I know, I said the same thing this time last year after Bathurst. Then I was catching Garth Tander with better tyres and more speed, but ran out of laps to pass him.This time the two lead drivers were running on fumes at the end while I had enough in the tank to run on full power and probably could have caught and passed them with one more lap.
But “could have” doesn’t win races. Still, we are delighted with third place considering the issues we had to overcome throughout the day -- such as car handling, tyres and the incredibly frustrating issue of double stacking in the pits.
You don’t lose a lot of time when you are stacked, but you lose valuable track position and then you spend the next session trying to get back to where you were. We played catch-up all day. In the end the car balance in the last run was sensational.
The track came to us and I was able to push the tyres for that whole run. We didn’t have any of the issues most teams had early in the day with tyres. We think that may have been caused by running the left wheels over the kerbs at Griffins Bend, Skyline and maybe the Chase.
Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell did a sensational job, but I think everyone acknowledges that the drive of the day went to David Reynolds and Dean Canto. It was also the drive of their careers so far. Dave has been showing great pace in qualifying all year but hasn’t been able to get a good race car balance and has had some bad luck.
I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of him on the podium in the future.There is talk about relaxing the rules on co-drivers which would allow Jamie and me to team up again. I think it’s a great idea to have that flexibility, but it would be mad for us if Jamie and I were challenging each other for the title again.
However, teams that are outside of the championship race could put their best drivers together and make a big impact at Bathurst and salvage something out of the year. For us, the Bathurst result means we leapfrog Frosty into second and are now within striking distance of the title.