Ipswich Preview

It’s hard to believe we’re half way through the season. This weekend we travel to Ipswich before we have an unexpected four week break due to the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur round.

This weekend is a milestone for me – something I didn’t realise until the guys at V8X Magazine (photo credit) posted it on their Facebook. It will be my 100th round this weekend! It makes me think back to all the people that have been involved in my career and that have helped me along the way. Too many people to thank…so I’ll just say a BIG THANKS to all of you!

I go into this round feeling pretty happy after our performance in Townsville. The developments we have made are paying off and the best thing about this is the fact I have been so heavily involved with the improvements. It’s great to be in an environment where I can be so closely involved in chasing speed at and away from the track. Everyone at Erebus are great to work with especially Baz (Barry Ryan) who took over engineering duties from Campbell Little. For those in the know, Barry also acts as GM of Erebus, so Baz deserves credit for the achievements we’ve made this year.

Behind the scenes there’s been a lot going on. As you may know by now, my team mate Aaren Russell will not be competing with us for the remainder of the year and will be replaced by my 2016 enduro co-driver Craig Baird for this round. Aaren and I have become good mates this year and he will be missed by all of us including the crew. I want to wish Aaren all the best for the future and really do hope we’ll see him racing in V8Supercars again. Aaren is a determined professional and he is a racer. It’s not easy to get the opportunity to race in V8Supercars. Don’t give up mate!

The other big news is that we’ll be moving to a new factory. The new facility is in Dandenong in the south east of Melbourne. It is currently being improved before we move all of our equipment there. For the team this is yet another challenge and disruption. Some people forget the whole team moved from Queensland to Melbourne over summer. But knowing how determined this team is to succeed, I have no doubt it will be yet another achievement we will reflect upon in 2016.

It’s been a really busy couple weeks for me personally. It was great to catch up with Joe Calleja from Apex Steel – see www.apexsteel.com.au. Joe is a racer himself and competes in international historic racing. I also caught up with Mitch and Scott from Fuel Autotek, see www.fuelautotek.com.au. The boys were displaying their range of TSW Alloy Wheels and MOMO gear at the Melbourne Showgrounds as part of an automotive festival. I also travelled to New Zealand for a few days to promote their round of the championship – that’s always fun!!
A big shout out to the guys at Penrite too. Jarrod and Toby work tirelessly in support of our team, so I hope our results last round made you smile.

Looking at this weekend, I believe our Penrite-Hungry Jacks Racing Commodore can challenge for a top 10 result. If we can maintain the speed we had at Townsville then I believe we can challenge for a podium. I haven’t enjoyed a lot of success at this track, but I have been unlucky on a few occasions. Hopefully our car suits the track. Without much data to go on we can only try a few things.

Well…. I better head off to the airport now! A quick shout out to my personal sponsors MONGREL BOOTS – TSW ALLOY WHEELS – MOMO – PLUS FITNESS – UNIT – APEX STEEL – HARLEY HEAVEN – CANNONDALE. Thanks also for the messages I received after the Sunday race at Townsville – it’s good to be up the front again!

DR

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