Justin Wilson’s height proving a challenge for Kelly Racing
Among the 28 international co-drivers acclimatising to the V8 Supercars at Queensland Raceway today is the 193cm Justin Wilson, who is sharing the Pepsi Max Crew Holden with Greg Murphy.
A former Formula 1 driver with Minardi and Jaguar in the early 2000s, the British-born Wilson has been a mainstay on the United States open-wheel scene over the last decade, competing in the 2012 IndyCar Series with Dale Coyne Racing.
Wilson undertook a seat fitting at Kelly Racing’s workshop earlier this weekend in preparation for his V8 Supercar debut, which will come alongside the 178cm Murphy.
Although unfazed by the high temperatures, which have risen to 30 degrees ambient by early afternoon, Wilson says that getting comfortable in the car is a work in progress.
“It’s generally pretty good, but the hardest bit is that I’m too close to the pedals,” he told Speedcafe.com after alternating between right and left-foot braking during his early stints as he attempted to overcome the issue.
“I don’t quite have the leverage in my leg because my knees are so bent – I’m struggling to hit it hard enough. We’re working on it.
“Other than that, it’s been pretty straight forward. The seat and gearshift are all good.
“I’m just trying to get used to everything, feel the car out, but not do anything silly and just chip away at it. Right now I’m enjoying it too much. I’m grinning from ear to ear all the way around the track as the car is sliding around. It’s not quick, but it’s fun.”
Wilson added of his expectations of the weekend.”We’re taking it one step at a time. My goal for the is not to embarrass myself.
“It’s a tough track (the Surfers Paradise street circuit) and these are tough cars to get used to. Some guys have done this for two or three years or done Bathurst and so on, so to compete against that is pretty difficult.”
With the official timing not distinguishing between the laps set by the primary and co-drivers today, little can be read into the time sheets.
For the record, the Will Davison/Mika Salo Ford sits atop the sheet at the end of the first five hours of running, ahead of the Michael Caruso/James Hinchliffe GRM Holden and the Mark Winterbottom/Will Power Ford. The Murphy/Wilson entry is 15th.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 Race Guide