Q & A: Priaulx on Surfers V8 outing

V8 Supercar has invited a host of international guest stars from IndyCar, World Touring Cars and beyond for this weekend's Surfers Paradise event, among them multiple WTCC champion Andy Priaulx, who is teaming up with Craig Lowndes at the Triple Eight team

Q & A: Priaulx on Surfers V8 outing

Priaulx was the quickest of the guest drivers in today's practice sessions, and talked to AUTOSPORT about his progress afterwards.

Q. You've had a good start to this weekend...

Andy Priaulx: Yes. It's been going pretty good. I like the car. It seems to suit my driving style a bit more. These cars are so big and so heavy. They're fast, but they don't like to stop. So, they're really difficult to drive.

I was quickest in the first session right at the end. I haven't been here before and obviously the Indy guys were straight on it because they know the track. I feel very comfortable with the car and ultimately we have to work a little bit more on the set-up and hopefully tomorrow we can qualify really strongly and we'll see what happens in the race.

Q. Some drivers are saying this is a bit of fun, but drivers always want to win whenever they get behind the wheel don't they?

AP: When you're with a top team like this it's not fun, you've got to do your job. I think I'm the only driver here that's supporting a championship driver. Craig [Lowndes] is still in the championship, so I've got a very important job to do.

[Triple Eight boss] Roland Dane launched my touring car career so I feel like I want to do a good job for those guys as well. I'm pleased I'm on the pace - it seems I'm on a similar speed to the regular drivers - Steve Owen drove the car at Philip Island and Bathurst and I'm within a tenth of him - so that's not bad.

Q. The cars are a tonne-and-a-half when full of fuel, have you tried a full tank yet?

AP: I did my first full fuel run at Willowbank and yes, it's gonna be strange, wheel locking and all of that. The first few laps are going to be awkward, I'd say.

Depends if we can get it off the line - I'm probably going to end up starting the race, I think all the international drivers will - so it's going to be interesting with us all on the grid.

I hope I'm near the front of the grid and that if there are any stallers they're behind me. Saying that it could be me! They've got so much power and hardly any grip you can easily spin up and look like a numpty sat on the grid in loads of tyre smoke.

Q. It's quite a narrow track. Are there any obvious overtaking points?

AP: Turn 2 and maybe Turn 11, but they're not easy passing places. And these races are sprint races even though they are 300km it'll be '10 tenths' all the way. Last year I did Bathurst and I was in qualifying mode for the whole six or eight hours or whatever. It seems like most endurance races are like that now. The cars are really good fun to drive, but very, very hard.

Q. After this is a jaunt over to Japan for the next WTCC race in Okayama...

AP: Japan's going to be very important for me. I've got come away from there with a strong chance in the championship. I'm second at the moment, I need to come away having reduced the gap to Yvan [Muller]. He's clearly had a strong package this year, but I'm hanging on in there. Okayama could be good for us, it might suit the car and if we can go to Macau with a chance of the title then anything can happen - it's a casino!

shares
comments
Winterbottom tops final practice
Previous article

Winterbottom tops final practice

Next article

Holdsworth fastest in qualifying

Holdsworth fastest in qualifying
Load comments
The well-travelled racer now Supercars' elder statesman Plus

The well-travelled racer now Supercars' elder statesman

James Courtney has been around the block in his motorsport career it's fair to say. After a single-seater career cut short, he's won everything there is to win in Supercars. Following a rocky ride recently in the Australian category, he's found a happy hunting ground with Tickford Racing, as Andrew van Leeuwen explains

Supercars
Oct 19, 2021
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Plus

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 16, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Plus

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Aug 31, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Plus

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 25, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Plus

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 23, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Plus

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

OPINION: Roger Penske's operation helped lift Dick Johnson's faltering Ford team back to the top of Australian tin-tops. But, despite The Captain's departure, along with star driver Scott McLaughlin, there's no reason to expect an imminent decline from DJR

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Why Whincup's next move is no calculated gamble Plus

Why Whincup's next move is no calculated gamble

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But the team's outgoing boss Roland Dane has full faith that he'll be up to the task

Supercars
Feb 5, 2021
The top 10 Supercars drivers of 2020 Plus

The top 10 Supercars drivers of 2020

In a year of few constants, the Australian Supercars championship could be relied upon for its usual blend of rough and tumble racing with a V8 soundtrack. But who were its top performers in 2020?

Supercars
Dec 27, 2020