ADELAIDE 500 RACE MEETING 2018 - BRIAN BOYD WRAP-UP OF V8 SUPERCARS
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
Promising season ahead for Team PAYCE after Adelaide rounds – Brian Boyd
PAYCE's Managing Director, Brian Boyd said the Adelaide 500 once again lived up to its reputation as one of the most challenging rounds of the season.
"All the events produced exciting racing, unexpected but welcome results for some and for others not-so-welcome major re-building following crashes," Mr. Boyd said.
"This was the 20th anniversary of the Adelaide event and attendances on all four days were huge, with Sunday's 90,000 figure stretching the capacity of the venue.
"Several teams worked well into the night and into the next morning repairing severely damaged cars.
Mr. Boyd said the Wilson Security Racing GRM team was affected by some incidents that delayed a return to the track but fortunately nothing overly serious.
Weather Dictates Strategy and Setups at Adelaide 500 – Brian Boyd
Brian said weather again played a big role in strategies and setups.
"The weather over the four days remained fine, but the conditions ranged from hot the first couple of days to much milder weather, especially on Sunday, when the engineers were kept busy with the changing conditions," Brian recalled.
"The great news was that by the end of Sunday's racing, Team PAYCE had picked up six podiums from 12 races across the four categories and were feeling confident of many more successes through the season."
Garth Tander Delivers Podium Finish in Round One of the Virgin Australia Supercars 2018 – Brian Boyd
Brian said the highlight for the Wilson Security Racing GRM team was without doubt Garth Tander's great drive to stand on the podium after Sunday's race, aided by the strong support of his GRM pit crew.
"His third placing was just what the Wilson Security Racing team needed to justify all the hard work over the off-season and to give them confidence moving forward," Brian Boyd noted.
"The meeting also marked the first event for young James Golding as a full-time Supercars driver after some wildcard starts last year, a successful stint in Super2 prior to that and as co-driver in the endurance races in recent years."
Brian said that with the Supercars non-appearance on track on Thursday, teams had extra time to check how other categories were coping with the track and assess the effects of the changes that had been made since last year, including re-surfacing of turn eight.
Practice Session Timings Show Close Teams for 2018 – Brian Boyd
"Friday's morning practice was relatively quiet for the GRM team, with both Garth and James well down the time sheets as the team concentrated on setups.
"The afternoon practice session was more encouraging as Garth found speed and finished in the top ten times with ninth fastest," enthused Mr. Boyd.
Brian recounted that as was the case last year, the lap times across the majority of teams were extremely close, as indicated by the first ten top times being within half a second of each other and 19 cars out of the 26 were less than one second apart.
Race 1 Qualifying sees Luck Play a Big Role – Brian Boyd
"Qualifying for race one was equally close and although neither Garth nor James made the cut for the Top Ten Shootout, they were not far off the leading times. Luck can play a big part in qualifying and it did not go GRM's way with both drivers caught out by red flags when on personal best runs," Brian Boyd said.
Hot Running on Saturday Brings Mixed Results for GRM – Brian Boyd
"Saturday's hot weather added to the challenges of the day, especially as several drivers had found the wall at the fast-flowing upgraded turn eight during practice. Garth started 17th on the grid and James was at the rear in 25th position," Brian Boyd said.
"Both Garth and James got away cleanly and proceeded to work their way through the pack. By lap 55, Garth was 12th and James was travelling well and heading the other four "rookies" when he was caught up in a multi-car crash that resulted in damage to the bodywork and steering. That necessitated a visit to the pits that ended a promising day for car #34."
Brian stated Garth continued to fight strongly and in maintaining his 12th position to the end he posted fifth fastest lap time of the race. Shane Van Gisbergen returned to form to take victory in the first race of the season.
Brian Boyd - Sunday Qualifying Shows GRM Team in Great Form
Qualifying on Sunday morning for the second 250 kilometre race later in the afternoon brought loud cheers from the GRM team and fans when Garth made it into the 10th spot of the shoot out on his final lap just before the session ended. James narrowly missed out on a top 10 start by around three-tenths of a second. Both drivers were into the one minute 19 seconds bracket adding to the confidence of the team. In the shoot-out, Garth gained two positions to place the #33 Commodore 8th on the grid, while James was 14th.
Garth Tander Leverages his Vast Experience to Deliver Solid Qualifying – Brian Boyd
"Sunday's weather was much more comfortable with temperatures around the mid-20s. Everyone is looking for an edge to improve times, whether it was cloud cover and lower temperatures or waiting till near the end of qualifying for more rubber to be laid down," Brian Boyd reported.
"This tactic worked in Garth's favour and in the dying minutes of qualifying for race two he jumped from 18th on the timesheets to 4th, which earned him a place in the Top Ten Shootout.
"Unfortunately, he could not quite replicate his earlier efforts and dropped to 8th by the end of the Shootout. James had some wheel problems during qualifying that kept him in the pits and he never really had an opportunity for a clean run, resulting in a 23rd spot on the grid for the main race," Brian Boyd noted.
Race 2 Showcases the GRM Gains with a Podium Finish – Brian Boyd
"When the lights went out for race two, Garth and James were away cleanly and settling in for the job ahead. Garth quickly picked up a spot as did James before James pitted on lap 14 followed by Garth on lap 17.
"As the field settled after the first round of pit stops, things were looking good for cars #33 and #34, with Garth maintaining the 7th spot and James now well up in 12th. The second round of pit stops saw little change after all teams had completed their compulsory stops," reported Brian Boyd.
"With 20 laps left, James' impressive drive was to end with a spin entering the main straight that took him back to 18th. Meanwhile Garth had moved up the order as a couple of the leading cars had their own problems and it wasn't long before Garth was sitting in 3rd spot and poised to take the lead if Van Gisbergen and Reynolds were to trip each other up.
"That was the order to race end, but a great effort by Garth and calls by the pit engineers to have car #33 finish within two seconds of the winner," Brian continued.
GRM Team Shows Huge Potential for the 2018 Season Ahead – Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd said it was a great start to the season and everyone in the Wilson Security Racing GRM team celebrated the first podium of the season and would be confident of many more to come throughout the year.
"Congratulations to Shane Van Gisbergen on his two wins and a good effort by Dave Reynolds to finish second in race two," he said.
Brian said the meeting showed that the Wilson Security GRM team has the potential to make a big impression this season, not just in race trim but also in the ever important qualifying session.
"The times over the weekend are so close that if you are not up at the pointy end of the field on the grid, it will be a massive task to work through the pack," Brian Boyd believes.
"Congratulations too to James for his debut into Supercars full-time. He showed he has the confidence and ability to mix it with the seasoned drivers and he has justified Garry's faith in him as the next rising star in the GRM stable," Brian Boyd confirmed.
The next meeting for Supercars is the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 23-26 March and this year the two races count in the championship for the first time.
|Garth Tander||6th||186 points|
|James Golding||24th||48 points|
Go Team PAYCE!