Promising Signs for Moffat at AGP
There were promising signs for Wilson Security Racing GRM driver James Moffat at the Australian Grand Prix support races, with a pair of top-ten results earned on the Albert Park Street Circuit.
The event started strongly with a seventh-place finish in the opening sprint race on Friday, but the strong run came unstuck in the second race, after Moffat unfortunately collected a spun car.
With a rebuilt Holden Commodore for Saturday’s running, Moffat came through to finish ninth, which was backed up by a 12th place result on Sunday, with a stout drive from the rear of the field following a first corner spin.
Moffat’s next outing will be in two weekend’s time at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains Raceway, with the second points paying round of the Virgin Australia Supercars season.
- Fine conditions which prevailed throughout the weekend.
- A sole 30-minute practice session started the weekend, with Moffat netting the 13th fastest time.
- Four separate 10-minute long qualifying sessions determined the individual grids for all four races.
- In the respective sessions, Moffat qualified 14th, 17th, 12th and 18th.
“Today was the first time we have run the new Super Soft compound tyre, as we elected against using it at the pre-season test day in February,” said Moffat.
“So we had a very short amount of time to get the car dialled into the new tyre, and that probably reflected in our qualifying positions across the four races.”
- Carnage reigned supreme in the opening 13 lap encounter, which ended under safety car conditions following a scary incident involving Nick Percat and Lee Holdsworth.
- At the chequered flag, Moffat had worked his way up to seventh position from 14th at the start.
- In the later afternoon race, Moffat ran strongly in the lead pack early.
- At the penultimate corner, Chaz Mostert spun out Shane Van Gisbergen. Unsighted, Moffat collected the stranded Holden, eliminating both on the spot.
“We made some positive changes to the setup overnight, and that allowed me to move forward in the first race to finish seventh,” said Moffat.
“Unfortunately, we were on the receiving end of some heavy damage in race two, when I collected a spun Shane Van Gisbergen, which ended our race early.
“As I was tucked up behind (Craig) Lowndes, I wasn’t able to see Van Gisbergen until the last second, and collected him head on, which was less than ideal.”
- Solid effort by the GRM crew to repair the number 34 machine for the third race.
- Straightforward affair for Moffat, who came through from 12th to finish in ninth.
“Thanks to the guys on the team, who have turned the car around to be as good as new,” said Moffat.
“Warmer conditions today proved to be challenging, with the car sliding around a lot more, but we still made progress in the race finishing ninth.”
- Starting from 18th position, Moffat was spun around at the first corner of the fourth and final race.
- Despite the dramas, Moffat rebounded strongly to finish the race in 12th position after 13 circuits.
“I got turned around at the start of race four and was lucky not to get collected by the oncoming field,” said Moffat.
“Again, we had good speed in the race and we recovered to finish 12th, which nice after being last.
“Overall, it was a pretty good weekend for us, and I felt we made some good progress with the car and explored some new areas of the setup, which gives us some good data to go over and have a better understand heading into Symmons Plains.”