11 drivers elected to test at Sydney Motorsport Park last Friday in searing heat, the East Coast of Australia is in a heatwave! Temperatures climbed to 44C but the cars managed to keep circulating.
Western Sydney Motorsport had seven cars here, their own Mustangs of Craig Thompson, Grant Thompson, and Craig Woods (Blake Sciberras is due to test in Queensland). Plus they had client cars join them from Jaie Robson, Ben Walsh and Charlotte Poynting.
At the other end of the pitlane was the Rinkin Racing team of Mike Rinkin, James Duckworth the category current champion, and two client cars that have joined them of Scott O’Keefe and Adam Cassuico.
Testing is ultra important before the season begins, and no more so than this year where the introduction of a new tyre manufacturer in Kumho – a new tyre and compound is being tested by everyone, also new this season are a category standard brake package from RDA Brakes, this will see everyone on the same brake packages, making for an even more level playing field in an already restricted category.
Only a handful of the cars were in their 2017 Livery and a number of the drivers were being very coy about the colours they’ll be running for the first round at Clipsal in a few weeks time, so as they say watch this space, as soon as they are launched they will be shared on the ARC Facebook page.
The teams ran different car setups over the day with some cars in SMP setup and some set for Clipsal so they could run comparisons.
The Media team shot some Facebook Live videos during the day and you can watch these below at your leisure.
Charlotte Poynting: “Its HOT damn HOT” the car temps are going up, especially when we come in, its almost too hot to test! The off seasons been tough, but I’m really happy to be back in the car.
Craig Thompson: “I’m in the new car so I’m short shifting looking after the car not putting the car under too much stress. Our aspiration for this year for the Western Sydney Motorsport team is to win as many races as we can and take the championship – simple!
Grant Thompson: “I’m pretty excited actually, Ive gone the fastest around here I ever have, first time back in the car since NZ – feeling really good about Adelaide, and with today being so damn hot its good preparation for the first round.
Mike Rinkin: “Amazing I’ve learnt more today than ever before, its fantastic I’m not going any faster (laughs) but at least we know what I’ve got to change to go quicker!”
James Duckworth: “I’m in the old car but we are testing the new brake package, which for us isn’t too hard as its what we used last year, RDA Brakes are our sponsors! Plus we are trying the new Kumho’s this is taking a bit longer but it’s the same for everyone”.
Ben Walsh: “Really looking forward to 2017 again with WSM this time in a Mustang – also really proud to be returning with my sponsors from last year in Dr Ink Collective Care and Raceline Motorsport Racewear – the series is looking like its going to be a super competitive year, the whole team has worked extremely hard in the off season to lift the bar.
Jeff Watters: “After strong performance toward the end of last year I’m looking forward to further improvements in the number 96 Cure for MND Foundation Nissan being prepared by the highly successful WSM team”.
Jaie Robson: “First time in my new car, can’t wait to get to Clipsal, first time on a street circuit, thanks to WSM whom I’m running with and big thanks to my main sponsor 6star – and dad J”.
Now the class turns to the first round for the 2017 Aussie Racing Cars Championship which as mentioned is the amazing Clipsal 500 alongside the Supercars – the class was absent last year and the call to have them back was strong from the fans. A field of around 40 cars is expected to put on a world class display of competitive racing, once again fans will be able to get close the cars and teams with the pits being accessible to the public. And of course, the four and five cars wide racing around the amazing Victoria Park circuit is sure to have the fans on their feet. The class never fails to shine at this event, it’s one of the teams and drivers most favourite events.
Keep an eye on the Aussie Racing Cars website and Facebook page for updates and more. This year will feature a Facebook LIVE session each day from every event, you’ll be able to pass on messages or ask questions of your favourite drivers.
The 5 Facebook LIVE videos we shot on the Friday Test Day.