Dirtcomp editor Randall Kilner caught up with Greg Gartner to chat about his Stadium Super Truck Debut after race two at the Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 today.
The fast paced racing continued today for the Stadium Super Trucks at the Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600, with a early morning practice session and then Race 2 at lunchtime. Greg Gartner clocked another 12 laps in the practice session, continuing to adapt his technique from the familiar dust and trees to the tarmac and concrete surrounds.
After finishing 7th in Friday afternoons opening race, Gartner pulled the #14 Toyo / Clipsal 500 Stadium Super Truck into 6th on the grid for todays second 10 lapper. “We had about 5 minutes sitting on the startline after the roll around and you could see the crowd was out to see the trucks, it was fantastic.”
Running a cautious game plan, Gartner settled into the groove until the regroup.
“While under the yellow, if you looked left and right you could see the people clapping and cheering. These trucks are a real crowd pleaser.”
On the restart the rough and tumble of Stadium Super Trucks kicked up a gear. Greg got caught up behind a couple of other trucks than spun and lost momentum, then to frustrate matters had a soft altercation with a tyre barrier.
“I caught up to the other trucks again, but didn’t want to play too hard, so I hung back and got caught up in another trucks spin. I got going again and back past a couple then had a spin in the chicane at about 80-100kph, which was a crowd pleaser and fortunately I didn’t loose any track position.” Said Greg
Gartner brought the truck home in ninth position and can’t wait to get back out on the track for the final two races on Sunday.
“The jumps are huge and have taken their toll on my back and neck a little at the moment. But that doesn’t matter, when you put the helmet on you forget about the pain. So it’s all good. We’re keen to go again tomorrow.”
“Being the new kid on the block I have been cautious and didn’t want to tear Robbies stuff up. Tomorrow is the last day and I want to make sure we get to the last race. I’ll show a little more aggression and see what we can do. I still need more miles under my belt, but I’m starting to learn how to treat the truck and manage the tyres and brakes.”
“These little trucks are around 650hp. They’re small, skinny, short wheel based and left hand drive with big 35” Toyo’s and locked diff. To make them turn corners you need to show aggression.” And according to Greg it is very busy in the cab on the tight course, between the foot brake, turning brake, changing gears and pointing them in the right direction. “We’re learning on the fly, but they are a cool truck and we’re keen to keep pushing.”
Generating a reputation as a show stopper at Clipsal earlier in the year, huge crowds lined the fences today to witness the high flying Stadium Super Truck action. “People don’t walk away from the fence until the trucks are back in the pits. Queensland has now had a taste of what Clipsal delivered and I can see this being a big part of these events in the future. The trucks will be back at Clipsal next year and so will the crowds.” Said Greg
Gartner’s #14 Toyo Tyres Australia / Clipsal 500 SST will hit the track again to kick off proceedings tomorrow at the Castrol Gold Coast 600 at 8:10am (Qld Time) for Race 3, with the fourth and final race scheduled for 1pm, ahead of the final V8 Supercar Race.