JUMPING IN THE DEEP END

SOME WOULD say that as a professional racing driver I spend my life swimming with sharks but that’s being very cynical!


However, the day after the Clipsal 500 I did in fact take a swim with real sharks, including one very large Great White Pointer, on a trip I took out of Port Lincoln in South Australia!


With me on the adventure was fiancé Riana and my old mate, and rival, Jamie Whincup.


It was my second time at Calypso Star Charters, they are a great group who organise a brilliant day. 
We were up early on the Monday, the day after Clipsal, for a three hour boat ride up to Neptune Island, which is the largest populated Island of New Zealand Fur Seals. So obviously a hunting ground for Great Whites!


With nature it's impossible to predict what you will get. We went down in the cage and we had some Bronze Whalers around us and then one great white about 3.5m long, which hung around the cage for a few hours and gave us a good look. We had three or four stints each down there with him!
In some ways it’s nearly a surreal experience. They are incredible curious & placid creatures, but when they pounce at their food or prey, it's something incredible.The sheer power is awe-inspiring.
I recommend the experience to anyone. It’s not scary in any way, you feel very safe and comfortable to just watch these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.


We were lucky, there was a relatively small group of us on the boat, so it made for a nice wind down from Clipsal.


UNFORTUNATEY our season start wasn’t the one we’d been hoping for, with a disappointing weekend at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.


My first championship race of the season in the Woodstock-Tekno Autosports Holden Commodore ended after just over half a lap, when I got punted into the wall at Turn 8, heavily damaging the car.
Todd Kelly & I had been battling it out for four corners and on the approach to T8 we were side by side.  


The rule is there is the car in front at 150m has the right of way, but I was a little unsure and on the outside, so decided to concede the corner, seeing it was lap one of race one of a long year. 


Then Todd just came across the front of my car, he was sandwiched between myself and Moffat on his right, who I didn’t even know was there as he took a dive quite late. 


Three wide into there isn't very intelligent, it’s certainly never going to work going into T8, one will always come off second best and unfortunately it was me. They are brave boys, those two, having a crack! It paid off, this time. 


I wasn’t hurt but the car was … it was heavily damaged down the lefthand side, and the team took until 1.30am Sunday morning to finish repairs. 


That stuff takes its toll on everyone, and aside from the frustration and work it causes, not to mention the loss of championship points, it’s just a fact it’s difficult for the crew to perform at their best in a race when they’ve worked most of the night.


Our problems really stemmed from qualifying, when we just couldn’t extract the speed out of the car we wanted … the field is so close that I was just one tenth of a second from being in the top 10, and was 17th!


That meant starting in the mid-field and that’s where stuff happens that can ruin your day …
Sunday started with a rollbar issue in qualifying that put me out for most of the session, a failure that may well have been a result of the accident the day before. It’s not a component that usually fails, so that’s the theory at the moment.


Anyway, we were left to start the Woodstock Commodore from 20th this time, with a big job to do.
We had a solid race with reasonably good pace, though I spent the whole race in traffic, in the hot, dirty air, so it was hard to pass. And because there wasn’t a single safety car, we couldn’t even make positions by using an alternate strategy.


In the end we were 13th, way off where we wanted to be, but after the Saturday incident, it was at least good to get some points on the board.


The aim this season is to better our fifth place in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship last year, so after getting no points on Saturday, there’s a lot of ground to make up.


One positive from the weekend was that the restructured and refreshed Tekno Autosports team with Campbell Little leading the engineering, Adam Reardon on the data and Steve Greer as crew chief, worked really well together. It’s a positive sign that things progressed calmly and methodically in such difficult circumstances on the weekend, so I am encouraged for the year ahead.


We have work to do though … we need to be at the sharp end of the field with those Red Bull Commodores and Shell Falcons, to be serious championship contenders.


Better get on with it then!


Will.

 


« back
CONSOLIDATING CHAMPIONSHIP CHANCES
18.05.2017
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MOMENTUM BUILDING IN THE WEST
11.05.2017
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THE RACE AGAINST THE CLOCK
20.04.2017
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TASSIE BOUND
06.04.2017
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AGP TIME
23.03.2017
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JUMPING IN THE DEEP END
09.03.2017
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THE SEASON OPENER IS HERE
01.03.2017
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2017 TEST DAY WRAP
14.02.2017
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BATHURST 12 HOUR WRAP UP
10.02.2017
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2017 AUSTRALIAN MOTOR RACING SEASON IS UPON US!
03.02.2017
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SYDNEY FINALE
09.12.2016
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PASSING IN PUKEKOHE
11.11.2016
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STACKING UP THE NUMBERS
28.10.2016
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CONQUERING THE MOUNTAIN
12.10.2016
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SUCCESS AT SANDOWN
21.09.2016
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POWERING ON TO SANDOWN
12.09.2016
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MID-SEASON
11.08.2016
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QUEENSLAND RACEWAY BLUES
27.07.2016
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TAKING ON TOWNSVILLE
18.07.2016
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THE WILD WEST
13.05.2016
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TASSIE TRIUMPH
08.04.2016
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HEADING SOUTH
31.03.2016
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WE'RE BACK
16.03.2016
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THE HOME STRETCH
18.11.2015
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WELCOME TO BATHURST
08.10.2015
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PUSHING FORWARD IN QUEENSLAND
13.08.2015
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LESSONS FROM THE NORTH
08.07.2015
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WINTON WOES
19.05.2015
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PERTH PERFECTION
11.05.2015
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ONE YEAR LATER
15.04.2015
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ROCKY START TO THE YEAR
16.03.2015
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