2017 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Champion Nick Rowe has enjoyed a successful Evaluation Day with Supercars squad Brad Jones Racing at Winton.
It was the West Australian’s first experience behind the wheel of a Supercar and, whilst Rowe set out to make a good impression, it was certainly a day to remember.
“I tell you what…. this is a good time,” Rowe said.
“I can’t believe how much power the Supercars have. I got told they wouldn’t turn like I wanted, but it did. It’s a lot of fun.
“That first session when I went out, I put the foot down and lit it up like you wouldn’t believe. It was awesome.
“There is a total different technique behind driving a Supercar. It was an eye-opening experience.”
Once the excitement of his new office subsided, Rowe put to work in adapting his driving technique to the BJR Commodore.
“The biggest difference between these and the F4 cars is the right foot braking,” Rowe said.
“I ran off the road once during the day. I was pushing a little harder and the track was getting quite hot, it was hectic.
“There’s a lot to get right. You have to control the throttle a lot more, but in saying that these cars have really good power to get you out of a spot if you make a little mistake.”
It wasn’t the first tin-top experience for Rowe, campaigning a MARC Sports Car at the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2016. That experience proved invaluable, as he was reunited with his then engineer for today’s Supercars test.
“I worked with engineer Paul Forgie, who I’ve previously worked with in the MARC, so it was good to have him there for support as he knows these cars really well,” Rowe said.
“We’ve been chipping away at the times all day. We were a second off at the start, and got a bit closer as the day went on. It was such a great experience, thanks to Brad and the team for making it happen.”
The day featured another Australian Formula 4 graduate in Zane Goddard also sampling the BJR Commodore. In an almost exclusive career racing open-wheelers to date, it was also an impressive experience for the young Queenslander.
“There is a lot more power in these cars, which is good fun. You’ll never complain about that as a racing car driver,” Goddard said.
“I didn’t quite know exactly what to expect coming into the test days. The Supercar had better handling than I expected as I thought it would be quite heavy and slow to change direction, but it was a pleasant surprise as to how good it was.”