15.11.2010: After winning the American Le Mans Series title at Road Atlanta, there was only time for some quick celebrations before I jumped on a plane to Sydney, Australia, to contest the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar race with Stone Brothers Racing and Alex Davison.
After winning the American Le Mans Series title at Road Atlanta, there was only time for some quick celebrations before I jumped on a plane to Sydney, Australia, to contest the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar race with Stone Brothers Racing and Alex Davison.
We had a pretty good event. We weren’t as fast as we would have liked, all three Stone Brothers cars were struggling a bit. Our strength was economy and, as the race unfolded, we were looking pretty good. There were 10 cars in front that wouldn’t have made the end unless they stopped and that would have put us in a strong position. But a late yellow came out and saved them.
In terms of pace we finished where we deserved to be, in 13th. If we’d got 10th that would have been ok as well but anything higher would have been a real bonus. But the safety car stopped any bonuses coming our way.
Regardless, the team learnt a lot and put everything together for the next event, which was the Gold Coast 600 on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
It was one of our better weekends in terms of results. The sister car, number nine, finished third on Saturday and second on Sunday. We also had a really good result on Saturday, going from 23rd to finish fifth.
Unfortunately on Sunday it all went pear-shaped for us. I started after Alex qualified 19th. I had a really good start and got up to 12th. I lost the back a little bit going into the fast chicanes on the back straights and lost a bit of momentum but the car behind me tried to find a gap that wasn’t there and hit me. I basically got launched into the barriers, suffering a 35g impact that pretty much destroyed the car.
That was sadly the end of our race and the end of my season. It wasn’t how I like to end a year but when I look back on 2010 I really can’t complain.
V8 Supercars is the most fiercely competitive series I’ve raced in. For example, we qualified 19th in Surfers Paradise but half a second would have got us 10th. It’s very competitive and we tried our best.
Fifth on Saturday at the Gold Coast was the best result car four had all year. We crashed out on Sunday but the only good thing is that Alex was looking for a new car and now he’s got it. There’s always a positive to come out of a negative!
The team kind of gravitated to what I was saying about the car. Although I don’t have a lot of V8 experience, describing what I am feeling is part of my 20 years of training. The way I describe what the tyres and chassis are doing is going to be different to what they are used to, so they listened. We all learned a lot during our time together.
The V8 series delivers great racing. V8s are not easy cars to drive fast but I had a great time. The international drivers also did a great job. Considering the short time they had to get used to the cars they adapted very well. On the Sunday they drove with a bit more maturity than some of the locals.
I don’t think it was too difficult to find out which drivers wanted to come and do the international events. The organisers had more drivers than they knew what to do with, so I think the series, the government and the city, were really pleased with the results and next year should be better than ever.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Stone Brothers Racing. Ross, Jimmy and the team made me very welcome. I felt part of the team straight away so I really enjoyed it. If I have the time to go back I know they are keen for me to be part of the programme again.