Promising Day for WSR After An Early Scare
The Wilson Security Racing Sandown 500 kicked off today with a series of practice sessions aimed at giving the co drivers maximum seat time in the lead up to the event.
The 25 V8 Supercar ‘main drivers’ opened the batting with a 40 minute session and it almost ended in tears for the Dick Johnson Racing Falcons.
David Wall was showing good early form when an oil line let go into Turn 1, sending the Wilson Security / PAYCE #17 Falcon into a wild spin. Missing the fence, Wall brought the car to a stop but his practice was over. Travelling right behind and the first car to hit the oil from Wall’s car was teammate Scott Pye who bounced across the kerb and ended up with rear panel damage after clipping the fence. Pye pushed on to finish the session just outside the Top 10 in P11. A fine result given the early dramas.
Sessions two and three saw the co drivers in the two DJR Falcons. Steve Johnson was pleased to be back behind the wheel and his first hit out delivered a P15 result. With little running, Steve was confident there was a lot more to come from the car.
On the other side of the garage, Ash Walsh jumped into Pye’s car and immediately was on the pace. He was in the Top 10 for the bulk of his first practice run and bought the #16 Wilson Security Falcon home in P13.
The final 40 minute session saw more improvements from the DJR twins, with Steve Johnson grabbing a Top 10 spot with Ash Walsh just one spot behind in P11. After a less than auspicious start, the team rallied well to finish fastest of the Fords in P3.
Once the main driver’s times were factored back in the WSR Falcons finished 17th and 18th for the day. However the fastest times were posted by the co drivers given the problems of Practice 1.
Scott Pye – Wilson Security Racing Falcon #16
“We only ran one set of tyres in the first session so we were pleased with the results. The car rolled out of the truck and was pretty competitive. Since my stint, Ash has made some changes throughout the day. The car has got better as we went so it looks good for tomorrow.
“The mishap in my session with Dave’s car dumping the oil and then getting caught up in it set us back a bit, but since then the car has been faultless.”
Ash Walsh – Wilson Security Racing Falcon #16
“The car felt pretty good. We did quite a few set up changes, nothing too radical but it got better as the day wore on. In terms of a race car I think we are looking good for Sunday.
“It was good to get over 30 laps today. I felt comfortable in the car and feel we made some real progress.”
David Wall - Wilson Security Racing Falcon #17
“Three timed laps for me for the day, so I didn’t really get a lot of running. Thankfully, when we did have the problem this morning, we managed to gather it up and not do any damage. We had a good tyre bank today and we worked hard on improving the car in each outing.
“Steve did a good job and tuned it up to finish in the Top 10 in the last session. So I am looking forward to jumping back in tomorrow morning for the final practice session. I think we have a good race package.”
Steve Johnson - Wilson Security Racing Falcon #17
“We were lucky this morning, when Dave had an oil line issue. Thankfully we didn’t have to change an engine and we were back into it. Scott’s car got some damage from the same incident and I was thinking ‘what black cat have we run over?’
“I am loving being back in the car. Very comfortable and feeling good. I am making a few mistakes personally, but I’m sure that just comes down to seat time. That will only get better the more I drive the car.
“I feel come the race I will be on the pace of anyone in the field and I know there is more to come. We made some positive steps today, so we will see where we sit tomorrow."