COATES HIRE IPSWICH SUPER SPRINT EVENT - V8 SUPERCARS WRAP UP REPORT - BRIAN BOYD
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
Ipswich shows promise for Team PAYCE
Brian Boyd, Managing Director of PAYCE, is of the belief that although the Willowbank track at Ipswich may not be the most complex of layouts on the Supercars championship trail, the 'paper clip' circuit always delivers challenges that keep both the drivers and engineers busy throughout the weekend with its high speed straights and heavy braking for the tight corners.
"Certainly that was the case with this round and the changing weather conditions added to the challenge," Brian Boyd said.
Gusting winds played havoc with the cars on some sections of the track on Saturday, though overall the fine weather seen all weekend was welcomed by teams and drivers. Sunday was cooler and the winds had dropped by a wide margin, but the cooler conditions meant that the teams had to re-evaluate the previous day's settings in search of the best balance and strategy.
The 3.12 kilometre 'paperclip' track is familiar to all competing Team PAYCE drivers and over the years they have enjoyed some good results in all categories.
Six of the seven Team PAYCE drivers took to the track – Scott McLaughlin and James Moffat in the Volvo S60s and John Bowe in the Torana SL/R 5000 with full race duties while David Wall, James Golding and Macauley Jones jumped at the opportunity to put in some track time in a special session for Supercars enduro co-drivers.
Brian Boyd said the standout performances over the weekend were John Bowe's two wins and a new lap record in the Touring Car Masters and James Golding's second fastest time in the co-drivers session.
"Garry Rogers's team also deserve credit for their hard work, especially the mechanics and engineers who managed to maximise the team's success when things did not always pan out as planned," Brian Boyd said.
Ipswich Practice Session Times Slower Than Previous Years – Brian Boyd
Garry Rogers and his GRM team departed the prior round in Townsville reasonably buoyant in that they were heading in the right direction to achieving some solid results with Scott back in the top ten shootout and a 5th place in Sunday's race.
James also had one of his best races to date at Townsville travelling well in the top 10 in Sunday's race until the final stages when tyre strategy didn't fall in his favour.
Brian Boyd said he two Ipswich practice session times on Friday were generally slower than previous years.
"Track conditions were slippery and the GRM team spent most of the time setting the cars up and testing some of the development parts produced back in the workshop," said Brian Boyd.
"Both Scott and James improved on their times in the later session and finished with respectable times that placed them 7th and 11th respectively on the combined timesheets," Mr Boyd continued.
Drivers Gained Valuable Experience in the Pirtek Cup Enduros Special Co-Drivers Session – Brian Boyd
The special co-drivers session earlier on had most of drivers on track who would be competing in the Pirtek Cup enduros.
Brian Boyd stated Garry elected to put David Wall in Scott's #33 Volvo and James Golding was behind the wheel of Moff's #34 Volvo.
"It was good to see the boys did not get carried away and both drivers gained valuable experience, kept their cars away from the walls and delivered straight cars back to the pits," Brian Boyd said.
"The session was particularly valuable for James Golding as he had the chance to experience the benefits of soft tyres to be used at Sandown and the Gold Coast as opposed to the hard tyres that they run in the development series.
"The final pairings for the enduros are yet to be revealed by Garry, but both GRM drivers said they would be more than pleased, whatever the decision," finished Brian Boyd.
Qualifying for Saturday's race saw both Volvos off the pace, finishing on the grid side-by-side in 13th (James) and 14th (Scott) spots. Former Volvo co-driver, Chris Pither scored a very popular first Supercars pole, making him the 10th different pole-sitter this season.
James Scores Top 10 Finish – Brian Boyd
As the race got underway after a 10 minute delay, both Volvo drivers got off their marks well, but battled the windy conditions throughout the race. James made up a couple of positions early on before pitting on lap 17, while Scotty was called in early on lap 7 for his mandatory stop but received no benefit and spent the time racing mid-field.
James had the better result, making the top 10 in 9th place, while Scott crossed the finishing line one spot back from his grid position in 14th place.
Brian Boyd said Sunday was a Much Better Day for the Team
"Sunday saw both Wilson Security Racing GRM drivers improve on their previous day's qualifying in much cooler conditions, with Scott making it into the top ten with a 10th fastest time and James not far behind on times in 13th place," Brian Boyd said.
"Obviously, the lessons learnt on Saturday converted into a better Sunday. The race pace of both cars was good and Scott was rewarded with a well-deserved 6th place and James finished just out of the top 10 in 11th place after he suffered a hit from behind but fortunately recovered.
"The GRM team had the two cars on different pit and fuel strategies and while things didn't go completely according to plan, the team reported they were pleased with the reliability of the cars and overall satisfied with the result," continued Mr. Brian Boyd.
"Garry said they recognise that they need good performances in qualifying to place them at the front of the pack as the chances of coming through the field are slight, so that remains their focus moving forward.
Time is on the Team's Side – Brian Boyd
"I'm sure the team will continue to work hard back at the workshop with more time on their hands than anticipated due to the Kuala Lumpur cancellation and we all look forward to some good results when they arrive at Sydney Motorsport Park in the last week of August," Brian Boyd finished.
Go Team PAYCE!