Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Aug Sept 2014 Issue 82 Contents 6464
PIRTEK ENDURANCE CUP
AverAge speeD: 164km/h
top speeD: 270km/h
QUALiFYing LAp recorD
Jamie Whincup (2013)
Holden Commodore VF
Dunlop hard tyre
rAce LAp recorD
Garth Tander (2009)
Holden Commodore VE
Dunlop soft tyre
Jamie Whincup &
Paul Dumbrell (Triple Eight)
Holden Commodore VF
SEPTEMBER 12-14, 2014
Scan to watch highlights
of the 2013 Sandown 500.
The three events that make up the Pirtek Endurance
Cup couldn’t be more different.
A single 500km race at Sandown has been the tradi-
tional curtain-raiser and has its own set of unique chal-
lenges. Bathurst is Bathurst, a tough 1000km race on
one of the most challenging tracks in the world. And
then there is the Gold Coast 600, two 300km races on
the brutal Surfers Paradise street circuit.
According to Mark Dutton, team leader at Red Bull
Racing Australia and former lead engineer with Jamie
Whincup, the Sandown and Gold Coast tracks are
similar in terms of what you need to deal with but
Sandown holds the real key to the endurance races.
“You’ve got to get your co-driver up to speed quickly,
and then you’ve got to work out your reliability,” he
says. “Even though we’ve done a season or two in these
new cars we’ve been making new parts all the time, and
while they might have hung together over 200km, will
it make 500km or 1000km?
“Sandown and Gold Coast are similar in terms of
setup because they are both ‘kerby’, so riding the kerbs
is critical,” he says. “Sandown is a pretty cool track, it
has got a little bit of everything in it, slow-speed, high-
speed, kerbs, bumps... the lot.
“Obviously you have to build economy into the car,
but then you’ve got to work out with the drivers where
you can save fuel on the track without losing too much
time. Change early, smooth transition and so on, it is
all about the drivers and you have to get into that in
practice while also finding speed for qualifying. We can
all go slow and save fuel, but that won’t win.
“Better fuel economy opens up windows. You can
lose a 15-second lead with a safety car but if you need
five seconds of fuel less on that last stop even a safety
car can’t take that away. We try lots of techniques for
the drivers and we spend a lot of time as engineers
trying to find every advantage.”
It goes without saying that you need a gun co-driver
if you want to win, which is why the asking price for
some of the co-drivers has reached similar amount as
the lesser drivers are getting for an entire season.
The likes of Greg Murphy, Steven Richards, Paul
Dumbrell, Jonathon Webb, Warren Luff, Steve Owen,
Alex Davison, Dean Canto, Steven Johnson and more
have all had full-time drives in the main game.
A few could still be strutting their stuff but, with so
few winning drives in the sprint race, decided it would
be better to zone out and target Bathurst wins with
the big boys.
“We’ve got the two best co-drivers in the business,
but we put of lot of effort into getting that right,”
Dutton says. “We were ecstatic when Richo gave us a
call last year, and for us this is a real bonus.”
Most of the co-drivers run in others series such as
Carrera Cup or the Development Series to keep their
pace up, but nothing matches time in a V8 Supercar.
Now that co-drivers don’t have sessions during the
year, it is important the car is relatively quick when it
rolls out of the truck. If you have to chase speed, then
the co-driver will spend a lot of time watching while
others do laps.
Strategy-wise, the races have opened up with the
smaller runs on a tank of fuel. Sandown is five stints,
Bathurst nine, so if you start the co-driver you can
double-stint the critical final laps. You can’t do that
with an inexperienced co-driver.
Sandown, as Dutton said, is about bedding every-
LEFT: Paul Dumbrell
reunites with Jamie
whincup in 2014, looking
to claim a first Pirtek
Endurance Cup for the pair
and back-to-back titles for
their Triple Eight team.
V8X82 p62-66 Endurance Cup.indd 64
11/7/14 1:11:39 PM
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