Sunday at the Newcastle 500 has seen PremiAir Racing end the opening round of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship on a high, with both of the team’s Nulon Racing Camaros well in the top ten all across the day.
The third and final day of the event got off to a great start for the team, with Jimmy Golding qualifying P3 in the #31 Nulon Racing Camaro while Tim Slade qualified fifth in the #400 Nulon Racing entry.
Come the shootout, Golding held onto the second row of the grid with P3 while Slade locked in a P6 grid spot in another highly competitive session.
After all the hype and build-up to the race start, the entire field was forced to wait in pit lane under red flag conditions for some time after a start line incident for two other entries required repairs to the main straight wall, which had been pushed back.
While the subsequent delay saw the race ultimately shortened from 95 laps to 89, due to the time certain nature of the event, it did nothing to quell the performance of either Nulon Racing Camaro, their drivers or crew.
Off the restart, Golding and Slade maintained position early and from there, built a strong race within the top ten. With great race pace and good pit stops for both entries across the duration of the afternoon, Golding was able to cross the line in P4 after having been as high as P3 in the final stages, while Slade finished his race in P9.
After the difficulties of Saturday, PremiAir Racing Team Principal Matt Cook was exceptionally pleased with the result.
“It was a super Sunday for us, that is for sure,” Cook said.
“We had another great outing in qualifying and then the Shootout, with both cars well in the top ten and Jimmy even in the top three in qualifying and the Shootout, while Tim put in a really solid job for P5 and P6 in what were again really competitive sessions.
“Come the race, it all unfortunately kicked off with an bit of an unexpected delay due to that start line incident, and that can put you at unease as you have the cars ready, the temperatures and pressures are ready, and then you all of a sudden have to sit around for 25 or 30 minutes, in which time drivers are getting nervous, cars are getting cool and tyre pressures are going down, which can all make it a bit tricky on the restart.
“I am happy to say that both guys did a really solid job, maintaining position and settling themselves into the race. Our pit stops were very, very slick today compared to yesterday also, which we are super excited about.
“The strategy was good, and the car pace was there on all stints and on both sets of tyres, so all in all, we are very pleased and we came away with a great result with Jimmy in fourth and Tim in ninth.
“To have both cars in the top ten all day today was fantastic, and I can’t thank the team enough for their efforts – all of the boys and girls did a fantastic job. Now, we move onto the next one!” he smiled.
Golding was obviously happy with how the team’s Sunday had panned out.
“Today was a great way to finish out the opening round of the 2023 championship, with both cars again in the top ten in both qualifying and racing, both in the top ten in the race, and the #31 just missing out on a podium by finishing fourth,” Golding said.
“This is a huge result for myself and our young team, and something that we can all be proud of – and what a great way to start our new relationship with Nulon! I think it is just a sample of what the future will hold for us all – bring on Melbourne!”
Slade was quick to congratulate Golding and the #31 crew on their results today.
“It is true that it was a difficult day yesterday, but there were still lots of positives to take out of that with plenty of good car speed, and we brought that into today,” Slade said.
“It was definitely a case of a bit smoother sailing for us today, and it was an awesome result for the team with two cars in the top ten for qualifying and then the race. I must say congratulations and awesome job to the #31 guys for P3 in qualifying and the shootout, and P4 in the race.
“We struggled a little in the #400 (with early pace) in the race, but that is all part of the learning process and there are definitely lots of things to take out of the weekend and build on for the next one at the Grand Prix, which we are all very much looking forward to.”
PremiAir Racing will next be on-track for round two of the 2023 Supercars Championship, the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint as part of the Melbourne Grand Prix across March 30 to April 2, 2023. For event information, visit www.supercars.com.au
For more information on PremiAir 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