FullGas Racing Subaru WRX STI drivers Dimitri Agathos and Lachlan Gibbons believe tyres will be the talk of the pits at this weekend’s final round of the 2018 Australian Production Car Series, the Phillip Island 6 Hour.
The high-speed circuit is notoriously punishing on tyres, due to the extreme loads generated through the sweeping corners. But Agathos and Gibbons think the tyre conservation of their Nova Employment/Castrol/Whiteline/All Drive Subaroo/Hog’s Breath Café North Parramatta Subaru will be a strength.
“Our car has always been kinder to its tyres than others, and hopefully that will serve us well this weekend,” Agathos said.
“In the last round at Sydney Motorsport Park, we saw that tyres were a factor and a few teams suffered punctures; the tyre degradation at Phillip Island is expected to be even worse.
“We’re expecting we will have to change at least one tyre in each of our pit stops, but at SMP our pace over a stint was very consistent, where some other cars fell away towards the end.”
Last year, the FullGas Racing team was one of the standout performers in wet conditions during practice and qualifying; Agathos and Gibbons were among the fastest drivers and were well in contention for an outright podium result until a suspension failure ended their day.
“Obviously we always hope for wet weather, because it works to our advantage, but even in the dry I think Phillip Island will be one of the tracks better suited to our car,” Gibbons said.
“Our corner speed just as good as, if not better than, any other car in the field and the main straight is entered through a very fast corner, which minimises our straight-line performance deficit.
“Of course, in a long-distance endurance race like this, we’ll need to ensure our pit stops and strategy are on the money; at Sydney Motorsport Park the team performed excellent stops and made the right strategic calls with Safety Cars, so I’m confident we can read the play this weekend and hopefully be somewhere on the lead lap for the final sprint to the finish.”
The FullGas Racing outfit will be on track for practice tomorrow, followed by qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
Friday, 2 November
10:05am – Practice 1 (30 min)
1:10pm – Practice 2 (30 min)
Saturday, 3 November
10:35am – Practice 3 (30 min)
1:15pm – Qualifying (20 min)
2:45pm – Shootout (15 min)
Sunday, 4 November
9:05am – Warm-up (20 min)
10:40 – Race (360 min)