Minda all fired up ahead of Bathurst

Winton, VIC [23-25 August 2013]
Rnd#5 Dunlop V8 Supercar Series, 

Despite the tough nature of the Winton circuit, Minda Motorsport’s Dunlop V8 Supercar regulars Cameron Waters and Sam Walter pronounced themselves more than happy after another testing weekend in difficult conditions, although this time, both completed the full quota of laps relatively unscathed.

“We’re very happy with the end result considering the conditions, and just how limited the overtaking opportunities are at Winton,” team-boss Bruin Beasley explained.
“Both Cameron and Sam were quick and the cars ran faultlessly, so we’re all fired up now ahead of Bathurst.”

Fast during practice, both drivers were hampered by a series of red flag incidents, whilst Walter was also trialing a new driving technique.
“We tried something different at Barbagallo during round two, and for one reason or another we didn’t have the chance to try it again properly before this weekend. I was rapt with my pace despite the time I spent practicing the new style, but disappointed I couldn’t record my best laps, because the red flag negated them. The best of those laps on wets was good enough for sixth, so we’re certainly heading in the right direction.”

By the close of qualifying - the first real dry session the Dunlop Series competitors experienced - Water was classified sixth for a third row start, whilst Walter was 23rd.

Off the start for race one, Waters got a blinding start, but became part of an incident between Taz Douglas and Chris Pither at turn one as the cars went into the corner three-wide.
“It was one of those situations you don’t want to be in off the start,” Waters admitted.
“I got a screamer start, whilst Taz bogged down in front of me, and I got up the inside into turn one, but Pither dived in beneath both of us and I had nowhere to go.”

The Linde Material Handling Commodore was hit in the left hand side, pushing Waters across into the left rear of Douglas who then spun in front of the chasing pack. As chaos unfolded behind him, Waters regained his position with the leaders, whilst Walter was faced with a stream of cars trying to avoid the Douglas Falcon through the first two turns.

On the race restart Waters held on to the lead pack, moving forward towards the end of the race to claim a fifth placed finish, whilst behind him, Walter was forced back as a result of the turn one incident, ultimately working his way back to 24th in Blackchrome Sports & Workwear Commodore.

Starting off the third row for the second reverse grid race, Waters was in a position to attack, but admitted that the team chose to play strategy and use their race one tyres to ensure a fresh set for the final 12-lapper.
“The main thing was to try and keep as many of the front runners behind me, because some of the guys starting from the front I wasn’t battling for championship position,” he explained.

A consistent run saw Waters claim a second fifth placed finish after holding down fourth early, whilst Walter too took a conservative approach, coming home 20th in the 34-strong field.

Waters made another blinding start in the final race to leapfrog a number of cars on the way down to turn one, but he felt a sense of dejavu as he turned in, with no less than three cars on his left all vying for position. Touched in the door by race two winner Geoff Emery, he elected to exit the circuit, and kept his foot into the throttle leaping across an infield access road to have all four wheels more than a foot in the air - fortunately landing to hold position.
“I made a ripper start, the best of the weekend, so made up a few positions on the run into turn one, but there we were again, although this time it was me on the outside. I was ready for it though and figured shooting across the infield was safest. I got a bit of air too, which wasn’t the intention, and it pushed the splitter backwards onto the tyres so handling wasn’t ideal after that.”

Despite that he managed to hang on, only dropping a couple of positions on his way to a seventh placed finish and an elevation in the points standings. Further back Walter had another strong run, and was classified 20th after working his way forward during the race.
“That was a pretty tough weekend, but we learnt a lot, we were quick, and we finished every lap, so there’s plenty to be happy about,” he admitted post-event.
“The mid-field was very strong at this event, sadly at one of the toughest overtaking circuits in the series we had the biggest entry of cars for the year, so that only added to the challenge. In the end I decided I’d work on my new driving technique - which we found to be significantly faster - and wait for opportunities to present themselves rather than make risky moves for little ultimate reward..”

The team now enjoy a six week break until the biggest event of the year, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, an event both have contested in the past.
“We’re making gains at the right time of the year, and head to Bathurst in a position of strength, so I can’t wait,” Waters added.


Rnd#5 2013 Dunlop V8 Supercar Championship
Winton 360, Benalla, Victoria [23-25 August]

 


Qualifying
1. Jack Perkins (VE Commodore) - 1:23.7669
2. Dale Wood (FG Falcon) - 1:23.9781
3. Steve Owen (FG Falcon) - 1:24.0988
4. Taz Douglas (FG Falcon) - 1:24.2150
5. Andrew Jones (VE Commodore) - 1:24.2655
6. Cameron Waters (Minda VE Commodore) - 1:24.2767
23. Sam Walter (Minda VE Commodore) - 1:25.3973


Race #1 (12-laps)
1. Dale Wood (FG Falcon)
2. Jack Perkins (VE Commodore)
3. Andrew Jones (VE Commodore)
4. Ashley Walsh (FG Falcon)
5. Cameron Waters (Minda VE Commodore)
24. Sam Walter (Minda VE Commodore)


Race #2 (12-laps)
1. Geoff Emery (VE Commodore)
2. Drew Russell (FG Falcon)
3. Luke Youlden (VE Commodore)
4. Ashley Walsh (FG Falcon)
5. Dale Wood (FG Falcon)
7. Cameron Waters (Minda VE Commodore)
20. Sam Walter (Minda VE Commodore)


Race #3 (12-laps)
1. Jack Perkins (VE Commodore)
2. Jack Perkins (VE Commodore)
3. Andrew Jones (VE Commodore)
4. Ashley Walsh (FG Falcon)
5. George Miedecke (FG Falcon)
11. Cameron Waters (Minda VE Commodore)
20. Sam Walter (Minda VE Commodore)


Championship points (after five rounds of seven);
1. Dale Wood (1310 points), 2. Ashley Walsh (1148), 3. Andrew Jones (987),
4. Daniel Gaunt (943), 5.George Miedecke (898),
12. Cameron Waters (659), 24. Sam Walter (372)