TASSIE BOUND

TASMANIA HAS hosted a round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship or its earlier incarnations, since Adam was a Boy, as they say.
 
It’s been a fixture on the annual Calendar for the most part of the last 40 years or so – since 1969 I believe – and it inevitably delivers good racing.
 
Last year I scored my first win for the Tekno Autosports team there to make it a particularly memorable event, and over the years I’ve always gone well at the Symmons Plains track.
 
To the uninitiated, the Symmons Plains circuit looks pretty simple … a couple of long semi-straight bits, with a hairpin at one end and a couple of squiggles at the other.
 
But the place is deceptive in its complexity.
 
That’s because straight-line speed is king there when you’re chasing a lap time but drive out of the hairpin is more important when you’re racing for position, which you inevitably are on such a short circuit.
 
You need a really good braking balance at Symmons, not only for the hairpin which is sixth (gear) all the way back to first, but also through turns one and two.
 
That’s a tricky technical section of the track with undulations & a few bumps. It's very easy to get unsettled into turn one as you attack the entry. The rear often wants to get nervous which then creates a problem with the unweighted inside front wheel, so you will see a lot of flat-spotted right front tyres over the weekend.
 
The exit of turn two is also critical to laptime, and there are a few different lines you can use there, which I like. Some (of those) benefit lap time and some benefit that all-important tyre life.
 
Qualifying is crucial at Symmons Plains, of course, and it's very hard to line all your ducks up and nail that perfect lap. But that’s something I did last year, before my penalty from accidentally blocking Courtney.
 
At least my track record still stands from that session, so that's good!
 
You need (to set) a good banker time here and then for pole you need perfect tyre phasing in line with a perfect lap with no traffic but hopefully a small slipstream benefit.
 
This can gain you as much as a tenth down the back straight but you can't be so close (to the car you’re slipstreaming) that it compromises your braking zone, as there is more time to be made there as well.
 
I like the setup compromises at Tassie, straight line speed versus rear aero grip for the last sector and the all-important braking zones.
 
Because the lap that takes around 51 seconds it gets awfully busy out there with 26 cars on the track at once, all trying to get a clear lap. The opportunities to make up time lost on a quallie lap are limited, so you better get it right.
 
Our Tekno Commodore was pretty good at Symmons Plains last year so we’ll go there with a good basis to start the weekend … plus we’ve got the learnings of our weekend at Albert Park just past.
 
Campbell (Little) has some ideas on where we can make some gains and we’ll be working on that, with the aim of putting ourselves back in the game and hopefully in a position to repeat last year’s win.
 
 
 
OVER THE last week I’ve read that Formula 1 is doing something about the sound of the engines for 2021.
 
As much as I love and appreciate the current cars, I watched some of the qualifying and the race at Albert Park and just couldn't get excited by the live spectacle. I much prefer to study the incredible on-board shots where I can appreciate the downforce and the speed of the cars, from a driver’s perspective.
 
I think with the new management of Grand Prix racing, they are on the right track. It seems you will start to see F1 giving back to the fans and really beginning a new era of entertainment.
 
Can’t wait.
 
Will.
 
 

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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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