Walkinshaw Andretti United Team Principal Bruce Stewart has reflected on a landmark day at Winton as the squad rolled out its first Fords for shakedowns.
Chaz Mostert in the #25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang and Nick Percat in the #2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang shared seat time with their newly confirmed enduro co-drivers, Lee Holdsworth and Fabian Coulthard respectively, at the Victorian circuit.
While 11 Gen3 Supercars hit the track today, for either shakedowns or their first official day of testing for the year, much of the attention was on the white Fords from Clayton, given the outing was the first for the team after more than three decades with Holden, the majority of which was spent as its factory outfit.
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Performance running was not a focus, but Cars #2 and #25 were a regular sight circulating on the 3.00km track.
Stewart told Speedcafe.com, “It was a trying day, but I was also reasonably happy with it.
“There are always little issues and little challenges that come up on these days, but our crew were really good at adapting and ensuring that we kept the momentum for the day going, which was really pleasing.
“Equally pleasing was the level of preparation and work that's gone into our cars, so to have both of our WAU Mustangs out there was huge and a real shout-out to the team.
“Obviously these days are about learning little things in the car that you need to tidy up and, of course, we have a list of things that we need to improve or tidy up to ensure that we've got a strong package.
“So, it's not a perfect day but it's a good day because you're learning and that's the purpose of it.”
The presence of WAU, along with the #5 and #56 Tickford Racing entries, made for 20 of the 25 cars in the field to have been shaken down now, with the other five to come tomorrow at either Winton again or Queensland Raceway.
Stewart had high praise for his rivals also, given how hard crews have had to work across the field.
“I'd also like to give a big-shout out to all of the teams and all of their crews, because I looked out there today and saw the Mustangs and Camaros in their Gen3 shape, and just really contemplated how much work has gone in from the teams to bring this exciting show to life,” he added.
“That's a credit to everyone up and down the pit lane, and I'm sure that it'll be the same in Queensland and be highlighted when we get to Sydney Motorsport Park [all-in test on Wednesday, February 22].
“This has been a fantastic change for our sport and it's a credit to the teams who have worked super-hard to bring the dream to life.”