Championship contender Ryan Suhle has topped both of Friday’s practice sessions at Sydney Motorsport Park, as the intra-AGI Sport rivalry between he and Jayden Ojeda intensifies.
The field contested the sessions with used Hankook tyres from the previous round at Winton, and combined with the warm conditions on track, made it hard work for the drivers.
With the drivers fresh from the recent double-round at Winton, tomorrow’s Castrol Pole Position and three races across Saturday and Sunday seem leisurely in comparison.
“It’s been a bit of a slow day compared to Winton where we did so many sessions in one day,” Suhle said.
“It’s one of the more technical tracks that we go to. Friday’s been good fun to get out with no pressure. We’re looking to build on that… everyone in the field struggled a bit in that session with the tyres overheating.
“It’s quite a hard track to find the right pressures. We hit the nail on the head a bit, and to be P1 is fantastic.”
Though Ojeda wasn’t phased to continue his streak of recent Friday practice success from past rounds.
“Friday’s been alright. The car is surprisingly a bit different, but we’ll work on that and see what the rest of the weekend brings,” Ojeda said.
“Friday’s a bit of a rehearsal. We try to fine tune the balance. This is our home track, so we do have a pretty good setup around this joint, so the balance changes that we do are very minor. A lot of it’s trying to get everything in check, get a nice race setup for the three races this weekend.”
Ojeda and Suhle were only split by 0.1 seconds in both practice sessions, though tomorrow all drivers will enjoy the luxury of a fresh set of Hankook slicks.
“On Friday we use older tyres from previous rounds, I’m pretty sure they’re from Winton so they’re a bit past their use by date,” Aaron Love, who was P3 in practice two, said.
“Tomorrow for qualifying we’ll head out on new boots, so they’ll be more grippy and pick up some more time there. Today’s all about figuring out what the car’s going to do on older tyres so it’s still very important.”
Today also saw the unique Motum Simulation VSR Showdown’s Live Qualifying at Sydney Motorsport Park. In what is the first CAMS-sanctioned Esports event, tomorrow brings a series of knockout races with the finale taking place on Sunday.
Patrizicorse’s Jackson Walls also set a guest lap time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“The Motum Simulator is really good, using VR is something new to me,” Walls said.
“It was crazy! My hands felt like they were in the car itself. It was totally different and immense, it’s very realistic.”
The ultimate prize for Sunday’s Esports winner will be a test day aboard an Australian Formula 4 car at the end of this year.
Saturday morning will see the Formula 4 field contest the Castrol Pole Position at 11:20am, with the first 11 lap race at 4:20pm.
Sunday’s final two Formula 4 races will be streamed live and free from the Shannons Nationals, available at formula4.com.au and thenationals.com.au.