Search for Speed Continues for Moffat at SMP

Wilson Security GRM driver James Moffat had a somewhat frustrating weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park, with the search for car speed made difficult by windy conditions on a low-grip circuit.

After a post-race technical infringement saw Moffat stripped of his Saturday result, the number 34 Holden Commodore rebounded to finish 14th in the longer Sunday sprint.

After 18 races of season 2017, Moffat currently sits 13th in the point standings.

Next up on the Supercars calendar is the season of endurance, with Moffat to be joined at the Sandown 500 on September 15-17 by GRM Super2 driver Richard Muscat.

Friday

  • Very windy conditions, which eased over the course of an otherwise fine weekend
  • Twin 45-minute-long practice sessions netted Moffat the 15th and 20th fastest times.

“Extremely windy conditions on Friday made for a challenging day trying to find the right setup, but the conditions were the same for everyone,” said Moffat.

“Still I can’t recall ever driving in such windy conditions, and surprisingly it was moving the car around quite a lot.

“It was obvious after the two sessions that we are struggling for speed, and unfortunately the car wasn’t very responsive to changes throughout the day.”

Saturday

  • The third and final 45-minutes of free practice placed Moffat once again 20th on the time sheets.
  • A theme of 20th placed results continued in the 15-minute qualifying session for the opening race of the weekend.
  • Following the initial exchanges, Moffat settled into 19th position on track, before making his compulsory pit stop on lap 16 after reaching the top-ten.
  • Involved in several scraps en route to the chequered flag, Moffat was classified in 16th after 31 circuits.
  • Following post-race scrutineering, the car was disqualified from the results with an irregularity found with the front splitter.

“It turned out to be a difficult day with a technical infringement resulting in being excluded from results,” said Moffat.

“That was pretty disappointing to be honest, because it was something completely out of my control.”

Sunday

  • The story of the final 20 minutes of qualifying: another session, another 20th place effort.
  • After an initial strong start, Moffat was hung wide at the final corner, and dropped back to 20th after the first circuit.
  • Under safety car, Moffat pitted with the bulk of the field, and returned to action in 21stafter being forced to double stack on the service.
  • Running a long middle stint, Moffat climbed as high as fifth position before pitting on lap 34 of 52.
  • Resuming in 22nd, Moffat used his superior quality tyres to his advantage on the run to the finish, passing drivers such as Alex Rullo, Alex Davison, Simona De Silvestro, Rick Kelly, Mark Winterbottom, James Courtney, Tim Slade, James Courtney and Lee Holdsworth.
  • Moffat eventually crossed the finish line in 14th place.

“We tried our best today, but 14th was all we could manage after having to queue behind car 33 in the pits for around 19 seconds,” said Moffat.

“Hopefully as a team we can improve the speed of the cars… although the endurance races are coming up, and the longer races could well suit us better, if we have more speed that will only put us in a stronger position.”

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