A fast and furious 13-lap sprint race which commenced under a rolling start with the help of the Safety Car concluded the Melbourne Super Sprint this morning, with both Nulon Racing entries making considerable advances up the field to finish P15 (Tim Slade) and P16 (Jimmy Golding).
After the first three races of the weekend were quite chaotic in nature, Sunday’s fourth and final race of the round was comparably trouble free, with the safety car start in place only as a risk mitigation factor following fires in two of the field’s Mustangs earlier in the weekend.
While both Nulon Racing entries started down the back of the field, with Golding P22 (elevated to P21 by nature of the rolling start and James Courtney being absent from the line-up) and Slade P24 (elevated to P23), strong driving and strategy calls saw both entries climb through the ranks even without the opportunities afforded by a traditional static start.
“What a weekend, it feels like we have been here for a month!” Nulon Racing Team Principal, Matt Cook, said.
“Starting under the safety car isn’t ideal because when you are a little further down the pack, it is always good to have the opportunity from a static start to pluck three or four off in the first corner and try and elevate yourself towards the front.
“Starting where we did, it was a bit of ‘status quo’ when the safety car left as the cars all accelerate and are at the same speed and doing the same thing, so you can’t really gain any kind of benefit as you might normally from a static start depending on how things unfold, but it is what it is and obviously safety is most important.
“We pressed on and both Tim and Jimmy did quite well to advance up the field in the short running time that we had.
“Overall, we have had some fast cars all weekend long, but we have not really had the luck to show it, and being further down the field makes everything that bit more difficult.
“There are definitely positives we can take away; we just need to start further up the front and of course we will be doing all we can to make sure that is the case when we head to Perth.”
After finishing 15th in the #23 Nulon Racing Camaro this morning, Slade was happy to have made progress but lamented the trickle-on effects of his earlier incidents.
“We probably weren’t quite where we wanted to be set-up in that race with slightly different conditions today with a bit more track temp with the sun out, but we did the right things with strategy and I think we learnt a lot from what we did,” Slade said.
“It was definitely good to move forward, and we probably couldn’t have done much more than that, especially starting second last and with a rolling start, which meant we didn’t have the opportunity to move forward in the opening laps that we might have otherwise had (with a static start).
“I am kind of happy to get that weekend behind us, it was a sub-par performance from me in practice and in qualifying, and that ultimately upsets your whole weekend. I am sorry to everyone in the team for that, and I will make sure that I am better at the next one in Perth.”
Golding was happy to have a less chaotic race to conclude the weekend’s running in Melbourne, finishing P16 in the #31 Nulon Racing Camaro.
“This weekend has had it all, that is for sure, and the rolling start under safety car this morning just added a whole other element that we probably weren’t expecting, and added another layer of difficulty for us given we were already down the field,” Golding said.
“We did everything we could, with good strategy and a good pit stop, and we had some good speed out there, which saw us able to climb up to P16 across the 13 laps.
“One thing that I have particularly taken out of this weekend is how much I am enjoying having a team mate to work with. I am really enjoying racing alongside Tim and working with him in the garage as we both try and do our best for Nulon Racing.”
Nulon Racing will head to the Perth Super Sprint eighth in the Team’s Championship and 13th (Golding) and 16th (Slade) in the Driver’s Championship.
The Perth Super Sprint will be held across the 28th to the 30th of April. 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