Practice and Qualifying at the Clipsal 500

15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (8)Any Given Reason has joined forces with the Koala Motorsport team for Adelaide’s Clipsal 500, helping out where possible and reporting on the team’s efforts competing in the Australian GT category in their Ferrari F430 GT3. With practice and qualifying now done, it is a good opportunity for a quick update on progress before racing begins.

15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (10)You can read more about the F430 in AGR’s pre-event post, but coming into the event we were a little concerned about shift troubles with the F1 gearbox system. We have a complete, brand new F1 system ready and waiting if it needs to be swapped in, however it looks as if the repairs have worked and the car has run perfectly for the last two days. 

15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (6)Team Manager Simon runs a tight ship, and he’s been making sure we’re in the right places at the right time and that we’re doing everything by the book.

15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (11)This year we welcome aboard Mario from Veloce Motorsport, who alongside team mechanic Fred has been taking car of the vehicle engineering side of things.

15_AGR_Clipsal_215_AGR_Clipsal_2 (1)Mario and Fred have been taking care of the nitty gritty preparation tasks…

15_AGR_Clipsal_1… and they’ve given me the task of cleaning the car thoroughly after each session. I think it’s more just to keep me out of the way than anything else, but at least it makes me feel like a proper race engineer for a short while.

15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (4)Team driver Brenton Griguol has qualified the F430 into 24th place out of 34 cars, which I think is a pretty decent effort given the trusty old F430 is a full eight years older than the front running cars. It’s only his second race in the car too, so we’re hoping he can squeeze another few seconds out of the car and track. But at the end of the day we’re here for kicks, and we’re definitely having fun.

15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (7)Tomorrow morning’s race should be very interesting. There are a few quick cars behind us who didn’t get a clean qualifying lap in who will be eager to make their way through, and there’s an off chance that the track might still be damp from overnight rain. We have a half hour race Saturday morning, a one hour race on Saturday night and another half hour race on Sunday morning.

15_AGR_Clipsal_2 (4)GT’s aside, there’s plenty else happening around the track.

15_AGR_Clipsal_2 (6)Toyota Australia chose the day and a very noisy pit garage to launch their new 86 Pro Am one make series for the Toyota 86, set to kick off at next year’s Clipsal 500.

15_AGR_Clipsal_2 (5)The series makes perfect sense to me. The 86 is a fun little car just begging for track work but the much mooted lack of power makes it and uncompetitive proposition for a lot of classes. But a full field of them? Perfect. The cars are largely stock apart from an exhaust system with tuned length extractors, AP brakes, Enkei wheels, a Motec ECU and a comprehensive roll cage.

15_AGR_Clipsal_2 (8)The races will be split between two drivers – the Pro, and the Am, presumably the car owner. The series looks to be a fantastic entry into an uber competitive, national one-make series supporting many V8 Supercar rounds.

15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (14)There are other attractions dotted around the circuit, too.

15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (3)I’ll save most of it for the full Clipsal 500 report coming soon, but for now…

15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (2)15_AGR_Clipsal_1 (13)15_AGR_Clipsal_2 (2)15_AGR_Clipsal_2 (3)If you happen to be at the Clipsal 500 this weekend, swing past the GT pits and say hello.

Words and photos by Andrew Coles


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