Getting down to the pointy end of the championship we went to the mountain with the clear objective to bank valuable points and maintain our championship lead.
Traditionally, on track action started off on Thursday – with a single 50-minute practice session.
The session started in wet conditions, everyone rolled out on wet weather tyres – the first time for 2018! Not long into the session a dry line started to form, we came in early for slicks and went on with our session. Getting comfortable in the car we managed to post the fastest time and top the opening session.
Qualifying however, didn’t quite go the same way. With the rain setting in for the afternoon, the track conditions were very slippery and wet. Unfortunately, we took a gamble with setup on prior knowledge with this tyre and it didn’t pay off. Our worst qualifying position of the year saw us line up in position nine for race one.
In a chaotic race one, filled with crashes and multiple safety car periods, I found myself sitting second on the road as we greeted the checked flag. A big step forward after Thursdays qualifying result. This giving us a front row start for race two the following day.
Starting from second in race two, I was able to make a clean jump from the line and lead the field into turn one. Not long into the opening lap a safety car was called. After making some minor adjustments to the car overnight I was confident in our car speed. From the restart I was able to maintain the lead and set a new lap record on my way to my first race win since Darwin.
The third and final race was held on Sunday morning. Starting from pole position, it was an even run to turn one alongside Jordan Love. Running side by side up mountain straight on the opening lap I was unable to maintain the lead. Furthermore, losing another position at the chase a few laps later I found myself sitting third. Struggling for outright pace early on, the car came back to us and we were able to show our true speed, breaking my lap record from the day before by almost a second!
Finishing the round equal first on points, we had to settle for second on a countback. Nothing to be too displeased at considering where we lined up for race one on Friday afternoon. Too finish each race on the podium, break both the Porsche Carrera Cup and V8 Supercar lap record and extend our championship lead is more than we could’ve asked for.
A massive credit to the team at McElrea Racing, my engineer Leigh and crew on car 7 for keeping the positive vibes happening and bouncing back as a team, after Thursdays performance. A big thankyou to all my Sponsors / Backers / Supporters for the messages of support across the weekend!
We now have a short turn around before the final round of the championship on the streets of the Gold Coast in two weeks.