From winning the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship on Saturday to finding strong car pace in the #76 Subway PremiAir Racing Supercar and #22 PremiAir Coca-Cola No Sugar Supercar today, PremiAir Racing has its fair share of positives to take away from its trip to Darwin for the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown and Nitro Up North.
While those positives were marred by some character-building moments in today’s two 38-lap Supercar races, the team is committed to embodying the never give up attitude it is known for, and each member is already taking on the lessons learned as they look ahead to the next round of the Repco Supercars Championship in Townsville in July.
Race one was dramatic for many in the field, but both Garry Jacobson and Chris Pither were able to stay out of most of the trouble before ultimately coming home P18 (Jacobson, up four positions) and P22 (Pither, up two positions). With only two hours between races, the fact that both cars were relatively straight after this race was a boon for the team, which could concentrate on their next race prep without the burden of large repairs unlike others in the pitlane.
In race two, Pither had a blinding start, moving up seven spots in the opening two laps (including making six positions in the first lap alone) before stalling in his early race pit stop and then acquiring damage on the race track to put the #22 Coca-Cola No Sugar Supercar behind the eight ball. Garry meanwhile was well and truly in amongst the chaos all race long and unfortunately was on the wrong end of some contact towards the end of the race, with the #76 Subway PremiAir Racing Supercar copping a penalty as a result. Pither and Jacobson would cross the line in P20 and P22 respectively.
“It was a big and busy day today with two qualifying sessions and two races. We qualified sort of in the mid-pack and it is a very hard to track to pass on with a lot of action and a lot of chaos happening also. In race one we managed to avoid a bit of that, but we just finished the second race with both cars having been torn up pretty bad. It wasn’t the result that we were looking for and it was pretty tough racing out there, but the team did the best they could, and we will regroup, and it is eyes forward now to Townsville,” PremiAir Racing Team Principal, Matt Cook, explained.
“I will wear my heart on my sleeve and the honest answer here is that I was trying hard to get back through the field today and while I made some good passing manoeuvres, I also made some passing manoeuvres I reckon I could have a bit of a rethink on. As a competitor I don’t want to be at the back and I will always want to be racing up the front and in my racing career I have generally been trying to be more aggressive as my career goes on, but unfortunately sometimes in practicing that you can overstep the line,” Jacobson said.
“We obviously came into today with high hopes after good speed in qualifying yesterday and we were hoping to build on that form, but it didn’t quite come together. In both races we had good starts and moved up the field, and in the second race we had a really good first couple of laps and moved up to 14th. After that our run was comprised a bit and the late safety car didn’t help considering we had stopped early so our tyres were a bit tired and once we were bunched up under safety car, we lost a couple of spots at the end. But overall, good potential was shown – we have to look at the positives and we had the pace there,” Pither said.
PremiAir Racing will next be in action with the Repco Supercars Championship for the NTI Townsville 500 across July 8-10, while the Top Fuel team is now preparing for the start of the 2022/2023 Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship season which will commence across September 1-2 as part of the Red CentreNATS event at Alice Springs Inland Dragway. For more information on these events, visit www.supercars.com.au and www.topfuelaustralia.com.au