Triple Eight says 'no excuses' for poor Supercars testing pace
Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton says it was a sheer lack of pace, not external issues such as tyre quality, that left his squad languishing down the timesheets at Phillip Island today.
There was no sandbagging or poor tyre quality contributing to the lowly results either. Dutton reckons it was all down to issues adjusting to a linear-style damper following the twin-spring ban.
"We need to make sure that we get on top of it," he said.
"Our set-ups, in the rear in particular, were very, very non-linear in the past. So we're making a big change.
"The thing is, you then have your dampening and geometry and bars and everything set-up for the way you work. Even though a linear is a more simple thing, when the rest of your car is tuned for a very non-linear set-up, there's a lot of differences you need to get on top of.
"We definitely got through some good learning today, some good testing, but you see on the timesheets – that's not because we didn't have enough tyres. There's no excuses. We just need to analyse exactly what we did.
"That said, we didn't just spend the whole day trying to make the car fast for Phillip Island, because the next event we go to is a polar opposite. It's actually a really hard decision to make, how much time you spend learning and understanding your tools for the next event and for the majority of the events.
"Phillip Island is very unique, it's quite close to Bathurst, it's similar-ish to The Bend, but it's not identical to either of them. It is very unique. But that said, we wanted to go quicker than we did on the timesheets."
One positive for Dutton was that the feedback from van Gisbergen and Whincup was identical, that consistency crucial to finding the right set-up.
"They were almost saying the exact same things, which make sense and was really good," he said.
"The cars were very, very, very similar, so for the comments to be almost identical is a credit to the build of the cars, because then it is where the engineers think it is.
"We just need to put it in a better spot."
Despite the difficult day at The Island, Dutton isn't ruling out a continuation of T8's recent dominance in Adelaide when the season kicks off in a couple of weeks.
"There'll be work to do," he said. "We learnt a lot, but obviously you'd still like to be able to put everything on and go quick at whichever track you go to.
"But, that said, we do have a track record [in Adelaide]. We'll be working really, really hard to make sure that we roll out quick and then also that we've got all of the tools in the toolbox to tune the car for the different conditions."
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