Jimmy Golding and the #31 Nulon Racing Camaro came oh-so-close to a podium finish at the final race of the Gold
Coast 500 today, before ultimately finishing their home event in sixth position.
The Arundel-based outfit’s two Nulon Racing Camaros had a reversal of fortunes in qualifying to start the day, with
Golding making it into the Top Ten Shootout with P8 this morning while Tim Slade in the #23 Nulon Racing Camaro
was P18 (yesterday Slade was P8 and Golding P17, with Slade heading to the shootout).
Come the Shootout, Golding put in a great lap to secure a P6 starting position for this afternoon’s 85-lap race on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
A fast car combined with a good strategy and slick pit stops saw Golding enjoy a strong race and be in contention for a third placing in the final stages of the race, before disaster struck with seven laps to go when he bumped the wall and spun.
With his incident followed by a safety car, the #31 was able to resume at the restart with four laps to go, crossing the
line in P7 before being elevated to P6 due to the driver in front of him carrying a time penalty for exceeding track limits – one of many such penalties handed out across the race. The result marks Golding’s third top six result of the year.
Slade meanwhile had another race to forget, caught up in another lap one incident. This time, he was part of a race incident of several cars on turn 4 which saw him into the wall and an immediate DNF – his first DNF of the 2023 season.
“It was a solid drive for the #31 Nulon Racing Camaro. Jimmy was running comfortably in fourth before an unfortunate incident with a couple of laps to go cost us any chance of tasting the champagne,” Nulon Racing Director of Engineering, Dr Geoffrey Slater, said.
“It was a great drive from Jimmy all day, including a solid performance in qualifying and the shootout which set us up for a good race.
“We made some good strategy calls and had a good race car, and while after being comfortably fourth we had to settle for sixth after the incident, overall, it was a good race with a good haul of points.
“Conversely for Tim Slade in the #23 Nulon Racing Camaro, another lap one incident put him out of the race early.
“It wasn’t a clean qualifying session for #23 like yesterday, with a kerb strike costing him another potential top ten shootout appearance.
“Being back in the pack saw him involved in an unfortunate incident with several cars, resulting in the lap one DNF.
Here’s hoping we can find some better results for Tim at the season ending Adelaide 500 next month.”
Golding was feeling positive following the race, despite being disappointed with his spin.
“It was a pretty decent day for the #31 Nulon Racing Camaro, we managed to put it in the Top Ten Shootout and put it on P6 for the start of the race, which was awesome,” Golding said.
“We were running up in P4 for most of the race too, so that was a very positive day for us.
“We didn’t quite manage to finish there (in P4 or on the podium), but we had some great battles and some awesome
passes. A little mistake dropped us back at the end of the race, but overall, it was very good.
“From Tim’s side it was unfortunate that at the start of the race today he got caught up in an incident, but he still has a lot of positives to take out of the weekend with a Top Ten Shootout yesterday.
“We also found a good direction with the cars on race set-up today, so I am feeling confident heading into the final round of the championship in Adelaide.”
Simon Hodge, engineer for the #31, said that like Jimmy, he is feeling confident ahead of heading to the South Australian street circuit.
“We were so close to the goal of tasting champagne and getting a surfboard today, but we had great speed and I am really happy that we were so competitive. Jimmy drove so well with just that one little mistake, and apart from that it
was a fantastic race,” Hodge said.
“We learnt today from a slightly lacklustre strategy yesterday, changing how much fuel we took on in the first stop which meant we were able to jump some cars in the second stop. A fast car helps make for a good strategy, so I took
advantage of that today as well.
“We definitely have a good handle on the car heading to Adelaide. Going from Bathurst to the Gold Coast is obviously
very different, but Adelaide is quite similar being another street circuit and we are carrying good momentum. We still have work to do of course, but I think we are in as good a shape as we can be.”
Nulon Racing will next be on-track for the season-ending Adelaide 500 across November 23-26. For event information, visit www.supercars.com.au
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