The Supercar circus has made its way to the Top End for the annual Darwin Triple Crown this weekend.
Everyone from Melbourne loves this event, particularly due to the warm weather, which at this time of year is quite a nice temperature change for us southerners!
The Darwin locals always get behind this event and it makes for a great atmosphere at the track and throughout the whole town. Drivers and teams are made to feel very welcome and it’s really enjoyable racing in front of the Territorian crowds.
The Hidden Valley circuit itself is quite technical and it’s pretty short with around a one minute ten second lap time.
The corners range from one extreme to the other. We go from a high-speed approach into turn 1 where we are tapped out on the rev limiter at about 285 km/h in sixth gear, to the turn 6 hairpin where it’s first gear and about 45 km/h. Ironically, these are also the two main passing opportunities on the circuit.
Elsewhere it can be tricky to pass, even with the long main straight because the track temperatures are so high it can be easy to overheat the engine if you’re following other cars closely, and this affects horsepower.
Generally we’ll be affected by very high tyre degradation due to the heat and it can be easy to overheat the tyres very quickly. During the race it’s important to be smart in how you drive the car to use up as little of the tyre as possible.
I love this track, maybe because I’ve tended to go well there over the years! Especially way back in my early days of Formula Ford.
It’s a special place because it’s where I got my first podium for Brad Jones Racing – finishing third in the Saturday race last year. Last year I also qualified in the top ten for both races; the first time I’d done that in Darwin in a Supercar.
I have a couple of updates for Car 8 in Darwin. Andrew Edwards will again be engineering my car at this event. He helped me get a podium result at the Australian Grand Prix earlier in the season, so no pressure on him! I’m hoping he can work to get us battling out for a podium again this year in the ZB Commodore.
I’m pumped to get back behind the wheel and challenge to be the first driver to claim the Triple Crown.
Remember, you can follwow Nick on social media for updates across the event.
Instagram - @nickpercat