The IRWIN Racing team fell short of expectation in qualifying for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 by missing out on a coveted place in the top ten shootout, but felt it was making progress in terms of car development.
With a further practice session tomorrow and the warm-up on Sunday morning, the team will make changes to the car and have the time to confirm the success of those changes.
While there was a level of frustration following qualifying, there was a feeling from Alex Davison, David Brabham and engineer David Stuart that they could produce a race car that would have good race pace and be consistent.
“You always want to be in the top ten, but the car is not quite there at the moment," Brabham confirmed, "All the changes that we've made to the IRWIN Ford so far will certainly help us find a solution.
"Obviously we don't have to think about the top ten, we'll just focus on the race which is a good thing. You could win this race from the pit-lane, you never know, the important thing for us is to get the car right for the race. I'm looking forward to getting in the car again tomorrow.
"We're going to make some changes over night. Each time I get in the car, I get more confident and more comfortable with the car – and the circuit. I'll be okay when it comes to race day, which is the main thing.”
With 161 laps ahead of the team, there is plenty of opportunity to record a very good result, and engineer Stuart is confident that the changes will take the blue-and-yellow Ford Falcon in the right direction.
“It is disappointing not to make the shootout, as you want the prestige at the event and the ego of it, but the race is 161 laps long," he pointed out, "We've been looking for balance the whole weekend and made an improvement for qualifying. We were reasonably competitive, but I think we should have finished a little higher up.
"We've got the opportunity to work on the IRWIN Ford tomorrow and the warm-up, and we have 161 laps to complete on Sunday. Basically IRWIN Racing needs to be on the lead lap, we need to have a car that can run with the leaders and this is our aim.
"The feedback from the drivers will help us get there; we're getting closer every session. By the time Sunday morning rolls around, I think we'll have a car that will be competitive all day. The aim is to finish up at the front. We started 24th at Phillip Island and made the top ten. I felt we should have finished sixth there based on the speed that we had. I think we can finish higher again on Sunday. I'd like to think closer to the five.”