Following a highly successful test day, PremiAir Nulon Racing Team Manager Stephen Robertson has provided an insight into the team’s off-season preparations while looking ahead to the upcoming Supercars title chase.  

Officially commencing across February 23-25 with the Bathurst 500 at Mount Panorama, the 2024 Supercars Championship will mark PremiAir Nulon Racing’s third season in the category and its second with both Tim Slade and Jimmy Golding at the wheels of the #23 and #31 Gen3 PremiAir Nulon Racing Camaros.  

While a breakthrough podium or win is yet to be claimed by the Arundel-based team, 2023 saw significant steps forward for the team, with Robertson forecasting there is plenty more to come.  

“Rolling on from 2023 where we had some success based on our own goals, including ten Top Ten Shootout appearances and 14 Top Ten race finishes, we are looking forward to building on those successes and our previous experience into 2024 and we have had an intensively busy off-season to set that up,” Roberston said.  

A raft of changes has been made in the workshop over the past few months. 

“There has been quite a lot of changes to our line-up of personnel across the Christmas break. We have changed personnel on cars, there have been changes to the engineering group, and we have Ludo Lacroix on board now as has been widely reported. 

“As part of that, there has been a large emphasis put on car preparation, even more than we have had previously. Ludo is a great believer in the performance of the car being gained in the workshop and the way we prepare; so when we get to the track, we have a good base to move forward from. 

“The changes that have been made in that approach has elevated the way everyone operates within the team. We have raised the bar in preparation, and everyone has lifted their game to meet that bar.” 

Robertson explained it is not just about changing the focus, it is also about making sure everyone has the knowledge and the tools they need to make the changes required.  

“Another thing that Ludo has brought is that he is really great at training people, from mechanics through to the guys that run the team and the guys in the engineering group, he is exceptionally good at showing people not only where the bar should be, but how to get there,” he said.  

“With having a lot of new people in the team that has been exceptionally good for them, and even for those that have been here for a long time, it has been really great for them to really have that keen insight into how Ludo works. 

“We know how the team needs to operate and what we need to do to go forward into 2024 competitively, and that is a great place to start from ahead of the new season.”  

As part of the line-up changes, Jimmy Golding will now be paired with continuing PremiAir Nulon Racing engineer Romy Mayer, while Tim Slade is being reunited with engineer Mirko De Rosa, with who he enjoyed two successful seasons with his previous team.  

“Jimmy and Romy have been working very closely together and I am very confident about how that partnership will evolve over the coming season,” Robertson said. 

“Then we have the old partnership of Tim and Mirko back together, and Mirko has already proved a massive asset to our team. I am forecasting a solid gain for Tim in his confidence as they build on that familiar relationship and I think we will definitely see improvements this year for the #23. 

“The entire engineering program is being overseen very closely by Ludo, and everyone is working together very well already. In some cases, we are starting from base level again, but I believe we will be getting to a higher level a lot faster.” 

The strong focus on personnel has been accompanied by an equally strong focus on equipment. 

“Having a very strong engineering group as we now have is so important in Supercars, as in essence, everyone has the same toys to play with, so we have to be so critical of how we prepare the cars and how we engineer them, and that once again all starts back at the workshop,” Roberston said. 

“Because of that, we have made large investments in the tools we are using, and when I say tools, I mean analysis software.  

“This allows us to compute how the car operates on the track while away from the track, so we know when we are making changes on-track what the car is going to do, how we want to achieve it, and what the end result should be.  

“This is so critically important because we do not have time to just pound around and around and around the track to figure out what is going on. We do not have the time at events, and we only get three test days a year, which is why test days are so critical. 

“This investment in equipment is another core part of our strategy for 2024, and feeds into our confidence that we will be making marked steps forward this season.”  

Speaking of test days, PremiAir Nulon Racing enjoyed its first of the year recently, hitting Queensland Raceway on Monday the 5th of February.  

“It was the perfect chance to get the team gelling together,” Robertson explains. 

“We ran the test day how we will run the Bathurst 500 event, this ensured all of the crew know exactly what their race day roles are, what their responsibilities are, and how they all need to work together, well before we get to the event. 

“At the same time, the engineering team had a really good test plan and a lot of that centred around working out the new aero on the car and how that affected performance.  

“We had some great insights across the day from Romy, from Mirko, and from Ludo as to the directions that we want to go and how that will work in with the drivers, and overall, it was an incredibly good day. 

“We weren’t there to do a performance run, it was about learning the car and getting ready to go to Bathurst, and we achieved everything we wanted to and more.”  

Another key aspect of any successful team is morale. 

“The Supercars championship is a very intense and unforgiving place, demands are high, time is critical, and everyone wants to win,” Robertson said. 

“Of course, winning is a fantastic way to keep morale high – a trophy is always a morale booster! 

“Aside from winning, it is all about kicking goals, and those goals are not always about winning the race.  

“It is about seeing forward progression, the guys seeing the results of the work they are putting in, and that goes for everyone from the drivers to the mechanics all the way through the team to the chef. 

“So, we have a heavy focus on creating clear goals that everyone can focus on, everyone knows what we are working towards on a whole and also for each individual role, and that helps keep us on track and morale high as we all work together for that breakthrough podium and breakthrough win.” 

Outside of the group working hard in the workshops and in the pit garages, there is also another important group for PremiAir Nulon Racing – the race fans. 

“Our fan base is definitely growing as we become a more competitive team,” Roberston said. 

“The fan base is so important, and we are working hard to repay our loyal fans – whether they are at the track or watching on the broadcast – with increasing performance, improving results, and hopefully soon podiums and race wins. 

“Happy fans mean happy sponsors, and a happy team as well, as it is extremely rewarding to see our efforts being appreciated by those that follow us.  

“As we get ready for 2024, we want to thank our dedicated fan base for all of their support so far – rest assured, we will be doing all we can to bring home the chocolates for you this year.”  

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