While on and off wet weather at Sydney Motorsport Park has hampered the testing programs of all Supercars teams today, PremiAir Racing still managed to ensure it was another productive step in its preparations for the 2023 Supercars Championship.
Both the #31 Nulon Racing Supercar and #23 PremiAir Racing Supercar cut plenty of laps at the Sydney venue while also undertaking pit stop practice and other preparations, before a solid block of 45 minutes of dry running thankfully came at the end of the day.
“Coming into today, the weather predictions were for wet weather in the morning and then for it to dry out by 1.00 pm for dry running, so our original plan was to do rolling pit stop practice and some laps on the wet tyres before dry running in the afternoon – although it was never going to be ideal in the wet as the wet tyres we have currently are not the ones we will be using in 2023,” PremiAir Racing Team Principal, Matt Cook, said.
“We had a fair bit that we wanted to get done across the day and we just chipped away at it. While the weather certainly hampered our testing program somewhat, we still managed to do a lot of valuable laps which is good as we continue to try and get a better understanding of the car and how it reacts, and thankfully, we got a good solid window of dry running for 45 minutes at the end of the day.
“It was definitely good to be here at Sydney Motorsport Park, as we had previously only had the car at Queensland Raceway, and the characteristics of the tracks are very different and therefore, the cars handled very differently, and the feedback from the drivers was very different, so it was very beneficial to be here and to do as many laps as we did.
“While it was an interrupted day, it was still a good and productive day, and it was a good opportunity for our team to gel together and work together as we continue our preparations, with plans underway for a final test day for our team next week at Queensland Raceway before it is all eyes forward to Newcastle.”
PremiAir Racing drivers Jimmy Golding (#31) and Tim Slade (#23) were joined on-track by Golding’s 2022 enduro co-driver, Dylan O’Keefe, and local S5000 racer Joey Mawson, who both undertook evaluation laps with the team today.
“It was great to have Dylan and Joey here with us today, for some evaluation laps. Dylan was Jimmy’s co-driver last year, and Joey has been a friend of the team for some time, so we were pleased to give them some time in the cars today,” Cook added.
For comments from each of the drivers on-track for PremiAir Racing today, please see below.
Today’s test day comes following a busy few days in Sydney for the PremiAir Racing team, which included the 2023 Supercars Championship media launch – featuring the #31 Nulon Racing Supercar – as well as pre-season filming commitments at Fox Sports Studios for both Golding and Slade, who also enjoyed a tour of PremiAir Hire’s Sydney headquarters.
PremiAir Racing now heads to the Perth Motorplex as team boss Peter Xiberras continues to defend his Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship title this weekend, before the team’s Gen3 Supercars again take to Queensland Raceway for a final test next week ahead of the Newcastle season opener (March 10-12).
DRIVER QUOTEBOARD: 2023 SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK SUPERCARS TEST DAY – 22 FEBRUARY 2023
Jimmy Golding – #31 Nulon Racing Supercar
“It was a pretty solid day for us, the car ran faultlessly, and we tried a few different things and learned a few things which was important. I am looking forward to getting another test in before Newcastle to start ticking a few more things off the list and to try and really refine the car as much as possible before we start getting into the season. Obviously with more races coming up, we have less time to test the car and try different things, so the more we can learn now, the better off we will be. Overall, I am feeling comfortable in the car and I am pretty happy at this stage.”
Tim Slade – #23 PremiAir Racing Supercar
“It was the same for everyone out there and I think everyone would be feeling the same frustration. There has been so much hype and anticipation and work and effort that has gone into these new cars and we have all been champing at the bit to learn more about them and so we have been looking forward to this day for quite a while. So it definitely has been frustrating, especially given that we couldn’t do that much learning in the wet as we don’t have this year’s wet tyre, but again it is the same for everyone. Over the kilometres that we were able to do I think the cars have run faultlessly which is good, and we have been working on refining some little areas we found out about at the initial shakedown. It has been good to refine a bit of that stuff and validate some other stuff we found but ultimately of course we want more dry laps. We have another test day up our sleeve in Queensland next week and hopefully it stays dry for that and we can learn more about the car. In the meantime, it has been good for everyone to get going again this year, we have some new people in new roles and the more times we can go to the track together, the more we are going to be sorted before Newcastle. “
“It was my first taste of the Gen3 today. The car is pretty predictable, and the fundamentals of a Supercar are still there, just everything is a bit different. I have just been getting my head around all the controls and all the new features compared to the last time I drove with Jimmy. It has certainly been a lot of fun and the power is still there. In the wet it was a bit tricky but very controllable, for instance, if there was a slide you could hold it and you could predict where you were going to end up. It was a lot of fun.”
“I had a ball to be honest and I am very grateful to the team for the opportunity. I really enjoyed the car, you can certainly feel the weight is a lot lighter, and the car moves around a more, but it is a lot more predictable with the slide. I also found that compared to the Gen2 car the downshifting was a bit easier on the box.”