What a weekend, an action packed two days of on-track action concluded under lights on Saturday night.
With a test day at Sydney Motorsport Park two weeks prior to the event we were ready for a tough battle at the front of the field. Friday was very busy with two x 30minute practice sessions and qualifying. Practice one wasn’t too bad, but gave us an idea on what we needed to further improve the car. Practice two was a much closer to where we needed to be, posting the second fastest time.
Qualifying was tricky, Unable to piece a decent lap together I found myself in sixth position at the end – a result I was not too pleased with. We had been struggling with understeer – making it hard to rotate the car mid-corner, even on a new set of Michelin tyres.
Race one was a positive step forward. After a strong start from grid position six, I found myself in fourth by the completion of lap one. Setting my sights on the final podium spot I was able to chase down and make a move for third on the final lap.
Although we finished third in race one, we still needed more car speed to challenge the front two. With a short turn around between races, we made some changes before returning to the circuit for race two.
Unfortunately I was unable to re-create our race one start and lost 4 places on the opening lap of race two, the starts are quite tricky at SMP with the grid being downhill – trying to juggle three pedals with two feet! Throwing everything at it, I wasn’t able to move any further forward over the 16 laps, greeting the flag in a disappointing seventh position.
The third and final race for the day was a joint encounter with the Carrera Cup Asia Pros under lights, something new for Carrera Cup here in Australia. With no championship points on the line, we tried a few big changes to see if we could get some direction with the car. Starting from grid position 12, some minor contact on lap two, my front splitter broke – inducing some understeer. However, I had a lot of fun working through to fifth against the very competitive field.
Although our car speed and race result weren’t amazing, we still walk away as championship leaders with three rounds to go – however, our lead has been cut to just 13 points.
In-between now and round six at Tailem Bend both myself and the team will go back to the drawing board to rectify our speed and get on top of the problems we are currently facing.
As always, this isn’t possible without the hard-working crew at McElrea Racing – both at the track & workshop. All my Sponsors / Backers / Supporters – So once again a massive thank you for your continued efforts and support!