Both of MILES Racing’s simPRO Racing Falcons finished today’s first race at Barbagallo in the top ten, giving the team promise of an even better performance in tomorrow’s second and final race.
Ash Walsh and Chaz Mostert qualified for today’s 28-lap race in 8th and 16th places respectively, and after struggling to find the ‘perfect’ set up earlier in the day would have been content with maintaining these positions throughout today’s race.
But an overhaul of the front suspension geometry on Mostert’s #10 simPRO Racing Falcon prior to the race paid dividends, with the young Queenslander enjoying good speed late in the race enabling him to move up through the field when other’s rubber failed them. Mostert made up six places through the course of the race and his move further up the ranks was only curtailed by race distance. Mostert eventually crossed the line to finish in eighth place.
“The car was much better this afternoon,” Mostert said.
“The balance of the car was much more consistent and it obviously was looking after its tyres much better towards the end of the race.
“I probably could have used my bars (driver-assisted suspension adjustment) a bit better to squeeze more out of it but there was so much going on with people spearing off left, right, and centre I had my hands full in trying to avoid being collected by them,” he added.
The race was punctuated by several Safety Car periods when a number of drivers found themselves in the numerous sand-traps, either the result of an on-track altercation or from their own undertaking.
“It would have been nice not to have the Safety Cars because every time we did the tyres cooled and took a lot to get back up to some good enough grip – which is what no of us really had out there in the first place,” Mostert said.
“When people’s tyres started going off and binning it, I was actually doing ok, and that is where I was able to make most of my positions up.
“I’m feeling a lot better about the car now and am really looking forward to tomorrow,” he said.
Starting from eighth on the grid, Walsh in the #90 simPRO Racing Falcon, also made a good start but soon got swamped when pushed wide at turn two. Back in 11th place, Walsh found the going tough in the slippery conditions and found himself being hit several times in what was a generally rough race.
“Overall it was a pretty good day – I would have liked to finish higher than I started but after all the hustling out there I was actually happy just to have finished,” Walsh said.
“I got hit in the rear pretty hard a few times to the point where the car actually felt like it had something broken, which I suppose we’ll find out tonight when we go over it.
“Other than being tagged a few times, I did struggle on my own through the bowl in third gear and plenty of understeer which cost me a bit of time but overall we made the most of the situation,” he added.
“Tomorrow I just need to get a better start and not hung out to dry – I’m happy with a top ten start and think with a couple of changes overnight to bring my car a little more in line with Chaz’s we’ll be looking good,” Walsh said.
MILES Racing’s simPRO Racing Falcons return to the circuit tomorrow for the second and final 28-lap race at 3.25pm.