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DJRTP duo expect ‘tougher’, ‘better’ racing with technical changes

Simon Chapman

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Thursday 20th February, 2020 - 1:00pm

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Scott McLaughlin

Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard believe technical changes will make for better racing in this year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

The pair expect more variation in the results courtesy of adjustments following the Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing (VCAT) and the introduction of a control damper package.

McLaughlin said there will also be more emphasis on finding the limits in qualifying.

“It’s going to put a lot more pressure on drivers,” the two-time champion told Speedcafe.com.

“There are some very smart engineers up and down the pit lane and everyone is going to find a similar balance at some point.

“It’s going to be a matter of trying to extract the most out of qualifying without overstepping the mark.”

The teams and drivers got their first taste of the new aerodynamic package and damper set up at the pre-season BP Ultimate SuperTest, held at The Bend Motorsport Park.

Blustery conditions made getting a read on the aerodynamic balance difficult, though 23Red Racing driver Will Davison and the DJR Team Penske pair said they did notice a difference.

McLaughlin and Coulthard believe the damper package will bring the greatest challenge at the Superloop Adelaide 500, an event that demands heavy kerb usage.

The former doesn’t expect that teams will necessarily get accustomed to the dampers straight away.

“It’s interesting, the SupaShock is going to be a big change for everyone except for those who had run it before,” said McLaughlin.

“It will take time to get used to it, especially over a race run. Eventually, you’ll get hold of it. I’ve just got to be patient.

“We’ll see some really good racing as everyone gets on top of the damper.”

Coulthard echoed McLaughlin’s sentiment, suggesting Thursday’s sole practice session will be crucial in understanding the new set-up.

“It’s going to be tougher this year than ever before. It would be nice to see a lot of different winners with the changes to the car.

“I think you’ll see better racing. As racers that is what we want. We want it to be tough.

“Everyone is on the same damper. Any small advantage you may or may not have had has gone back to a clean sheet of paper.

“The amount of kerb at the chicane; I think that’s a true test of what it is going to be like. It’s a very different style of circuit (to The Bend).

“I guess we’ll know on Thursday night whether we’ll be there or thereabouts.”

Practice 1 starts at 15:55 local time/16:25 AEDT.

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