More V8 Supercar miles for Casey Stoner
Casey Stoner is today taking to the wheel of his Red Bull Pirtek Holden V8 Supercar for the fifth time in five weeks at a private test at Queensland Raceway.
Since his last Ipswich hit-out in late February, the MotoGP convert has racked up miles at the Dunlop Series season opener in Adelaide and as part of speed comparison events at Sydney Motorsport Park’s Top Gear Festival and last weekend Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Albert Park.
The frequent miles are expected to see Stoner running inside the top 10 when the Dunlop Series itself resumes at Barbagallo Raceway on May 3-5.
“The whole idea of putting Casey in the car for the speed comparisons at Top Gear and the AGP was to get him more experience behind the wheel,” explained team manager Adrian Burgess, who is also overseeing Red Bull Racing’s V8 Supercars Championship entries of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes at today’s test.
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“It lets him see different circuits and drive the car in different conditions. They’re only minor things but it’s all good experience that he needs. And we want to give him that experience.
“As much as he didn’t get an opportunity to go and do a 10-15 lap race, it was still good track time for him. That’s just part of the learning curve he needs to go through, to understand a V8 Supercar and become a more accomplished driver.
“Every time he gets in the car he gets more experience so the next time he gets in, he’s always that bit more comfortable and confident,” he added.
Stoner failed to finish the first Adelaide encounter after a series of front-right tyre lock-ups led to a failure and contact with the Turn 3 exit wall.
The 27-year-old then recovered to finish 14th in Race 2, cutting through the pack with impressive race craft considering it was his first ever race meeting on four-wheels.
“He’s definitely skilled and showing us the signs that in time he will be every bit as competent as the other drivers we get to work with,” said Burgess of Stoner.
“It’s exciting for him and it’s exciting for us and we’ve just got to be careful not to put too much pressure on him.
“We’re not expecting him to be winning races yet. It’s still early days. We’ve got to keep a check on expectations and be realistic as to how quickly he’ll adapt to these cars and this style of racing.
“He just needs as much time in the car to understand and adapt to it.”
Matthew White Motorsport’s Chaz Mostert (Sherrin Rentals) leads the Dunlop Series standings after the opening round by nine points from Ashley Walsh (Infants Friend Matt Stone Racing), with Dale Wood (GB Galvanizing MWM) a further 12 adrift in third.