Red Bull HRT drops aero test for Bathurst prep
By Mat Coch
Monday 30th September, 2019 - 7:14pm
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team elected to shift its test day focus from understanding the aerodynamic changes of its Holden ZB Commodores to Bathurst preparations.
Completing its pre-Pirtek Enduro Cup test day at Queensland Raceway today, the team instead chose to focus its resources on fine tuning its processes for next weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
That came following a reassessment of priorities after initially hoping to evaluate the aerodynamic changes made to the Commodore in the run-in to the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
“We decided to not do as much aero as we initially planned,” team manager Mark Dutton told Speedcafe.com.
“When we looked at everything we needed to squeeze in, something had to give.
“We still did some but like anything you try and go ‘okay, let’s just focus on understanding what the car’s going to be like for Bathurst, and we’ll take it from there’.
“So instead of spending half a day doing all sorts of sweeps and trying to build an aero map, we had to focus on having the cars and the crews and the drivers all ready for Bathurst.”
That saw the team practising brake changes and working through a program built around its co-drivers, Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander.
“There’s a lot of processes you have to go through, there’s a lot of pit stop training, a lot of co-driver work,” Dutton explained.
“So all of those fundamentals that you do every year were all better than ever.”
Though the team opted not to spend time specifically focused on further understanding its aero package, Dutton doesn’t believe it will adversely impact the team, either at Bathurst or for the remainder of the season.
“We hope that the fact that we’ve only got a few rounds left for the year means that we’ve done enough to cover those ones off so that we know what we have for the end of the year, and no less and no more,” he suggested.
“Bathurst can be a bit of a funny one,” he added when asked about how the Commodore would suit Bathurst.
“We’ve gone there one year and it’s rewarded a really high downforce package and other years we’ve gone and it’s rewarded a low downforce package, and they’re years where you had a better grasp on the aero package that was underneath you.
“So this year we’re not making any big, bold predictions except that the car now has the potential to be competitive and we think we’ve got the drivers and crew to extract the most out of it.
“Bathurst being obviously what it is, and the race that throws everything at you, it is all about minimising mistakes.
“Today was an example of that; the drivers, the engineers, the crew preparations for today was spot on and executed really well.
“It definitely gives us confidence in ourselves to perform to the maximum of our ability. So we’re confident that if we can do that we should be fighting for it.”
The Bathurst 1000 begins next Thursday, October 10, with three 60 minute practice sessions to kick off the four day event.