After a pleasing weekend at Phillip Island, the team’s hungry for more ahead of the Perth SuperSprint.
The Barbagallo circuit, formally known as Wanneroo Raceway, is very tough. Teams and drivers need to be mindful of their tyres, with passing winds blowing sand up onto the circuit and adding an extra challenge.
The tyres drop off pretty quickly around the 2.42-kilometre circuit, meaning engineers play a balancing act – tune the car for a wearing tyre and you could risk making the car lazy and unresponsive on a green tyre.
Winners are grinners, and they’re usually crowned as a result of strategy, not starting positions. Just ask us – Erebus Motorsport won the Sunday race in 2015 with Will Davison from 7th on the grid.
History lesson: This year’s event marks the 40th time that Barbagallo Raceway has hosted a round of the Championship, the first back in 1973.
What makes this track unique: The change in elevation, paired with its incomparable track surface.
Grip levels: Very low – the track surface gets chewed up by the sand that blows over the road surface and leaves a very course asphalt that is not conductive to good grip levels.
Tyre degradation: The highest of any track we visit during the season.
Run-off: Plenty – although the sand traps are extremely deep and create a nightmare for mechanics, finding sand in all sorts of places.
Safety cars: Of the last 46 VASC races held at Barbagallo since 2000, the Safety Car has appeared in exactly half of them – 23.
Watch out for: Sunday’s longer race – strategy will shake things up, and pitting too early can leave teams exposed to the tyres falling off late in the race.
Did you know: Erebus’ 2015 win came from the lowest starting grid position for a race winner in Perth during the last ten years.
FROM THE DRIVERS
David Reynolds – #9 Erebus Penrite Racing
“We’re all looking forward to this weekend and hopefully we’ll have good speed and consistency like we’ve been showing, and we continue our way up the grid. Barbagallo is very low grip, the surface is very bad as it has eroded quite a lot since it was resurfaced. Our cars are strong in the wet and that’s another low grip scenario, so hopefully it suits our cars and we’ll go well.
“We’re back on the super soft tyre again, and you get a lot of wear around this circuit. Looking at Phillip Island, we didn’t have any issues with the tyre while everyone else did so I think our cars will be ok. This game is forever changing and the reality is that it’s hard. Our style of car has been pretty adaptive though; if we are slow in one session we can change it to be fast for the next session and that’s something that is really hard to do in this game, so it’s a very positive sign we have been able to do that.”
Dale Wood – #99 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing
“Perth is a track I like and one I have spent a lot of time at. The surface makes it difficult and certainly changes up those longer races. I believe Sunday’s 200-kilometre race will be a long time on three sets of tyres. The surface is pretty harsh, and the left-rear especially doesn’t cope too well, but that’s what makes it exciting and opens up a lot of opportunities. I think there’s a chance of seeing tyre failures again although I don’t think we will see anything like we did in Phillip Island. The tyres drop off pretty quickly so you’re never going to spend that long on a set and only going to get one shot in qualifying.
“We have done every style of circuit in the last four rounds, so we’ve shown our cars can be competitive and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be. I think Perth will suit our cars, our braking performance is good and you need to have good drive and a pretty good engine to get out of the bottom corner (Kolb corner) and I think we’re strong in those areas. “