Preston Hire Racing have claimed their first top 10 race finish at the Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania over the weekend.
Lee Holdsworth’s successful weekend on track helped him gain confidence in the car after the setup was adjusted following the AGP.
“We learnt a lot at Adelaide and the AGP although the results weren’t there and we got a lot of direction with the car.
“Some homework in between the rounds has helped us come up with a very good base setup with Triple Eights help, which we have now further improved over the weekend,” Holdsworth said.
Practice 1 saw Holdsworth reach the front of the pack after Team Manager Jeff Grech changed strategy, resulting in a P9 finish.
“We thought we would get some gain out of a roaded tyre because it was so cold, which was enough to do the trick in the conditions that bumped us up as there was a fair few others who didn’t do that,” Grech said.
Holdsworth was only one tenth of a second behind the leader in Practice 2, improving on his previous run and finishing P6.
“We are still working on the race speed but are fairly pleased to finish in the top half of the field, now we have made it up there Lee is ready race around the regulars at the front but we still have a long way to go,” Grech said.
Practice 3 saw the team’s performance climb again, becoming the quickest Triple Eight car on the track, finishing P5.
Qualifying saw Holdsworth reach the Top 5 for both races, starting P4 in Race 4 and Race 5 in P5.
Holdsworth faced a series of on track and pit stop issues in Race 5 but he battled the conditions to finish Race 4 in P12.
“I got a good start but tried to go down the outside through turn two but was on the dirty line and locked the inside front, combined with a bump by Whincup and flat spotting a tyre we lost a couple of spots there,” Holdsworth said.
Race 5 saw The Preston Hire Racing car achieve its first top 10 season finish, with Holdsworth concluding the round in P9.
“I’m still getting used to the starting technique in the car so we dropped a few spots at the beginning, but settled into position and had good pace throughout and managed to fight my way back up to 9th spot,” Holdsworth said.
Team Owner Charlie Schwerkolt hopes that the team’s top 10 finish is the first of many to come.
“So thrilled to be in the top 10 after three rounds, as a start up team we just really had to figure out how to make the car go fast,” Schwerkolt said.
“So proud of the whole team they work so well together, Lee drove an amazing race and the relationship with Triple Eight is really coming along strong,” he continued.
The Preston Hire Racing team are looking to carry their improving momentum through the remainder of their season, and to remain consistent at the upcoming Phillip Island SuperSprint.
“Really pleased to get the first top ten of the year for Preston Hire Racing and I think Phillip Island is going to be a massive test for us and I feel that we understand the tuning tools of the car much better now so we can make the right calls,” Holdsworth said.
Preston Hire Racing are looking forward to Round 3 of the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint on April 15-17 with all races to be televised LIVE on FOX Sports.