Triple Eight eyeing soft tyre gains at QR test
Improving soft tyre performance is among Triple Eight’s targets for an extensive test day program at Queensland Raceway on Tuesday.
The Brisbane outfit heads to the Ipswich circuit determined to improve consistency amongst its expanded three car operation.
Drivers Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and Craig Lowndes feature inside the top five in the championship standings having each visited the top step of the podium.
The team has however lacked speed at times during the season, highlighted at the high grip Winton circuit where it failed to score a podium finish.
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Team manager Mark Dutton has labelled the test as a ‘critical’ opportunity to address qualifying pace on the soft tyre and ongoing handling issues.
Such is the focus on finding gains for their drivers at the upcoming super sprint rounds, the team has decided not to attribute any track time to its enduro co-drivers.
“We have got our eyes on a few different targets to try and sort out,” Dutton told Speedcafe.com.
“We have got a lot planned. It is a full day and we are not planning to run any of the co-drivers or anything like that, we are just focussing on sprint race stuff.
“Obviously there has been a lot more soft tyre running this year than last year.
“Our qualifying hasn’t been as consistent and as strong as we like it, but we are our own strongest critics there.
“Even in the race the three cars have had more differences in pace than we would like.
“There has been some huge positives this year. We have achieved one-two-three finishes in points and non-points scoring rounds a lot sooner then we expected. We are massively proud of everyone’s efforts for that.
“But there have been times when we have got one car up the front, one in the middle and one a little bit further down, which is not what we expect or demand of ourselves. We will try and rectify that.”
While the focus is to improve its current package, the squad will also allocate time to run new components.
“We have got a few little ideas on some things,” added Dutton.
“We have been working hard on many different fronts. There are so few of these test days you have to have some things to try when you can. It is a pretty exciting test for us.”
Triple Eight will be joined at Queensland Raceway on Tuesday by Tekno Autosports and DJR Team Penske.