Preston Hire Racing have made seasoned improvements at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint while facing a mystery mechanical issue at Round 3 of the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship.
Driver Lee Holdsworth believed that the Round 4 track was a big challenge for the team and that the team had the platform to improve their racing package for the remainder of the season.
“It’s a totally different style of circuit to Tassie and getting the right balance is always difficult due to the high speed corners and the wind direction can completely change the behaviour of the car from one day to another,” Holdsworth said.
Phillip Island’s challenges didn’t slow Holdsworth down, finishing P9 in Practice 1 after switching from old to new tyres in the final minutes.
In Practice 2 The Preston Hire Racing Team elected to not run on green tyres as the front of the field did and finished P13, but team owner Charlie Schwerkolt managed to find the positives.
“We didn’t get a solid lap in as it was too wet and we had no dry laps on green tyres, but Lee was happy with the car for the day,” Schwerkolt said.
Saturday’s wet weather saw Holdsworth finish in P20 in Practice 3 and Race 6 Qualifying in P17.
Holdsworth climbed throughout the field in Race 6, but was forced backwards to finish P15 after a hold-up in pit lane.
“We had a good pit stop but got stuck behind one of the Nissans, that threw out our balance which was disappointing because we were catching cars in front,” Holdsworth said.
Another fast qualifying time for Race 7 put Holdsworth just outside the top ten, finishing P11.
“Really pleased with the lap I put together in Sunday’s Qualifying, we’ve made an improvement to the car overnight, I wanted to be in the top 10 but just missed out,” Holdsworth said.
The Preston Hire Racing team finished Race 7 in P19, facing a mystery issue with the handling of the car and running short on pace throughout the 200km battle.
“On the way back to the workshop now so we will strip the car down and find out where the mystery speed we have lost is; whether it is the setup of the car, tyres or if there is something wrong or broken,” Schwerkolt said.
Schwerkolt is impressed at the improvements the Preston Hire Racing team have made in their pit stops, an issue that has hindered results at previous rounds.
“Saturday’s pit stops we were definitely happy with, we had the 12th fastest pit stop for the weekend so a massive improvement, Sunday’s were reasonably good but a little bit long so we still have some work to do,” Schwerkolt said.
Preston Hire Racing will now head back to their Melbourne garage before Round 4 of the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship at the Perth SuperSprint on May 6-8 with all races to be televised LIVE on FOX Sports.