CP Newsletter August 2016

It’s been a busy month having visited New Zealand, raced at Sydney Motorsport Park, preparing for Sandown, as well as working.

During my recent trip home, I took the opportunity to catch up with family and friends. Getting out on the quad bike riding through the hills of my cousin’s farm quickly reminded me how amazing the New Zealand countryside is. We moved cattle and sheep and I thought I was being helpful but really the dogs had it covered.

After a quick trip to the farm I headed back to my hometown of Palmerston North. I went back in time and visited my High School. It was great to catch up with some of my teachers and see the changes around the school.

I celebrated my friends 80’s themed 30th birthday. It was cool to catch up with lots of old friends and the 80’s costumes were awesome - including my mullet! I visited the Manawatu Kart Club where my passion for racing started. I really enjoyed chatting with all the young kids which brought back lots of great memories.

Once on the ground in Melbourne I headed straight to Phillip Island for a week working with the Audi Drive Experience team. I work with a great crew of guys and I’m fortunate to be able to manage this work around the racing calendar to generate an income, as I’m not a paid Supercar driver.

Next stop was Sydney for the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint. I visited our partners XForce Performance Exhaust Systems and Three Three’s Condiments to check out the Mighty Mite factory. It was an interesting experience looking around both factories to see and learn about how their products come to life as well as meeting people on floor.

On Thursday we walked the circuit to inspect the quality of the track surface. Going into practice we had the aim to find a balance that would look after the tyres over longer runs because of the poor surface. We were happy with the car balance in race trim, but couldn’t find a balance comfortable for me to attack and make the most of the new tyre grip.

This resulted in a 17th qualifying position. We went into the race with confidence that we would have good tyre life and speed over a race stint. I had a lot of fun attacking, planning and executing passes. We moved forward and finished a solid 14th.

Sunday was a similar story. Although it was only one position, we did improve by qualifying 16th.  After a confusing start ultimately being aborted, we got into a groove and went long to maximise our strength of good tyre life. We raced forward to finish behind a road block of Nissan's in a pleasing 13th place, knocking on the door of a top ten.

Overall, it was great to have strong race pace and consistency especially heading into the enduro rounds. I had a lot of fun throughout the two races making lots of passes. Now we need to learn how to combine our qualifying car from QLD Raceway and our race car from SMSP and we will be in good shape.

Back on track Monday to welcome our guests for our ride and driver experience. I always enjoy taking guests in the Supercar to give them an adrenalin thrill and I love seeing their smiles.

It was a great day and, as well as the hotlap, our guests participated in a team building exercise including a timed Motokahna on the skid pan in our V8 Utes.

I’m looking forward to the Sandown 500. I feel preparations have gone well with my co-driver Richie Stanaway and we are in good shape, so we will be aiming high.

Thank you for your support,