Adelaide 500 kerbs dulled by new surface

Adelaide 500 kerbs

Cameron Waters rides the Turn 1 kerb at Senna Chicane. Picture: Ross Gibb

A track resurface ahead of this year’s Valo Adelaide 500 has dulled the impact of most of its kerbs, according to Supercars Championship drivers after their first practice session.

The majority of the Adelaide Parklands Circuit was given a fresh layer of bitumen in the months leading up to the return of the event, having deteriorated over the years.

However, it was done in such a way that has raised the height of the road surface and thus effectively lowered the heights of the kerbs, including the iconic Senna Chicane complex at the start of the lap.

That was a point picked up on by certain drivers after Practice 1, including the man who set the pace, Thomas Randle.

“Obviously it feels a lot smoother in the parts that have been resurfaced and, to be honest, the Turn 2 kerb actually still feels – maybe I’ve forgotten – but it still feels pretty bloody aggressive,” said the Tickford Racing driver when queried on the matter by Speedcafe.com.

“Turn 1 is a little bit smoother, but Turn 2 still feels pretty big.

“I guess the staircase section [the sequence of 90-degree corners from Turns 4 to 7] probably feels a little bit not as aggressive, and I guess the surface has been laid on top of the old one, so, technically, all the kerbs should feel lower.”

Team-mate Cameron Waters, who was third-fastest in Practice 1, had a similar take.

“The track grip’s high like it normally would be when you resurface a track and the kerbs are a little bit smaller, but it doesn’t really matter,” he said.

“It is what it is; same for everyone.”

Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki, who split them on the timesheet, said he did not notice any changes regarding the kerbs given his attention was on wrangling his ZB Commodore on the new surface.

“I think the kerbs don’t really exist at the moment,” he remarked.

“I think we’re just out of control to them because of the new surface.

“So, I don’t really feel the kerbs at all, to be honest; I was just out of control getting there.”

The resurface was undertaken from Turn 9 back to Turn 7, leaving Adelaide Straight (Bartels Road), the high-speed Turn 8 sweeper, and Brabham Straight (Dequetteville Terrace) unchanged.

That is certainly something which Randle picked up on.

“Probably one of the biggest challenges is braking for Turn 9,” noted the winner of the 2020 Super2 Series, which was when he last drove on the Adelaide street circuit.

“Because when you first hit the brakes, you’re on the old surface, and then it changes to the new surface.

“So, there’s actually, like, a little bit of a hump where the surfaces merge and that can make it, so far, a little bit tricky.”

Practice 2 for the Supercars Championship field starts tomorrow at 13:15 local time/13:45 AEDT.

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