Photo credit: Colson Photography

Tyre degradation was the talking point across last weekend’s Shannons SpeedSeries event at Phillip Island, especially in the Trico Trans Am Series. For Jackson Rice, driver of the #7 Dream Racing Australia Mustang, the new track surface was tricky to get a handle on.  

 

Rice started off competitively, however was caught on the back foot after a blistered tyre saw him only complete half of Friday’s qualifying session, ultimately pushing him to finish mid-pack. 

 

It was a knock-on effect from there and a constant battle of playing catch up whilst trying to manage the tyres.  

 

Here’s what Jackson had to say after the weekend:  

 

“It was a bit of an interesting weekend,” said Rice.  

 

“We started off ok on Friday and seemed to have plenty of speed on used tyres in the practice sessions.  

 

“Come qualifying, we had an alright qualifying lap which originally put us into P8 and on the fourth row.  

 

“Halfway through the qualifying session though, we discovered that we had blistered one of the rear tyres, which was an on-going conversation for the whole category; tyre blistering and tyre degradation due to the new track surface.  

 

“Everyone with our type of tyre compound really struggled with the new surface and the compound. So, we decided to park the car halfway through the session so that we didn’t risk blistering another tyre.  

 

“Most of the other teams put greens on for the last half of qualifying and went a little bit quicker and obviously we were parked, so we dropped back to start the race in 11th.  

 

“We played that as a strategy that we were going to fight during the races rather than qualifying. So, it was a sacrifice we were willing to make.  

 

“Race one on Saturday, we made up a couple of spots, but we were having really big issues with the right rear tyre – which seemed quite common up and down pitlane. There were a lot of technical conversations happening behind the scenes to try and figure out what was happening.  

 

“It was a flow on effect from there, as drivers we were really trying to save tyres the entire time – which made it difficult to push hard and really go for it. I ended up finishing 11th for Saturday’s only race.  

 

“Come Sunday we got to race 2 and managed to stay out of trouble and brought the car across the line with no damage in P11. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite start the race where we had hoped and so we were playing catch up for most of the weekend.  

 

“Race 3, we had a great start and made our way up to fifth initially, but we had a couple of bumps and got shuffled down the pack, back to where we started. However, we managed to improve and save the tyre really well – unlike some guys who finished with blown tyres. We crossed the line in 12th 

 

“We learnt a lot over the weekend and about the high degradation of the track and how the car responds.  

  

“We capitalised where we could, I really enjoyed the round, and we came home with no damage and learnt a lot and of course, we banked as many points as we could given the circumstances. The times were so close throughout the field, so I think overall it was a pretty good weekend.  

 

“We’ll get ready for the next round, which is about 4 weeks away at The Bend! 

 

“A massive thanks to everyone that came out and watched over the weekend. And a big thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters. I really appreciate all of your continued support; it means a lot!” 

 

The Trico Trans Am Series next head to Tailem Bend in SA, 31 May -2 June.  

Results 

Friday – April 12th  

Practice 1 – 11th  

Practice 2 – 12th  

Qualifying – 12th  

 

Saturday 13th April  

Race 1 – 11th  

 

Sunday 14th April  

Race 2 – 11th  

Race 3 – 12th