It’s all systems go in the Greg Gartner Motorsport camp, as the former King of the Desert steps into unfamiliar territory, unleashing a Super Stadium Truck on the tarmac at the Castrol Gold Coast 600 this weekend. One of the stars of Australian Offroad Racing, and no stranger to catching plenty of air in his truck, Gartner was stoked to get the invitation to race, “It is exciting to have the opportunity to race at the Gold Coast 600 in the Stadium Super Truck Series, especially with the support of Toyo Tyres Australia and the Clipsal 500. I couldn’t resist coming up and having a go at it.”
With his National Circuit licence sorted, Gartner hit the track yesterday at Paul Morris’ Performance Driving Centre at Norwell on the Gold Coast and quickly settled into the groove under the guidance of Robby Gordon, who gave the Aussie’s some tips on how to get the best out of the small and nimble trucks on tarmac.
“The trucks have a short wheel base and the steering is very direct which takes a bit to get used to. I haven’t raced on bitumen before, so I have had to learn how to get them to turn, as they tend to push with the locked rear end. You need to master the handbrake to unsettle the rear to help them turn, making it pretty busy in the cab.”
Robby Gordon also took the opportunity yesterday to fine tune the trucks suspension for the bitumen, after their last outing on dirt in the USA. With the trucks serviced and sign written today, Gartner is looking forward to his first look at the Castrol Gold Coast 600 track, where the trees will make way for concrete walls and the whoops will be replaced with 5 huge manmade ramps strategically placed around the track.
“The Americans, Morris & Mingay have all got plenty of experience on tarmac, so hopefully we won’t be too far behind.” said Gartner.
The Stadium Super Trucks are all identically prepared, ensuring race winners are determined by driver skill rather than individual team engineering and budgets. Rolling on 35″ Toyo Open Country ATII’s, they pack a 650hp LS3 V8 under the hood, turbo 400 transmission, 9″ Diff with King Shocks controlling the 26″ of rear suspension travel.
The Stadium Super Trucks hit the track for the first time tomorrow at 10:15am. Stay tuned to Dirtcomp for updates across the race weekend.
GOLD COAST 600
STADIUM SUPER TRUCK SCHEDULE
Friday, October 23
10:15am-10:35am – Practice
5:45pm-6:05pm – Qualifying (10 laps)
Saturday, October 24
8:45am-9:05am – Practice
12:40pm-1:00pm – Race 2 (10 laps)
Sunday, October 25
8:10am-8:30am – Race 3 (10 laps)
1:00pm-1:20pm – Race 4 (10 laps)