Monroe News

The new season started at Monroe’s home city of Adelaide for the Clipsal 500. Qualifying 5th wasn’t a bad start, but Jamie Whincup and I collided while running strongly in the first race. After a spin I fell to the rear, racing to 15th. I started from 12th on Sunday and was well into the top ten by the mid stages. I struggled with car balance and had to conserve fuel to make the end, finishing 14th. The non-championship Grand Prix races were next, this year with four short ten minute qualifying sessions. I qualified 16th and in the first sprint race made up 8 places, in the second race I finished 6th and took 12th in the third. Race 4 saw a major crash at turn one that I got caught up in. I recovered to to finish 15th from the rear of the field.

April saw us in Tasmania for the second round of the championship in cold and very wet conditions. I qualified 10th, but I was very confident of our race speed at the 2.4km Symmons Plains circuit. I was up to 7th on the opening lap but a huge crash involving 12 cars on the second lap red flagged (stopped) it. I was eager to get back out there and race again, but the race was abandoned. I finished 13th in the Sunday race, which could have been a much better result if not for a major delay in the pits. Round 3 saw us at Phillip Island, the event becoming almost unbelievable. For some reason, just about every team, including mine, was experiencing major high speed tyre failures. After qualifying 4th with a strong car, the first 57 lap race saw every team bar three experience major tyre failures. A questionable penalty for a pit lane blend line infringement ended my podium run and I finished 8th. A far better race result of second on Sunday behind my PRA team mate Chaz Mostert made some amends.

Perth was next with two top five finishes and good race strategies bringing me back into the Championship top six. We will keep working on our car speed for a stronger mid-season.

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