Co-drivers from Nissan, Erebus, Prodrive and DJR Team Penske are continuing preparations for the Pirtek Enduro Cup by cutting laps in ride days at Queensland Raceway this week.
Nissan enduro drivers Dean Fiore, David Russell and Taz Douglas joined Erebus Motorsport’s Alex Davison and Jack Le Brocq in undertaking the majority of the running for their respective teams today.
Prodrive will give Dean Canto and Steve Owen laps tomorrow before Marcos Ambrose joins Scott Pye in a two-car DJR Team Penske outing on Wednesday.
With opportunities for mileage limited, the ride days provide co-drivers another chance to familiarise themselves with their cars ahead of the enduro campaign which begins at September’s Sandown 500.
The majority of teams are also expected to run at Sydney Motorsport Park immediately after that event later this month, adding to the 30 minute co-driver practice sessions added to the Fridays at QR and SMP.
Fiore, who will partner Michael Caruso in the enduros, has had limited laps in any race cars this year and says the ride days are highly beneficial.
“It is important actually. When I was a primary driver I didn’t like the ride days too much and I used to just chuck the keys to the co-driver,” Fiore told Speedcafe.com.
“I have used it for training and to familiarise myself in the car. I’m forever mucking around with bias and switches on the dash when there is no pressure so come race time I will know what to do.
“I’m happy with how I’m going I haven’t driven it for a while and I rolled out of pit lane on Friday and it has come straight back to me. I think I’m reasonably race fit but I would like to be better.
“We are not super happy with the car at the minute and we spent the weekend trying to find a direction to head in but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Fellow Nissan driver David Russell clocked says he is already feeling at home in the Jack Daniel’s entry and is ready for the enduro campaign.
“It is good to settle in and get some miles on a ride day,” Russell told Speedcafe.com.
“It was good to get a read on the car and I jumped in Caruso and Todd Kelly’s car so it was good to see how each driver likes things set up.”
Erebus Motorsport Will Davison was a keen onlooker as he watched his brother Alex conduct the majority of the running in the #9 Erebus Mercedes.
“He (Alex) was excited to be doing rides all day because there is no pressure and it is great for him to get back in the groove and get race fitness,” Will Davison told Speedcafe.com.
“His third lap was on the pace on Friday and he was right on the money.
“These co-drivers don’t forget how to go fast but the important thing is to be able to be consistent and not make mistakes.”
Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Volvos were also on track today, steered by primary drivers Scott McLaughlin and David Wall.