Sunday of the Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains has been a real rollercoaster for Nulon Racing, highlighted by twin top ten finishes in the first race of the day early this afternoon.
Two 15-minute back to back qualifying sessions were held this morning to set the grids for races 11 and 12, with Jimmy Golding qualifying 6th and 16th in the #31 Nulon Racing Camaro and Tim Slade locking down grid spots of 12th and 5th in the #23 Nulon Racing Camaro.
Come race 11, strong race pace, fast pit stops and good strategy saw both Nulon Racing entries come home in the top ten, with Slade finishing the race in 7th position and Golding in 9th.
Race 12 concluded the Tasmania SuperSprint in the late afternoon and unfortunately saw an end to the team’s luck for the day, with Slade encountering a currently undiagnosed engine issue throughout the race to finish 25th while Golding was sandwiched on turn one, doing his best to maintain position and finish 16th despite carrying damage.
While the weekend was one of ups and downs, Nulon Racing Team Principal Matt Cook and both Golding and Slade said there were plenty of positives to focus on from the weekend.
“Overall, we had a really good and solid weekend. The cars were consistently quick which was very pleasing, they showed a lot of pace, and our pit stops were very good, but we had a bit of up and down luck as the weekend pressed on,” Cook said.
“We had a really weird engine problem with Tim’s car in the last race, and we are not quite sure what the problem is. We will have to diagnose that when we get back to the factory but it is very strange – these are new cars and new engines, and this is the first time we have seen something like this. I was really upset for Tim, the guys he was battling with were fourth, fifth and sixth position at the end so we should have been around there, so I am gutted for him.
“The boys have done a fantastic job all weekend with their pit stops which is really pleasing – it is something that we have been working on really hard behind the scenes, so hats off to all the boys, they did a fantastic job.
“Our cars are quick; we just need to have a little bit of luck on our side. We move to Darwin now, so with a longer track and warmer conditions hopefully we can have some success there.”
Golding reports that the results for race 12 don’t immediately show the full story for the #31 Nulon Racing Camaro.
“It is never easy getting through a race when you get damage in turn one,” Golding said.
“We had made a few big changes to the car for that one and found a lot of improvement in the areas that we were targeting, so although the results weren’t where we wanted them to be at the end of the weekend, overall, we made gains, we still got finishes in every race, and there are a lot of positives to take away.
“There are a lot of things we have been trying to improve on that have gotten better, it is just about getting them all right at the one time to get that good result.
“We will keep our heads down and look forward to Darwin, with a bit of testing done in between – there are a lot of things we want to try with the car, and I am looking forward to having a crack up in the heat.”
Like the rest of the team, Slade is perplexed by the mysterious engine issue which befell the #23 Nulon Racing Camaro this afternoon, and is hoping for a better result come the next round in Darwin.
“You always want to go home happy with a decent result in the last race, but there is still a lot of good things to take away from the weekend for the team as a whole,” Slade said.
“Both cars had good speed at different times of the weekend, and while we missed a little bit of outright pace in qualifying yesterday we managed to move forward in the race, the guys did a really good job of the pit stops and the strategy was perfect really, and it worked out that way again in the race earlier today; so I was looking forward to finishing the weekend off with a good result, but it wasn’t to be.
“I guess now we look forward to Darwin. We have a test day between now and then and I look forward to getting up there in the heat. I think Darwin is a round everyone enjoys and it will be cool to watch Peter in the Top Fuel Dragster as well.”
June 16-18 will be exceptionally busy for Nulon Racing in Darwin, with the weekend hosting not only the next round of the Supercars championship with the Darwin Triple Crown, but also the final round of the 2022/2023 Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championships, with the Nitro Up North event firing up on the Hidden Valley Drag Strip on the Friday and Saturday night.
Team boss Peter Xiberras is currently equal second in the championship standings heading into the final round, with the team set to do all they can to secure a third straight Top Fuel national title in Darwin. For event information, visit www.supercars.com.au (Darwin Triple Crown) and www.topfuelchampionship.com.au (Nitro Up North).
For more information on Nulon 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