Preview: Winton SuperSprint
Todd Hazelwood will make his Winton SuperSprint debut this weekend, as part of the sixth round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
The Bigmate Racing driver is excited about the challenge ahead and is looking forward to returning to the Victorian circuit, having last raced there in 2015 (Dunlop Series).
“Really looking forward to Round 6 of the championship this weekend, Winton is a track I enjoy and being on the super soft compound will make the racing and strategy interesting for the spectators,” Hazelwood said.
“I haven’t raced on the track since it was re-surfaced, but a test day with Brad Jones Racing last season taught me a lot and I’ll be using that knowledge to the best of my ability.”
The 22-year-old reflected on the previous event at the Perth SuperSprint, adding they discovered crucial information at the Barbagallo circuit.
“I’m feeling quite positive after our recent round in Perth, I felt that we made some really good performance gains and most importantly, we are beginning to understand the changes we are making and what direction in set-up to take,” Hazelwood said.
“These are all very minor gains but I know it is only a matter of time until it all clicks and we’ll put together a strong performance.
“Wes McDougall [Hazelwood’s engineer] and I have had good discussions post-Perth and we are ready to tackle the challenges presented to us this weekend.”
Hazelwood mentioned that this weekend’s event at Winton will see the championship revert to the standard qualifying system, which will see valuable practice time for the team.
“Although the knock-out style qualifying system has been great for the fans at the track recently, it has been super tough for a new team like us trying to learn,” Hazelwood said.
“It puts a strong emphasis on practice and it doesn’t give us enough opportunity to sort out our chassis.
“This weekend going back to the three 45-minute practice sessions will be a great benefit for us and hopefully this will help us set up a solid weekend of results.”
The South Australian added that he is proud of everyone involved in this year’s Supercars campaign.
“Very proud of our team in the way they have handled the set-backs and taken on the challenge to keep pushing for success, it would be great to have a strong result to reward them for their efforts,” Hazelwood added.
“A special thank you to all of the key people, team partners and supporters for their amazing belief in our team … it has been a tough start, however it is only Round 6 of 16 and we have a long way to go in this championship.
“I will keep fighting for the ultimate result.”
Team Owner Matt Stone said this will be beneficial for the team at Winton.
“With Bryce racing a car very similar to Todd’s in the Dunlop Super2 Series, the transition phase will be minimised, which will help chassis feedback and gain a good direction for setup for the remainder of the weekend,” Stone said.
The Bigmate Racing team will be on track for the Winton SuperSprint on 18-20 May.
Winton SuperSprint: Schedule
10:05 – Additional Drivers Practice
12:00 – Practice 1
14:35 – Practice 2
10:30 – Practice 3
12:40 – ARMOR ALL Qualifying (Race 13)
15:50 – Race 13 (40 laps)
10:25 – ARMOR ALL Qualifying (Race 14
13:45 – Race 14 (67 laps)