Dale’s 2018 Phillip Is Wrapup
I hope this finds everyone very well. I’m a few days late getting this together but what a great weekend we had at Phillip Island.
It was great to see a lot of you down there and made the great results we got even more enjoyable having you and so many friends and family there also.
Session one on Friday was a bit of a mixed bag with a few cars running new tyres and some running older test tyres. I didn’t think our car was particularly good and need a few setup changes to get some more speed out of it. We ended this session P4. Session 2 on Friday was quite good for us although it got called short after a heavy crash from another car. We unfortunately didn’t get to run our new tyres but still finished up fastest of the field and was very happy with the car.
Saturday we had qualifying in the morning where we ran two sets of new tyres as most of the filed. I didn’t do a great job of first run and over slowed the car at a few of the faster areas of the track but on our second set I felt this was quite a good lap and got most of the track pretty right, this had us qualify fastest by 3 tenths over the field. Our first Pole Position for the year!!
Race 1 was the first of our endurance races which was 25 laps, it was nice to have a good length race that we could settle into more than the usual sprint races. I got off the line well and led the field into turn 1. I didn’t feel we had a very good setup for this race, we were quite a bit too low in tyre pressures and had not set the car up all that well for this length of race. There was quite a bit of pressure from behind but didn’t make any mistakes and came home in first place.
Sundays race was one of my all-time favourite races, it was another 25 lapper and we again got off the line really well and led Alex Davison into turn 1. Straight away I felt we had a much better setup car than Saturdays race and went about trying to put in some fast laps to gap the field. This wasn’t so easy and we then had a short safety car following a crash from another car. Alex put a tonne of pressure on for the whole race and had plenty of goes at making a pass as he slip streamed me down the straights. I drove quite a defensive race but at the end Alex and I had gapped the field by quite a bit. He had one last big go at passing on the last lap but we hung on and claimed the race and round win. From all reports it was a great race to watch and a good clean battle. I loved every lap of it. Pole position, 2 wins, perfect Phillip Island weather and so many of my supporters there made for an absolute perfect weekend.
So after 3 rounds completed we have won 6 of 9 races and qualified 2nd, 3rd and 1st. I still can’t quite believe we had such a great start to the year. Unfortunately we’re still only second in the championship but I’ll continue to keep the head down with the fantastic team at Sonic and hopefully by the half way mark of the season we’ll be in the lead.
As always I thank you all for being a part of this and making it all possible. We have a bit of a break now until round 4 in Darwin but I will be in touch with you all over the coming week.