EREBUS Motorsport opened its Gold Coast 600 campaign in encouraging fashion, with both cars featuring in the top-10 during Friday’s practice sessions on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
Fresh off a fourth placing at the Bathurst 1000 a fortnight ago, Erebus Team Beko brothers pairing Will and Alex Davison again displayed their pace in the #9 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
Will recorded the eighth fastest time (1.11.0) in the final practice session of the day, after Alex had earlier posted the ninth fastest time (1.11.8) in the second of the co-drivers practice sessions.
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In a further boost, the team’s brand new #4 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG passed its first test with flying colours after the team’s intense six-day build effort in order to line-up at the Gold Coast event following a major incident at Bathurst.
Holdsworth finished the opening practice session of the day in 14th position and co-driver Craig Baird set the 10th fastest time in the first of the co-drivers only practice sessions in an encouraging sign ahead of qualifying for tomorrow’s first 300km race.
Davison said he was pleased that he and brother Alex were able to feature in the top-10 during practice, with the promise of further improvement overnight heading into tomorrow morning’s qualifying session and Top-10 shootout.
“It’s a good start. It was certainly an encouraging day, that was about where I’d hoped we would be – around sixth to 10th – I thought that was where we should be gunning for and we’re on target at the moment,’’ said Davison.
“I’m satisfied with today considering in our first session we had problems with a steering rack and had to change the steering rack. I sat around for about four hours with no real feel for the first session which is never nice.
“But Alex seemed to be happy during the middle of the day and he certainly had a really good day, which gave me some confidence heading into the last session. As soon I went out with the other steering rack, which I never got to try, it felt normal and it is actually quite nice to drive.
“Hopefully we can tweak it up a little bit more for qualifying and consolidate a spot in the top-10.
“If we can maximise what we’ve got, we’ve got a good shot at being in the top-10 and if you’ve got a good race car, you can certainly move forward from there.
“So that’s what we’ve got to strive to do and it’s certainly good to be back in a genuinely competitive position.’’
Holdsworth said it was encouraging to have the car knocking on the door of the top-10 in its first session on the track, although improving the car’s set-up throughout the day was hampered after a minor hit with the wall during the afternoon’s third practice session.
“It was encouraging to roll the car out of the truck and have a car that was in the window,’’ said Holdsworth.
“We probably lost a bit of development time in Bairdo’s last session with him just swiping the wall. We got a bit of damage to an upright and the steering felt a bit funny in my session.
“So we were a session behind after that. We continued to improve the car but there is still a bit that we need to do overnight.
“I’m feeling confident we know which direction to go for qualifying,” he said.