Shooting from the lip
OUR team principal, Roland Dane, has given us the go-ahead to be controversial this year. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything controversial to say because the season hasn’t started.
But you can bet I will throughout the year.
The gloves will be off and we’ll be racing as hard but we’re trying to do different things with the media and Roland wants us to be brutally honest about what’s happening within the team.
This year we have a new team structure and some new people, so it will be interesting to see how the team dynamic shapes up.
Our first test will be at Eastern Creek in Sydney this weekend, when all the V8 Supercar teams will have a shakedown and fan day.
It should be special, even though we don’t race at Eastern Creek.
That should make it a neutral base for all the teams, no matter what manufacturer or where the team is based.
We have to use the hard tyre until lunchtime, then in the afternoon we swap to the soft tyre so we get the chance to test both set-ups on the one track.
Because we are returning this year with basically the same car as last year, plus a few minor tweaks made over the break, we will be sorting out the plumbing and working on any problems that arise.
There won’t be any testing for lap times or speed as the track is not relevant for that.
Apart from giving the teams a chance to set up their cars for the year, it will also be a great opportunity for the fans to see all the new liveries and get some autographs.
The event should attract a huge crowd because we don’t get to Sydney on a permanent track throughout the year.
I’ll also be making a mental note of who is driving what and the new colour schemes so I can pick them out in the rearview mirror.
I’m sure the drivers will also be happy to get in behind the wheel again after a long break and shake out some of the cobwebs before we get to Abu Dhabi in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, I’ll get another hitout in the driver’s seat when I compete in an Audi R8 in the Bathurst 12-Hour.
I couldn’t be in a better team. The Audi Sport Team Joest is the most successful Le Mans team, with 11 wins under its belt.
Even though the car will take some getting used to, at least I know the track well and should make a good impression.
Could it lead to something else? Who knows?
This is a first step for me and we’ll see what we can deliver.
Hopefully, I can forge a relationship with the team that could lead to something bigger and better, such as a Le Mans 24-Hour.
Roland was good enough to allow my race engineer, Jeromy, to come down to observe the race.
It will be a great learning experience for him to see how one of the world’s greatest motorsport teams operates.
He’ll also be able a help to me in the sense that it will be a familiar face and he may also be able to relay any problems I have with car set-up to the other engineers.
Jeromy may also be able to give them an insight into how we operate in V8 Supercars.
Back on track: the Bathurst 12-Hour returns to Mt Panorama next month.