PRESTON HIRE RACING DEBUT AT CLIPSAL
Australia's newest V8
Supercar team Preston Hire Racing have put in place solid foundations for their
season to come over the weekend at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
Preston Hire Racing’s Lee Holdsworth finished Friday’s practice races in P12 and P17; then qualified P19 and P15 respectively for the following races.
Saturday proved the Triple Eight Commodore was not ideal to run on soft tyres as it developed a brake balance issue that continued to plague the weekend’s outcome.
Race 1 proved difficult for Holdsworth after he was clipped from behind and spun around in the first lap, but he continued to push to finish P23 in Race 1.
“Not the greatest start in the world, got taken out by one of the guys at the back and he did a lot of damage to the car, from then on it was difficult to have any pace,” Holdsworth said.
Holdsworth saw a slight improvement within limited time to fix the issues between races, which resulted in an improved P21 finish in Race 2.
"We tried to fix the car but still struggled a lot for pace, we thought we would jump a couple of places in the Pit Stop but had some issues there,” Holdsworth said.
“Our first day as a standalone team was a bit of a tough one, but still proud of the whole team and they all worked really well together,” Schwerkolt said.
Race 3 contained some of the worst weather conditions, with the safety car taking control of the race repeatedly and the Red Flag suspending the race temporarily.
The final race turned into a time certain one, with 5 minutes on the clock after restarting, which developed into a P18 finish for the Preston Hire Racing team.
"We were probably one of the teams had used the most amount of fuel, but as the rule says by the end of the race you have to have used a specified amount," Grech said.
"So we came in for 3 laps to empty the fuel because we knew the probably opposition wouldn’t, so we seemed to have adhered to the rules.”
"The steering is bent, there’s a few other issues but we got Lee up there even though there was mishaps, rain and storm you name it,” he continued. “We’ve learnt a lot this weekend so now we can go home and regroup.”
Team Owner Charlie Schwerkolt is extremely proud of the team’s accomplishments over the weekend, but believes they have their work cut out for them in the lead up to the Grand Prix.
"Obviously we’ve still got a lot of work to do in learning the car, Lee needs to learn the car and we need to engineer the car to how Lee wants it,” Schwerkolt said.
"It’s a huge learning curve, one I am sure we will get on top of as soon as we can, but extremely proud to be out at Clipsal."
Preston Hire Racing will now prepare for the Formula 1 Rolex Grand Prix in Melbourne, Victoria from March 17-20 with all races to be televised LIVE on FOX Sports.