Triple Eight working through new car niggles
Triple Eight has a number niggling issues with its ZB Commodores which the team is working to iron out, according to Jamie Whincup.
The seven-time Supercars champion claimed pole position and third in today’s two qualifying sessions at Albert Park but admitted that the new cars are still going through teething issues.
Team-mate Shane van Gisbergen is thought to be suffering the most from these although he managed to overcome them to qualify fifth and seventh.
“We’re not proud of that,” said Whincup,
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“There’s a lot of niggling issues behind the scenes that we need to clear up.
“Shane’s a little bit more affected than I am (but) we’re a professional engineering company and we’re going to make sure everything’s as clean as it should be.
“(It’s) new car things. This is our fourth new car, really, in the last 10 years, so we should be better at it by now.
“Just the stress of building three brand-new cars and all of the bodywork and all of the new parts has taken its toll a little bit and we just don’t quite have the mechanical things right.
“But we’ll be right, don’t worry about that.”
Meanwhile, the team is working to unearth the reason behind van Gisbergen’s issues.
The Adelaide 500 winner described his car as ‘average’ throughout practice and qualifying.
“Our car has just been average all day and we haven’t been able to get a handle on it,” he said.
“It’s the same as Jamie’s, or close to it, but it doesn’t feel right and I’m struggling to stay on track.
“Although, to be driving something we don’t like but ending up sixth is not bad.
“In the second qualifying session the car was even worse. We didn’t change anything in the few minutes between sessions, we just drove it.
“The track grip had gone away a bit by then and we ended up sixth again so we need find it and fix it tonight.
“Every session has been so close today so we haven’t had time to have a look, we’re just tweaking but not fixing.
“We will just need to knuckle down and figure out where we’re wrong tonight.”
Meanwhile, Craig Lowndes qualified 17th and 26th in the day’s two sessions after driving errors and a subsequent incident where he was baulked by James Golding.
The Supercars field will conduct two qualifying session on Friday before the opening race of the Coates Hire Melbourne 400 over 25 laps at 1750 local time/AEDT.