Words with Cam Waters: That new car feeling

Supercars star and Motorsport.com columnist Cam Waters took his new wheels – last year’s title-winning Ford – for a spin at Winton earlier this week.

Words with Cam Waters: That new car feeling
Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia
Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia
Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia
Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia
Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia

It’s always a nice to drive a new car for the first time. Not that it’s technically a new car, just new for me. So Tuesday at Winton was definitely a good day.

To be perfectly honest, it didn’t feel all that much different to my old car – which is no surprise. As I said last week, the cars Prodrive build are all very similar, so it was never going to be a seismic shift.

But it was still an interesting experience. With the testing restrictions we have during the season, it was just nice to get out there and try a few things with the car, and a few things with my driving. It’s a rare opportunity, so it’s one you’ve got to grab with both hands.

Just being out there, doing laps, I feel that it helped me get a little more comfortable in the car. I’ve come out of it with a bit better understanding of the car, and how to get the best out of it. We made some headway in terms of how it reacts to changes as well.

I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the most productive test days I’ve ever had. The car felt great, and we made a lot of changes and did a lot of laps. I don’t think I’ve ever been that tired at the end of a test day, either.

It’s a good feeling to come out of with a sense of progress. It’s kind of like getting a good result on a race weekend… and hopefully the work we did will translate into results when we get to Townsville next week.

Hard to judge

Testing is kind of strange in that it’s hard to gauge where you’re actually at, in terms of pure pace. We were sharing the track with some Dunlop Series cars and some GT3 cars on Tuesday, so there was nothing there to use as a true benchmark of how quick we were.

So, instead it becomes about gauging what you’re learning, what you’re getting out of it. You look at where you start the day, and where you finish it – that’s your benchmark right there. And in that case, I feel like we made gains.

But that doesn’t guarantee that it’ll all work when you get to the next race. We’ll genuinely have to wait until we get to Townsville to see where we’re at.

Hopefully having that bit better understanding of the car will help us when it comes to qualifying next weekend. And if we can qualify well, then hopefully we can get a couple of good race results as well.

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