Monroe News

A further five Supercar rounds have blasted by since my last Monroe Drive column and it is hard to believe that Bathurst is almost upon us. Settling on a base set up has given us some inconsistent results. In May we returned to our home circuit, Winton Raceway. After two top ten qualifying results, I finished 9th on Saturday and all was set for a top five finish in the second race until rookie Alex Rullo ran wide after a safety car restart and hit me, dropping me to 13th.

We left the bitter cold of Victoria for the fantastic winter warmth of Darwin in June, this year marking the 20th anniversary of the top end Supercars round. We struggled to find the right set up throughout the weekend and ended up with two 14th places. We came away from Darwin with a new direction in car set up, taking the lead of other cars in our team, which served us well in Townsville, where strong qualifying of 5th and 6th for each of the races resulted in a return to the podium with 3rd on Saturday and 4th on Sunday. A consistent weekend like we have previously been used to.

In July we took a step backwards with set up direction for Queensland Raceway after qualifying 5th and 6th. The big issue at this event was tyre life and our race pace was only good enough for a 9th and 10th place. I returned to Sydney Motorsport Park, just down the road from my hometown of Doonside in August. Back to the set up direction we took in Townsville delivered a front row qualifying result of 2nd, I got off to a good start, raced into the lead but I could feel that my front right tyre was copping some serious punishment. Severe tyre degradation slowed my pace. A hold up in the pits and being spat out wide after contact when re-joining the race made things challenging, but I finished 4th.

After qualifying 7th for Sunday’s longer race, a good start had me comfortably racing in 6th. After my last pit stop something felt like it broke in my car, it was handling terribly, I finished 19th. After the race my crew found a cord had broken in the left front tyre, which was very frustrating. Onto the Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast enduros – enjoy the racing.

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