Grip level like ‘driving on eggshells’ at Wanneroo

Practice 1 at the Bunnings Trade Perth SuperNight

Drivers have given their first impressions on the state of the Wanneroo Raceway track surface after Practice 1 for the Repco Supercars Championship in Perth.

Intrigue surrounded the status of the 2.42km of tarmac in the lead-up, with this weekend’s event the first at Wanneroo for Supercars since 2019.

The circuit was resurfaced prior to the championship’s last visit, having previously been notorious for high tyre wear, but was tipped to have deteriorated in the three years since.

Following Practice 1, the consensus was that tyre degradation will be a challenging topic this weekend.

“[The grip level is] definitely a lot less than last time we came here,” commented Macauley Jones.

“You kind of go out and feel like you’re a bit on eggshells, it’s a very strange feeling.

“It’s definitely not getting faster as you burn fuel or anything, I think it’s going to be interesting.

“I think the nighttime is not nearly as bad as what it will be tomorrow [at] midday. It doesn’t feel too bad so far but it’s definitely going to be there.”

Cameron Waters, who topped the session, said the challenge is certainly present but is confident he and Tickford Racing can stay on top of it.

“Obviously the track is degrading which you would expect, it was more just how much it was going to degrade,” said Waters.

“Our team did a really good job having a plan for practice and we executed that.”

Lee Holdsworth, who wound up 10th for Grove Racing, felt the track is a step towards to what it was before the resurface in 2019 and that it brings back some character.

“Hard to imagine it was only resurfaced three years ago. It was a surprise when we first got out there, very little grip, similar to the old-style surface that we had,” he enthused.

“In a way, I sort of loved that about this place and that was what was always so cool is you can have alternating strategy and surprise winners in these races.

“It’s anyone’s game if the Safety Car comes at the right time.

“Everyone still needs to focus on having a quick qualifying car; ours is close to the window but not quite there yet; got another practice session then a very long day ahead of us.

“We’re guessing it’s probably going to be half a tenth a lap in deg, which mixes things up.

“It doesn’t sound like much but after 10 laps there’s half a second. We’ll see how we fare tonight.”

Track action continues with Practice 2 at 12:15 local time (14:15 AEST).

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