Phillip Island can be a place of unpredictable weather, spectacular shunts and plenty of high speed action. Fortunately we only got one of the three today, as the wet weather that threatened stayed away, and everyone came to terms with the new, billiard smooth surface.
With practice one being exclusively for rookies and the bottom 50% of the field, TEKNO has to wait until 12:50pm and practice two before getting any track time.
The 30-min session was over in a blink, with both Team TEKNO Darrell Lea’s Jonathon Webb and Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods’ Shane van Gisbergen coming to terms with the new surface, re-profiled kerbs and their car’s set-up.
Both drivers spent the session finding a balance for their machines, with SVG finding the limit with a off-track excursion at turn two. Several adjustments to the #97 ensued, and he ended the session 22nd.
Jonathon had issues with massive oversteer, making the car very nervous through Phillip Island’s high speed bends. He and engineer Geoff Slater worked hard, and improved the car late in the session. Jonathon ended up P28.
In practice three, Jonathon spent more time focusing on his own speed, and learning the limits of the new circuit, having a longer run where he netted a lap that put him 23rd fastest for the day.
Shane and his crew continued to work on the car, and despite an0ther moment through the hay shed, ended the day p16. There is another practice session tomorrow morning, before qualifying and a 28-lap 60/60 race in the afternoon.
How they saw it:
Team TEKNO Darrell Lea #19 VF Commodore
“It’s a pretty quiet day to start with only two sessions, but It’s been 12 months since we’ve here, and the track is definitely different, the kerbs have changed and the track has been resurfaced, but as far as having as much grip as I expected, it probably doesn’t. I thought we’d see a really big, significant change. In regards to times, we’re faster, but as far as feel in the car, it’s not as grippy as I thought it might be. The base set-up we started with in the car wasn’t really in the ball park, where we needed to be, we had to work pretty hard in that first session to get something that was driveable, and then in session two we got closer, but I just concentrated on a longer run and getting comfortable with the car and getting used to the new track. It was more about finding more speed in me rather than chasing the car so much this afternoon.”
Shane van Gisbergen
Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods #97 VF Commodore
“We weren’t that good with the set-up to start with, and were on pretty bad tyres so were right down the bottom of the charts in the first session. Later on we got better, and more comfortable, but practice is definitely ruled by tyres at the moment. The new elements to the track are awesome, this track is really cool. The grip is really good, I think I was near lap record pace down in 16th, so it’s great.”