Sandown GT Championship Preview
Richard Muscat may not have competed in the Australian GT Championship before, but the Erebus Academy driver is confident that he will successfully commence his assault at this week’s season opener at Sandown Raceway.
Recent testing at Winton and Phillip Island provided the 21-year-old with a chance to get to know the car and its handling.
“I was able to get a feel for the car and see how the car likes to be driven.
“Both days went really well – we were able to stick to our testing schedule and do everything we needed to do.”
“The benefit of testing at both Winton and Phillip Island is that we can gauge the car’s complete performance: the slow corners at Winton, and high speed aero at Phillip Island.”
In 2012 while racing in the Porsche 944 Challenge, Muscat set the qualifying lap record at Sandown, and outright lap record, which he still holds.
“I really like Sandown as it has a bit of everything – slow corners and high speed sections; the flow of the track suits my style really well.
“The most important corners are turns 4 and 12 – you need to make sure you get good exits out of them to set up for the straights.
“Also entry into the first corner and the turn 2-3 chicane are really important.
“With a lap time of around 1m08s, 1m09s, it’s not a long track, but both Dandenong Road and heading into turn 1 are high aero grip areas so they are crucial too.”
The Erebus Motorsport AMG SLS GT3 which will be driven by Muscat in 2014, was driven by fellow Erebus Academy driver Jack Le Brocq at two rounds of the AGTC in 2013.
“Given the recent testing and the car’s achievements last year, we are confident of the performance of the SLS, but it will be interesting to see how we will go against the other marques, and to see which tracks will suit which cars.”
The youngster will be up against some big names in the AGTC this year like John Bowe, Steven Richards and Steve Owen.
“It’s pretty cool to be racing against such big names, but when we’re racing, I just see them as another driver.
“If you want to be one of the best, you have to race against the best.
“It will be great to have them in the series and I hope to learn from them.”
Opening practice of the AGTC will get underway at Sandown at 10:40am on Friday 28th March.