While VX Racing team-mate Matt Neal tried out the Supercheap Auto Racing Holden Commodore he will use at Phillip Island and Bathurst earlier this week, Fabrizio Giovanardi also made the trip down under to sample his Team Vodafone Ford Falcon.
The defending HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship title winner was joined by Marc Hynes for the trip to Australia, with the pair set to team up for the two V8 endurance events in the #88 entry. Team Vodafone regulars Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup will then share the #888 machine.
Giovanardi found his rhythm quickly, emulating the braking points of Craig Lowndes and consistently reducing his own lap times at the technical Queensland Raceway circuit - his only challenge being to find the best racing line, with the Falcon's cornering characteristics differing greatly from his regular front-wheel-drive ride.
“It was a big surprise for me, the car was completely different to drive than I had expected,” he said. “It was also much more powerful and I had to adapt my driving from a front wheel to rear wheel drive. I am very excited - I know with more testing we can improve our driving and enjoy these type of cars.
“I am not completely consistent yet, I want to get back out there and understand the car a little better."
Hynes completed 90 laps aboard the TeamVodafone V8 Supercar and impressed the team on debut with his line selection on what was his first outing in a touring car.
“We did plenty of miles, it was good to get in the car finally after watching them go around all weekend,” he said. “It was pretty much as I expected except the car doesn't roll as much as I thought.
“That was my first go in a touring car and it was fun. The braking feels very vague to me as I am used to F1-style brakes so I am going to have to completely adapt my braking style.”
“The focus point for me at the next test will definitely be braking.”