PremiAir puzzled by ‘really weird’ Slade engine issue
Tuesday 23rd May, 2023 - 12:35pm
A “really weird” engine problem which cost PremiAir Racing’s Tim Slade a top 10 result in Race 12 of the Repco Supercars Championship at Symmons Plains will be looked into.
Slade sat sixth following the completion of the compulsory pit stop cycle when the #23 Nulon Camaro slowed dramatically with just over 10 laps remaining in the 42-lap contest.
He would pit and eventually get back out to take the chequered flag four laps down in 25th, a sour note on which to end the weekend after results of sixth in Race 10 and seventh in Race 11.
“Overall, we had a really good and solid weekend,” said Team Principal Matty Cook.
“The cars were consistently quick which was very pleasing, they showed a lot of pace, and our pit stops were very good, but we had a bit of up and down luck as the weekend pressed on
“We had a really weird engine problem with Tim’s car in the last race, and we are not quite sure what the problem is.
“We will have to diagnose that when we get back to the factory but it is very strange – these are new cars and new engines, and this is the first time we have seen something like this.
“I was really upset for Tim, the guys he was battling with were fourth, fifth and sixth position at the end so we should have been around there, so I am gutted for him.”
Slade himself had quipped post-race, “It sounded more like it belonged out in one of the paddocks beside the track.
“I’m not sure exactly; it was running strong and then after the stop, it was a little bit slippery in the rear, I noticed a couple of spots of water, coolant, whatever up on the windscreen.
“I kind of feared the worst straight away and then it just got worse and worse, so a failure of some sort, engine-wise.”
The Gen3 ruleset includes a common engine supplier within each manufacturer camp, with KRE Race Engines supplying the Chevrolet teams, such as PremiAir.
Notwithstanding ructions about parity, there had been no obvious question marks about the engines themselves until this point, and Supercars had advised that it would be randomly checking race engines for degradation during the season, consistent with what it has referred to as its “process of continuous improvement” for the fledgling Gen3 race cars.
In the other PremiAir entry, James Golding finished 14th in Race 10, ninth in Race 11, and 16th in Race 12, having incurred damage early in the latter.
“It is never easy getting through a race when you get damage in Turn 1,” he said.
“We had made a few big changes to the car for that one and found a lot of improvement in the areas that we were targeting, so although the results weren’t where we wanted them to be at the end of the weekend, overall, we made gains, we still got finishes in every race, and there are a lot of positives to take away.
“There are a lot of things we have been trying to improve on that have gotten better, it is just about getting them all right at the onetime to get that good result.”
Slade is now 11th in the drivers’ championship and Golding 12th, with PremAir occupying eighth in the teams’ standings.
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