Erebus Motorsport is ready for this week’s Wilson Security Sandown 500 after a solid day of testing today.
Their newest recruit, Chris van der Drift, arrived in Australia over the weekend and joined the team first thing Monday morning, before jumping behind the wheel of the #4 Commodore at Winton.
“Today was just about getting the feeling of the car, and making sure I was comfortable,” Van der Drift said.
“The car is very different to what I’m used to so it’s all about understanding what the car needs.
“I figured out a few different key things which really helped and I’ve got it in my head now so I’ll come back in a few days and build from there.
“I got into the groove on the soft tyres and am starting to understand them, I’ve got a better idea about the car now and am just looking forward to Sandown.”
Van der Drift is estimated to have done about 250-kilometres today, which included a run on hard tyres.
“I had one run on those and that was a bit of an eye-opener, so at least I have got it in my head now so I know what to expect when we get to Bathurst,” he said.
While the kiwi familiarised himself, his teammate Shae Davies also took the reins and earned some valuable miles after only having his first hit-out last month.
“Today was a good day, I think across the two cars we made some gains,” Davies said.
“The main goal was to give Chris some good laps, he is quite fresh to Supercars so it was important to bring him up to speed.
“He acquainted himself really well, he’s done a great job and chipped away at it with no mistakes.
“He’s very particular and has a very good attention to detail which is great, it probably helps me out in a lot of aspects as well, and it’s good to have a quick co-driver that keeps you honest.”
Erebus Motorsport’s Team Manager, Barry Ryan, was also pleased with Van der Drift’s progress and has no doubt he will be up there with the rest of the co-drivers at Sandown and across the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
“Chris is settling in really well, it’s a very different car to what he has been driving but he has adapted well,“ Ryan said.
“He is very competitive so we have no doubt he will be as quick as the other co-drivers come Sunday; he’ll do a great job for Shae and the team over the next few events.”
Co-driver Craig Baird was also on track today, competing laps in his newly designed #90 Commodore.
“It was a very productive day, the biggest thing I was a little concerned about was slightly different sizes with Dave and I, and to make sure the seat was right but it worked out really well,” Baird said.
“That’s a massive bonus for us, and coming off the back of doing laps at Queensland Raceway, I jumped in the car and felt comfortable straight away so it was really good.
The team now head into the enduro’s, with the Sandown event just two days away.