The Gold Coast Street Circuit is a high speed, concrete-lined, thrill ride that has proven to create absolute chaos!
With expected rain across the weekend, drivers will have to tread carefully to ensure they make it to the checkered flag, and fingers crossed, to victory.
After the epic result at Bathurst just over a week ago, the team are even more eager to do it all over again, and take home a surfboard and the coveted Pirtek Enduro Cup!
The perfect pairings of Reynolds/Youlden and Wood/Pither sit 4th and 5th respectively heading into this weekend.
It all kicks off with practice on Friday, ahead of qualifying and 300-kilometre race each day, plus a Top 10 Shootout on Sunday.
History lesson: This year is the 16th time the Gold Coat event has been a points-paying round.
What makes this track unique: The chicanes – seeing cars fly across kerbs is a signature look here!
Grip levels: Variable – the circuit has had several partial resurfaces over the years and as a result we see different grip levels around a lap, and even in the same corner!
Tyre degradation: Not extreme, but it needs to be managed over a longer stint.
Run-off: Very little – those concrete walls bite!
Safety cars: The Safety Car has appeared in 30 of the last 34 races held on the Gold Coast.
Watch out for: Rain – it’s a very rare occurrence but when it rains it pours, so we are very like to see a bit of chaos!
Did you know: Saturday’s race will mark Dale’s 150th Supercars Championship race.
Don’t forget: Strategy is affected by the requirements for 2 compulsory pit stops and the need to manage driver minimum laps.
FROM THE DRIVERS
David Reynolds – #9 Erebus Penrite Racing
“I really enjoy this track, it’s one of my top picks we go to all year and I’m really looking forward to going well and keeping our positive form going. I hope we can do another solid job and qualify in the top five, and race in the top three; I’d be happy with that. It would be cool to take home the Pirtek Enduro Cup and I think we are in with a shot. Realistically if we can finish on the podium I think that will be a fantastic result. We need to also qualify up front as it’s a very difficult circuit to pass around so starting from the front this weekend is very important. We were fast here last year, and we have come a long way since then, so anything is possible.”
Dale Wood – #99 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing
“It’s one of my favourite circuits, they put on a great event, the track is really cool and there’s always plenty of action. I think the circuit is action-packed enough without rain so I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like with some rain across the weekend. It will definitely spice things up a bit, similar to what we saw at Bathurst. Coming off a good result we head into the weekend with the same goals; every time you go out to compete at your best and do as well as you can. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t; we’re certainly going into Gold Coast pretty happy about where we were sitting at the last event. Hopefully we can build on it from here and finish the Enduro’s and the year on a high.”
FROM THE BRAINS TRUST
Barry Ryan – General Manager
“Following up from Bathurst, we are now 100% focused on the Gold Coast. This event was one I picked as being our strongest rounds last year, so we have high expectations heading into the weekend. We performed very well as a team at Bathurst and there is no reason we can’t do it again. Dale and Chris’s car was a front runner at this event last year and qualified 3rd on Sunday, so the #99 crew including engineer Mirko DeRosa, go in confident of knowing the car will be strong. Dave and Luke are both driving well and with a good base from 2016 the #9 crew are also targeting a strong result. “
Alistair McVean – Head of Engineering
“This circuit shows up many challenges, with the proximity of the walls putting huge pressure on the drivers to limit even the most minor errors. As a team the short lap time raises the intensity with regards to managing strategy as the laps tick over very quickly and hence changes the pit stop scenarios and decisions required at a rapid rate. Our car has tended to show good front grip and sharpness of late, and this will help us particularly through the later part of the lap. We are expecting to be strong in qualifying, but will focus a lot of our energy on having solid rear tyre life as this has been a weakness of late on traction sensitive race tracks. Our internal goal is to continue improving as individuals and as a team to ensure we perform higher each time, if we can do this we can back up our Bathurst performance with more great results; the Pirtek Enduro Cup is the ultimate target this weekend.”