HRT surprised after suspension backflip
Holden Racing Team drivers Garth Tander and James Courtney were surprised that the factory squad came away with a quinella in Race 21 after tearing up plans to race its new suspension package.
HRT took the drastic measure of flying up its previously used Ohlins shock units to Townsville from its Melbourne headquarters after a series of failures in Friday practice.
HRT had to abandon plans of running the Triple Eight imported Sachs components which were considered by both Tander and Courtney as the ideal option.
All cars outside the Walkinshaw stable run the Sachs units.
Tander broke a long drought for HRT as Courtney chased home his Commodore stablemate for a one-two in a race heavily affected by tyre strategy.
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“It’s been a pretty dry spell and we’ve been getting a lot of flack,” Courtney said.
“We couldn’t run the ultimate package we wanted to run here this weekend which the car was better for both of us here.
“It looked after its tyres a bit better (on the previous dampers). I’m sure we are both a little shocked that we are still sitting here (in second) with the set-up we were running with the car.
“We’ve got some more time up our sleeves to go back to Clayton and re-engineer that part and throw it back in.
“I’m sure we’ll come out all guns blazing at Ipswich (the next round from July 27-28).”
The Walkinshaw Racing organisation’s third car of Russell Ingall, which had been kept on the Sachs, had yet another shock absorber breakage in Sunday qualifying before the veteran driver came out with a surprising fifth place finish in the race.
Race winner Tander meanwhile warned that it is premature to start deeming HRT to have fully turned the corner from its form slump.
“We couldn’t run some componentry in the car this weekend due to reliability issues. It would have made the car better again,” Tander said.
“One win doesn’t make it all bright and shiny and we are going to win all the races for the rest of the year. We know there is more work to be done.”
Tander remains cautious after recalling that HRT was uncompetitive at the up coming Queensland Raceway round last year.
HRT is also expecting more engine upgrades and other performance tweaks before the endurance races.