McLaughlin, Premat satisfied despite testing crash
Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat have labelled their pre-Bathurst test a success, despite an early crash for the #17 DJR Team Penske Mustang at Queensland Raceway.
Premat suffered a front brake failure in the Shell Ford at Turn 4 during this morning's session, resulting in a high-speed excursion for the Frenchman.
The damage required more than two hours of repairs, before McLaughlin and Premat couldn’t continue with their Bathurst 1000 preparations.
Despite the lost track time, Premat reckons he has come away from the crucial test feeling comfortable in the car.
“Today I felt good," he said. "Obviously we had the problem with the brakes early in the day and the damage to the car, but the team got it fixed and the car has run really well for the rest of the day.
"I feel good in the car, I am happy, Scott is happy and now I feel like I am ready to go to Bathurst for the 1000 next week.
"We will debrief and talk it all through, but overall a good day.”
Runaway points leader McLaughlin added that it's better to have a brake failure during testing, rather than at Mount Panorama.
“We had that setback this morning with the brake failure when Alex was behind the wheel, but the team identified the problem quickly, got it fixed and got us back out there so the damage was minimised," he said.
"Better to have issues like that today, rather than at Bathurst next week. That’s what test days are for.
"The rest of the day went smoothly, the #17 Mustang was strong and Alex logged plenty of miles. Solid day.”
DJRTP ran three Mustangs at QR today, the McLaughlin/Premat and Fabian Coulthard/Tony D'Alberto entries joined by a car focussed on 2020 engine development.
Trialling the new rocker and ring package, as well as drive-by-wire throttle, the car was driven by Steve Johnson – his first hit-out in a Supercar since 2014 – and recently-crowned Super3 champion Broc Feeney.
Triple Eight also ran its two Commodores at QR, Jamie Whincup doing the lion's share of the work in the #88 entry, while co-driver Garth Tander did the heavy lifting in Shane van Gisbergen's #97 car.
“From my point of view it’s been great, obviously spending a lot of time in the car and developing that engineer-driver relationship with [race engineer Grant McPherson], which is critical when we go to the races," said Tander.
“They key thing is developing that language, that relationship, because we don’t have Sandown as the warm-up race.
“We’ve worked really hard all year to integrate myself into the team because I’m the new guy, and it feels like I’m speaking the same language, which has been really good.
DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang
Photo by: DJR Team Penske
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