James Courtney’s substitute Jack Perkins says that predicted rain at Sydney Motorsport Park today can help his quest to fight with the championship’s full-timers.
Rushed into the seat following Courtney’s injury on Friday, Perkins performed solidly during yesterday’s sprints on what is proving a tough weekend for the Walkinshaw stable.
Facing the challenging task of single-lap qualifying sessions on two different compounds of tyre, the 29-year-old ended up 20th in both sessions, which he converted into a 19th and a 20th in the races.
Far from fearing predictions of rain for today, Perkins hopes that wet weather can help level the playing field against the well honed regulars.
“I’m encouraging the rain to come because it can be a bit of an equaliser for me,” Perkins told Speedcafe.com.
“All these guys are in tune with their cars and engineers and the one lap qualifying deal.
“If it rains and we all put wets on it’s good for me because it brings everyone more onto a level playing field.”
Notably, Perkins had been little over a tenth away from the leading Walkinshaw driver in the hard tyre qualifying session before all but matching HRT stable-mate Garth Tander on the softs.
“Our lap speed and car comments were all pretty similar across the four cars which is encouraging, but it’d be nicer if we were more consistent and competitive as a unit,” noted Perkins.
“Everyone is trying their hardest and it’s not easy. It’s a pretty competitive deal.
“Unfortunately the hard tyre qualifying pace is just not there at the moment.
“It makes your life so much easier if you can qualify well and get track position early in the race.”
Although feeling comfortable inside the team, Perkins says the format makes it hard to directly tune the car around driver feedback.
“To be able to give feedback and actually do stuff with it is incredibly difficult because you’ve only got one shot each time,” he said.
“I’m sure everyone in pitlane would say it, but we felt that if we had a second set of tyres in each qualifying session, having learnt what we’d learnt, would have improved a lot.”