In freezing conditions at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains, Nulon Racing has put in a strong showing on the short yet tricky track today to qualify 8th and 12th and finish 6th and 14th in the first of three Supercars races for the weekend, with the team feeling positive ahead of Sunday’s final two races for the Tasmania SuperSprint.
Practice one saw the field roll out amidst ambient temperatures of just three degrees with the lack of track temp causing issues for those looking to make performance gains, however, come practice two in slightly warmer conditions the Nulon Racing team were able to make good progress, laying down the 7th (Jimmy Golding) and 9th (Tim Slade) fastest laps of the session.
Qualifying for race 10 featured the challenging three-phase format, with Golding in the #31 Nulon Racing Camaro going all the way to the final stage for a Symmons Plains qualifying personal best of P8, while Slade qualified the #23 Nulon Racing Camaro in 12th place.
Come to the race, strong race pace combined with fast pit stops saw the Nulon Racing Camaros in P6 (#31) and P7 (#23), respectively as the final laps counted down, before tyre degradation saw the #31 drop down to P14 in the final three laps, with Slade crossing the line in P6.
“It has been a massive day for the team. The weather really threw everything at us from the first practice session where it was so cold, and everything we did to the car didn’t really affect it too much from a performance point of view, so that was a bit of a struggle, but it was nobody’s fault, it was just the nature of the conditions.
“Then we went into P2, and we had some really quick cars, which was amazing. Everything we learnt from P1 we implemented in P2, and the cars started to make a lot more sense with the adjustments that we made from a performance standpoint, so we were really happy with that.
“Then we rolled into qualifying, and that three-part qualifying format is always tough, but we did a fantastic job to qualify 8th and 12th. We were really happy to be at the front end of the field, especially on a short track with a compressed field like that which always makes it difficult.
“From there we moved into the race and both Tim and Jimmy did a fantastic job. They both moved forward throughout the race, the pit stops were fantastic, and we gained even more positions on the track, which was great.
“Tim did a fantastic job in the race, moving from 12th to 6th, passing plenty of cars while keeping the car nice and straight, so that was a great job by him. Jimmy had a strong race also and was in front of Tim towards the end, but unfortunately suffered some pretty bad tyre degradation in the final laps, so we need to understand that a little bit further so we can learn from that for tomorrow.
“All in all, a very positive and strong day, and we are looking forward to tomorrow’s final two races.”
Slade is hopeful the team can continue to heat things up for Sunday’s races 11 and 12.
“P6 is a really good result today and I am happy with that considering where we started,” Slade said.
“We weren’t far off it in qualifying, but as always it is super tight around here.
“We will go through everything tonight and hopefully we can qualify a bit further up and have another couple of strong races tomorrow.”
While Golding lamented the affect of the tyre degradation on the conclusion of his race, he was upbeat ahead of tomorrow’s racing.
“It was a pretty crazy race out there. We made a few positions off the start and kept out of trouble down at the hairpin,” Golding said.
“We were plugging along pretty well and then after the pit stop, we came out and were holding position really well while trying to look after the tyres, but we were a little hard on them today.
“It could be something in the car, maybe something is broken, or perhaps our set-up is maybe just a little bit aggressive. We will go over the data overnight and make it better for tomorrow, so it hangs on,” he smiled.
The Tasmania SuperSprint action at Symmons Plains will continue tomorrow, Sunday May 21, with back to back qualifying for races 11 and 12 at 9.50am and 10.15am respectively. Race 11 will then be held at 1.05pm, before Race 12 brings the event to a close from 3.50pm. For full event information, visit www.supercars.com.au
For more information on Nulon Racing, please visit www.premiairracing.com or follow the team on its social media platforms at www.facebook.com/PremiAirRacing/, www.instagram.com/premiair_racing/, www.linkedin.com/company/premiairracing/ and www.twitter.com/premiairracing