Sydney Motorsport Park Test Day Review

Published: 22 February 2017
Pit lane opened at 9am, and the team went straight to work.
Pit lane opened at 9am, and the team went straight to work.

Pictured: Pit lane opened at 9am, and the team went straight to work.

The two Mobil 1™ HSV Racing machines rolled out of the garage for the first time in 2017 yesterday at the Supercars test day at Sydney Motorsport Park, as Clipsal 500 preparations were ramped up.

Understanding two new Dunlop tyre compounds were on top of the agenda for the team, but it was also a chance to experiment with setup, collate data, and for Scott Pye, get behind the wheel of his new ride for the first time.

Pit lane opened at 9am, and the team went straight to work.

Both drivers were able to shake down the car on the 2016 compound tyre, before switching to the brand new soft compound for the rest of the morning.

After lunch the laps continued to tick over, with Scott completing 45 laps, and James Courtney 46 before pit lane closed at 5:30pm.

Mobil 1 HSV Racing Managing Director, Adrian Burgess, said yesterday was about much more than a single lap time.

“For me, the first test of any year is not always about the lap time, it’s about the team operating well, the procedures being correct and everyone working well together. The cars ran reliably, everyone knew their role, so I was happy from that point of view,” Burgess said.

“From a performance point of view it was always going to be a tricky test. We went with a plan in place and executed it correctly. We got ourselves a lot of information.

“Unfortunately that plan made it hard for us to really put a good time on the board when the happy hour was on. We know there is more time on the table from the driver and from the team. We learned what we needed to learn.

“This test wasn’t about where you ended up at the end of the day. We could have constructed our day differently so it would have been better, but we probably would have had less relevant data generated.

“We go to Adelaide comfortable with the package we have, and confident that if we do a good enough job we can be challenging for the prizes. We went there to learn, and that’s what we did.”

For Scott, he walked away from his first day as a Walkinshaw Racing driver with a smile.

“The first part of the day went really well. We got it to a point where it was really comfortable for me, which just had to spend some time fine tuning, which allowed us to work through a good test program in the second half of the day,” Pye said.

“Yesterday was a difficult one to get a good read on. I think the track was a long way away, but like I said we got through a really good program, and I feel confident heading into Clipsal. I’m comfortable, we’ve made progress and should have a good package.”

Now in his seventh season with Walkinshaw Racing, James Courtney believes the team took more steps forward yesterday.

“These new tyres are the biggest change in the category for this year, so it’s about just working with Terry (Kerr) and the boys to get an understanding on how it reacts and the good and bad points. We set the testing plan around evaluating that,” Courtney said.

“We got some of the answers we are after. It’s still going to be a process for a few rounds for everyone, just because it’s new and we haven’t done a race, but we’ve just got to keep on top of it.”

Now the team looks forward to the Clipsal 500, with cars hitting the track next Friday, March 3.