It was an interesting weekend at Phillip Island with lots of changes and quite a few experienced names struggling to settle or find good car speed. Chris Pither was happy with the way the most of the weekend went starting with two 1 hour practice sessions where he finish P17 in both, and a final 15 minute session on Saturday morning. We made set up changes aiming to calm the rear of the car down on corner entry and found good gains as a result posting a time comfortably faster than the time Chris had qualified at in 2015.
See driver view below:
Saturday Qualifying: We continued to improve in qualifying and found another .5s but unfortunately this put us 23rd on the grid directly behind my team mate Cam Waters.
Saturday Race: Race 6 went reasonably smoothly. I shadowed Cam for a majority of the race moving up a few spots to finishing one place behind him in 19th.
Sunday Qualifying: I matched my qualifying time from Saturday within a few hundredths of a second this was good enough for 19th position directly behind Cam once again.
Sunday Race: I got a really good start behind Jason Bright who broke into a lot of wheel spin. With Tander on my left I committed to go to the right of Bright who squeezed me to the edge of the track resulting in wheel to wheel contact and a bent steering arm. The crew did a great job to fix the car quickly and get us back on track. Once we were back out there the speed and consistency over a stint was strong.
Conclusion: We made some good steps forward over the race weekend. I’m happy with our race pace but it was highlighted that we need to focus on our one lap speed for the next round at Barbagallo to ensure we can qualify further up the field.
Thanks to Super Back Racing and our sponsors Ice Break – Real Coffee, Ice Cold, Only Domains, Mighty Mite, SLW Transport, Auto Racing Tours and Wrap Graphics.
Bring on Perth!
History will be made at Phillip Island this weekend with the 500th round of Australian Touring Car/V8 Supercars Championship. The WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint from April 15-17 will be the first Championship event in Victoria for 2016.
The first Championship event was held at Gnoo-Blas near Orange in February 1960. This weekend’s round will be the 27th at Phillip Island since the first round was held there in 1976.
Chris Pither had his debut with Super Black Racing at Phillip Island last year and is excited to get back to the circuit for the second time. “Given the last couple of rounds, I will be looking forward to a smooth run this weekend. Its been a hard few weeks I will be putting everything I have into making sure this a good one” says Chris.
It promises to an exciting weekend of racing after a dramatic start to the season at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide and the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint. Five races this season have so far produced five different winners.
The V8 Supercars Dunlop Series will return to Phillip Island for the first time since 2007, bringing with it a double-dose of V8 action. Also featuring over the weekend will be the Aussie Racing Cars, V8 Utes Series and the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship.
Race fans can pitch their tent trackside for a budget-friendly $70 per person for the weekend. The campground is just a short stroll from the track, offers great facilities and breathtaking views of Bass Strait. The very popular Park and View option returns this weekend too, giving fans the chance to park their car trackside just like the old days.
V8 Supercars practice begins at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint on Friday at 1.55pm local time, with the event broadcast live on SKY Sport and FOX SPORT across the weekend.
Super Black racer Chris Pither has spoken about the crash that left his Ice Break Falcon smashed up at the exit of turn four at Symmon Plains. The Safety Car was called on lap five, the V8 Supercar stranded though Pither walked away from the accident.
Pither is racing a spare Prodrive car, which is in fact a Dunlop Series chassis, after a substantial accident at the opening round the Clipsal 500. Replays of the incident were unclear, but Pither told v8supercars.com his side of the story and confirmed Nick Percat was the other driver involved.
“The outcome is just disappointing, I think we’ve been making some really good progress across the AGP and yup to this point this weekend and I just feel for my team, they’ve done a really good job and got no reward again.”Pither says he is fine physically after the accident.
Prodrive boss Tim Edwards hopes his team can avoid rushing the completion of a brand new chassis for Phillip Island.
Today’s revised SuperSprint format at Symmons Plains is set to spice up the spectacle with strategy now a key part of the race.
Rather than two 60km races, Saturdays now host one 120km race with teams required to make one pit stop for four tyres after lap five.
When each car will take its stop – and whether it will take fuel on board – remains to be seen.
Some teams are expected to run the gauntlet with fuel consumption, while others will juice up to make it to the end of the race.
With grippy Dunlop soft tyres to run, and a high chance of a Safety Car at the deceptively tricky circuit, expect plenty of action for the first running of the Saturday race.
V8 Supercars sporting and technical director David Stuart believes the longer run is the way to go and creates a challenge for the teams.
“In my opinion it suits our cars better – it’s a longer distance and we’re a touring car category,” Stuart told v8supercars.com.
“We’ve got a compulsory stop in there to change four tyres because we’re racing on the softer tyre. The soft tyre is better grip and should provide a better racing spectacle.
“Particularly at this circuit, because of the time the guys spend at full-throttle, it means they’re going to be right on the limit of doing the race on a tank of fuel.”
It’s a 50-lap race, with average consumption 2.2 litres per lap. Each car has a 111-litre fuel tank.
It might seem simple – but electing to take fuel could mean spending more time in pit lane, and losing a possible personnel advantage.
Eight people are permitted for pit stops, with two playing roles related to refuelling. They could assist changing tyres to speed things up for those who decide not to refuel.
“You might see teams that will try and help their slowest wheel guy by helping him undo the wheel nut and take it off, and the other guy put it on,” Stuart explained.
“That will create different strategy options for different teams.
“If they think they can save a second or two seconds in the pit by doing that, and have to conserve fuel throughout the race … there might be some teams that won’t even have to conserve fuel.
“Either way, I think everyone will be on the limit.”
Sunday races are governed by a minimum fuel drop, which evens out consumption, discourages teams from running lean to the point of damaging engines and creates strategy options, as it requires two pit stops to complete.
But in Saturday’s case, a minimum drop has not been implemented as it would stifle strategy options.
The timing of the stop is also a consideration – some may choose to stop early if they think the soft tyre will last the distance and will aim to land the driver in clean air.
And look out for the safety car – it’s easy to go a lap down at Symmons Plains.
“This circuit throws up some really interesting racing – it should be a good show,” Stuart said.