The high flying Stadium Super Trucks returned to the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide for the third time on the weekend with Penola’s Greg Gartner once again piloting the #410 R&J Batteries truck in the three race event. Amidst a line up of international stars including Robby Gordon, Sheldon Creed and ex-V8 Supercar pilot Paul Morris, Gartner more than held his own to finish a consistent sixth in each of the three races.
Teething issues with the truck during Thursday’s practice and qualifying sessions put Gartner behind the eight ball early in the weekend.
“Unfortunately we did a power steering belt during practice then the afternoons qualifying session was also cut short when we broke an axle. So we only had limited time to test and re-acclimatise to the truck, leaving us to chase set-up all weekend. Because we are not in SST all the time every lap is very valuable to me to get to understand how the truck works, especially as we spend most of our time racing on dirt not tar.”
“Everything started to fall into place on Sundays final race, but it was cut short and we only got 4-5 racing laps in due to Dontas’s roll early in the race. But it was the best the truck had been all weekend, after some changes to the set up and adjustments to my driving style. You need to be aggressive with these trucks and be prepared to rub panels. I generally have kept it clean, and everyone else doesn’t mind swapping a bit of paint, so we need to get more aggressive with the truck and push a little harder.”
“I might be biased as it is only 400k from home, but there is little doubt that Clipsal is my favourite circuit behind the wheel of a SST. The run out of turn 7, then launching off the jump and opening the taps wide open down the hill and through the kink at 8 is an absolute blast. It’s not without its challenges, those concrete walls are narrow and can be unforgiving. There is little margin for error when it comes to getting the truck around the hairpins on turns 9 and 14. I’d love to get out there and clock up some serious lap numbers like the Supercar boys get to do.”
“The crowd can’t get enough of it. They pack the fence whenever we race and they all love the SST and we hope they come back to Adelaide next year. A lot of people come up from home and make this their annual 3-4 days of holidays and enjoy the motorsport. It is our local event and local city and we love being part of the show.”
“Clipsal delivers the full package. Great racing on the track with the Stadium Super Trucks, Supercars and other categories, then off the tarmac there is the EnduroX, concerts and heaps more. We have a lot of friends and family travel up from the South East for the event and a lot of the US SST drivers rate this as one of the best.”
With the season just kicking into gear there opportunities coming up to get back in the #410 R&J Batteries Stadium Super Truck hot seat in Perth and also the possibility of some races in the US and China. “We’ll need to keep the right balance between work and play, but we cant wait to get more laps under our belt in the SST” said Greg “we also have plenty penciled in on the offroad racing calendar in our Extreme 2wd Trophy Truck.”
“The team would like to welcome CASE IH Agriculture and Hage Tractors on board for the 2017, joining our valued partners R&J Batteries, Fuchs, Toyo Tyres Australia, ATI Industrial, Craig Carrison Race Engines, JB Irrigation, CJM Attachments, Millicent Tyre Centre, CAPPA Motorbodies, Dirtcomp and Albins.”
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