Nulon Racing has persevered through an exceptionally chaotic opening race for the Darwin Triple Crown this afternoon to bring home P10 (Tim Slade – #23 Nulon Racing Camaro) and P14 (Jimmy Golding – #31 Nulon Racing Camaro).
The day opened with a three-stage knock-out qualifying for what was race 13 of the Supercars Championship, with both Golding and Slade making it through to the final stage to secure starting positions well inside the top ten of P7 and P8, respectively. However, Golding would be reclassified post-session to P11 due to accidentally holding up another competitor.
When it came to the race, there was no other way to describe it than “chaotic” for the entire field, with multiple safety car periods early following a car fire for Cameron Waters followed by an unrelated grass fire.
The Safety Cars saw the teams adapting their strategies on the run; and while the best efforts of Nulon Racing would be nearly undone by bad luck, it wasn’t enough to stop the team and its drivers from holding their nerve to ensure they could finish in the best way possible.
“It was a massive day today with the three-stage knock-out qualifying and a race,” Team Principal, Matt Cook , said.
“We qualified quite well with both cars and were really happy with being well inside the top ten. Unfortunately, Jimmy got a penalty for an on-track infringement where he accidentally blocked someone, so that dropped him four positions which was sad, but we still had two cars up the pointy end of the field, which was fantastic.
“The race got underway and there was a lot of early safety cars which affected our strategy a little bit, but we had to take that opportunity when we could and so we stopped quite early, as did the rest of the field, and got them back out with good track position.
“Unfortunately, Jimmy suffered some damage in pit lane leaving that first stop when with all the chaos in the lane the cars ahead baulked and blocked and he got hit up the rear and pushed into the car in front, which hampered his race a little.
“We had to bring him back in to fix that as we would have been black flagged and it put him a long way down the run, but we chose to put four tyres on the car so we could have a good result from dead last and it was an amazing job by the team to think on their feet to not only fix the car but also get it in a good position.
“Tim did a solid job out there as well, he stuck to his guns and stuck to the plan, even though he was carrying a bit of damage late in the race, and finished P10 while Jimmy worked up to P14 from dead last.
“So, all in all, it was chaotic, it was crazy, but the whole team did a fantastic job. Of course, we would have liked to finish a little further up, but it is what it is, and we will take that and move onto tomorrow.
“In the meantime, we are hoping we can continue with the good results tonight with our team boss and owner, Peter Xiberras, competing in the Top Fuel Dragster next door at the Hidden Valley Drag Strip – I hope he has a fantastic run tonight and fingers crossed he can come away with a win!”
Slade said he is feeling good for tomorrow following his top ten result in the #23 Nulon Racing Camaro today.
“It was a good qualifying for both of us, and I feel as though we improved the car a bit overnight, and for me in the qualifying session I was happy with where I ended up,” Slade said.
“It was a decent start to the race, but we lost out a little in the pits (with traffic) but unfortunately that is what happens when you are situated at the back of pit lane. We will definitely be working on that throughout the year to try and move ourselves up for next year,” Slade smiled.
“We then had some contact which damaged the car, so I really just kind of nursed it home from there, but prior to that the car actually felt quite strong, so that is definitely promising for tomorrow.”
It was a hectic day for Golding in the #31 Nulon Racing Camaro, but the young driver is feeling positive.
“My day was certainly pretty hectic. I had a good qualifying in P7 but then got the four spot penalty for holding up a car, so we started off P11,” Golding explained.
“I had an awesome start and passed three cars, and was settling in pretty well, but then we had the safety car.
“There was a lot of chaos in pit lane, and we got a fair bit of damage, so that hurt us with straight line speed, but we still managed to get back to P14 from being dead last, so that was a solid recovery for us.
“We had good car speed too, so I am really looking forward to tomorrow.”
The Supercars action continues Sunday (18 June) with back to back qualifying for races 14 and 15 from 9.30am, before the races themselves kick off at 11.50am and 3.25pm respectively. For event information, visit www.supercars.com.au
Before that happens, Peter Xiberras and the PremiAir Racing Top Fuel Dragster will attempt to take out the Nitro Up North victory at the Hidden Valley Drag Strip this evening, while hoping to challenge for their third straight Top Fuel title.
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