While Nulon Racing may have just missed out on a top ten shootout berth this afternoon, the #23 Nulon Racing Camaro and #31 Nulon Racing Camaro of Tim Slade/Jonathon Webb and Jimmy Golding/Dylan O’Keeffe have a solid base from which to work from ahead of tomorrow’s Sandown 500.
The fourth and final practice session saw the entries 3rd (#23) and 7th (#31) fastest, while the data showed both cars were well capable of being inside the top five and top ten respectively during qualifying.
Tim Slade finished just outside of the ten in P11, while Golding finished out the session P18, with both entries affected by last lap missteps amidst gusting winds.
Even so, consistently strong car pace and solid results in the lead-up to qualifying across both Friday and Saturday as well as an immediate understanding of the qualifying issues sees the team remaining confident heading into 500 kilometres of racing on Sunday.
“After the strong performances in the earlier sessions, it is fair to say that qualifying was probably not what we expected, we were looking for something better,” Nulon Racing Team Manager, Stephen Robertson, said.
“Having said that, we are still in a strong place with some good car set-up and some good strategies ready for a big race tomorrow.
“It is going to be a long day, and there is a lot to play for with strategy. No one is really too sure how the tyres will degrade over the course of the day, so there will be a lot of strategy calls being made on the fly and we have some of the best guys in the business working for us doing that, so we are heads up and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Slade’s qualifying time of 1m 08.8597 was just 0.06 of a second shy of making it into the top ten (the P10 time was 1m 08.7965).
“It wasn’t too bad today from our side, it has been relatively solid, and up to now we have been either in the ten or just outside of it,” Slade said.
“It has just been a case of massaging the car a little bit. We ended up 11th so we just missed out on the Top Ten Shootout, but it all makes sense, which is the main part.
“We realise what we could have done better in qualifying with the car, but of course everyone has their story – ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ as they say! But it is still a solid place from which to start the Sandown 500 tomorrow and I am looking forward to pairing up with Webby for what should be a pretty crazy race.”
Golding’s qualifying time of 1m 08.9806 was good enough for P18, with his final session push thwarted by a turn one off-track excursion.
“We didn’t quite optimise qualifying for the 31 crew, making a couple of mistakes out there which meant we didn’t quite get it on the money,” Golding said.
“But we are looking forward to the race, we have a lot of good data and Dylan was quick as well, so I can’t wait to jump into it all tomorrow.”
Nulon Racing will be back on-track at Sandown Raceway tomorrow at 10.10am for the warm-up, before the Sandown 500 kicks off at 2.15pm. For event information, visit www.supercars.com.au
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