Preview: Sydney Motorsport Park
We are looking to keep the ball rolling this weekend, as we head to Western Sydney for round nine of the Championship.
Sydney Motorsport Park, otherwise known as Eastern Creek, is a fast and flowing circuit with a variety of challenging bends.
It’s the last sprint event before the enduros and a good chance to bag some crucial Championship points.
It’s not the first time we have paid a visit to Eastern Creek this year, but will it make a difference? Best you read on to find out…
History lesson: `The original 3.93-kilometre circuit which we race on, was completed in 1990.
What makes this track unique: This track is all about maximum speed through the corners – turn 1 being the third fastest corner in the Championship!
Grip levels: Variable – some parts of the circuit have been resurfaced in recent years and show higher grip levels than others, creating a challenge for engineers.
Tyre degradation: Very high, forcing the field to split their stints more evenly than we have seen at recent events.
Run-off: Plenty, although the very high cornering speeds mean off track excursions can result in reaching the circuit walls.
Safety cars: If we didn’t see any this weekend, we probably wouldn’t be surprised – the Safety Car has appeared in only 15 of the last 50 races held at SMP.
Did you know: We may not have had a Supercars win here yet, but we won the Australian GT round at SMP in 2012.
FROM THE DRIVERS
David Reynolds – #9 Erebus Penrite Racing
“For the first time this year, we’re not going into the round trying any new development parts. We won’t be reinventing the wheel, we are just fine tuning the package we have and I think that will be good.
“It’s a very difficult track; tyre degradation is very high, so your strategy and tyre life is super important through the races, as well as aero stability. There are so many different types of corners during a lap that you really need to find a good balance. I think we should be comfortably inside the top ten this weekend, and if we tune it right in practice we could potentially be in the top five.”
Dale Wood – #99 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing
“SMP is a fun, challenging track that’s got some really high-speed corners and then some low-speed hairpins as well. It’s got a mix of good and bad surfaces which makes it tough and the whole place is a bit of a compromise to get the car right. You certainly need to have a car that’s fast through the high-speed sections and also stable.
“The cars are so different to where they were at the start of the year when we tested here, and that could be a good or a bad thing, but we certainly know a lot more now. We still have a bit to learn but we are going into the round knowing straight up where we need to be with our cars, and that is certainly a good thing.”
FROM THE BRAINS TRUST
Alistair McVean – Head of Engineering
“We have worked very hard recently to improve our performance in longer radius corners, but still expect our cars to be stronger in areas like turn 2 and the last coern than through the middle sector of the lap. With this in mind though, we’re not expecting to show any specific weaknesses this weekend.
“The most important thing to do well will be to provide the driver with a consistent balance through the corner that allows them to keep the minimum cornering speed up; this isn’t a circuit that allows you to make up time lost so the car must be able to flow through the corners at the maximum possible speed to make lap time.”