Small steps for Moffat with ‘unstable’ S60

James Moffat

James Moffat

James Moffat says he is still striving to unearth the set-up sweet spot in his Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo after a frustrating season so far.

Moffat’s transition from the Nissan Altima to the GRM Volvo S60 has proved to be a challenge with the Victorian driver unable to strike a comfortable balance behind the wheel.

After eight events Moffat has rarely matched his team-mate Scott McLaughlin on pace and results, with his best performance a seventh place finish at Phillip Island, where McLaughlin scored a double victory.

A car with vastly different handling characteristics and a narrow set-up window compared to the Nissan has seen the 32-year-old struggle to adapt.

Moffat admits he has compromised his own driving style to master the S60’s quirks, but is confident progress is being made.

“We are slowly, hopefully getting on top of it with small steps,” Moffat told Speedcafe.com.

“I haven’t really been able to get back that feeling that I have been looking for, but we have come close on occasions.

“One thing I have found with this car is the set-up window is quite small compared to what I have been used to.

“The car has got its own characteristics. It is different to what I am used to and what I am comfortable with.

“Some guys like a bit of understeer in the car, some guys like the car a bit looser on entry and can deal with a bit of instability under brakes.

“With this car it is a little too unstable at the rear on the entry to the corner for my liking. It is very sensitive to changes as well.

“However, over the last couple of rounds the outright performance has been there compared to Scott (McLaughlin), we have been close.”

After recording only three top 10 finishes in the 17 races this season, Moffat is targeting a much stronger showing in the Pirtek Enduro Cup rounds to rise up the championship standings.

The identity of his co-driver for the three showpiece events is yet to be confirmed as GRM evaluates its candidates David Wall and Dunlop Series racer James Golding.

Golding enjoyed a run in the #34 car during the recent co-driver session at Queensland Raceway.

“One thing for us is to try and finish the year off as well as we can,” added Moffat, who is lying 19th in the championship.

“We have got the enduros coming up which is a good opportunity to get some strong results. I like that part of the season.

“Every time I drive the car I am getting more and more of an understanding of the car and vice versa with my engineer Manuel Sanchez.

“I want to be consistent which was one of the big things for the first part of the year. If we can do that in the second half (of the season) hopefully some better results will come.”

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