
Lap Times Between Old and New Tyres a Factor – Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd made the point that all teams were given three sets of tyres for the weekend.
"Looking after the tyres throughout the weekend was critical if teams were to gain maximum benefit, especially in the races," Boyd said.
"It was interesting to see how much difference there was in times overall between old and new tyres, with greens up to three seconds faster for most teams.
Race and Qualifying Settings Tested in Practice Two – Brian Boyd
"The second practice session in the afternoon was less exciting for the team, but importantly, they used the time well to test both race and qualifying settings, finishing the session in 17th (James) and 19th (Garth) spots on the time sheet.
"Congratulations to Scotty McLaughlin for his record lap in this session to lead the times," Brian Boyd said.
A Straightforward Practice Three for GRM - Brian Boyd
Saturday was fine and a little cooler than Friday. The third practice session was straightforward for the team, with Garth as high as 3rd until the final two minutes then pushed down to finish up 10th on the time sheets while James was 14th.
Qualifying for the Saturday Race was a Hectic Session – Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd said qualifying for the 120 km Saturday race was quite hectic with drivers battling for a good unobstructed run on the short track.
"Garth managed to get up to 7th with two minutes remaining, then dropped a few spots to finished 21st on times, albeit less than a second behind the pole sitter," Mr. Boyd stated.
Brian Boyd - Race One Sees Teams Opt for a One Stop Strategy
Cars gridded up for the first race with lots of discussions continuing around tyre management and pit stops. Teams had the option of a one or two stop strategy, with the majority favouring the one stop as it panned out.
Both Garth and James got underway well and were in the thick of the pack for most of the race. By lap 19, James was up to 15th.
"Both Team PAYCE drivers drove strongly and avoided any serious coming-together although at times the racing was tight and there were some minor panel modifications," Brian Boyd said.
Garth and James pitted for just the one stop on lap 23 and lap 27 respectively. Garth finished with a well-deserved top 10 finish in 10th place and James jumped nine positions to come home in 12th. Scott McLaughlin won from Coulthard and Whincup.
Sunday Brings Warm Weather and Hot Car Temperatures – Brian Boyd
Sunday heated up temperature-wise to over 30c degrees and in-car temperatures were reported to be up to 64c degrees.
Brian Boyd said qualifying for race two was again hectic and both James and Garth were quickly into the top 10.
"Eventually they dropped positions in the late charge to finish 15th and 16th respectively, just 3/100ths of a second apart and both just 6/10ths of a second shy of the fastest time," Mr. Boyd said.
"Once again, the times between all cars were very close, with the first 22 cars of the 26 car field less than a second off the top time."
Different Strategy Required for the Long Sunday Race – Brian Boyd - PAYCE Motorsport
Brian Boyd recognised race two over the longer distance of 200 kilometres required a different strategy to Saturday's race.
"Options were for two or three pit stops and some teams opted for three stops, banking on a safety car intervention.
"However, the race ran safety car free and Scotty McLaughlin had a relatively easy run to the flag with his two stops the only time he gave up the lead," Brian Boyd noted.
"Starting from 14th spot on the grid, James was able to work his way up to 2nd before taking a late pit stop and eventually came home in 11th.
"Garth also put in a good performance, with the #33 Commodore showing good consistent pace and was up to 4th late in the race before pitting and crossing the finishing line in 9th place, making up seven positions in the course of the race," Mr. Boyd added.
"Congratulations to Scott McLaughlin on his double victory," Brian Boyd said.
Improved Race Pace Great for the Wilson Security Racing GRM Team - Brian Boyd
"A good weekend overall for the Wilson Security Racing GRM team, who continue to improve in race pace with every outing.
"The team was in high spirits after Sunday's race and were justifiably pleased with their performance over the weekend. It was a great team effort and a good result for all their hard work, both at the track and back in the workshop," a smiling Brian Boyd enthused.
"The championship now moves back east to Winton on 19-21 May where the field will have added interest with the inclusion of three Super2 wildcards, including our Team PAYCE members, James Golding and Macauley Jones," Brian Boyd concluded.
Go Team PAYCE!