After taking part last month in tyre tests intended to eliminate the rash of blowouts that have plagued Supercars in 2017, Michael Caruso has confidently predicted that there will be no sudden, catastrophic failures during the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama next weekend.
Three teams sent drivers to Phillips Island to test a new tyre compound to replace the Dunlop rubber that failed spectacularly during the season.
Along with Caruso from Nissan, Holden Racing sent Garth Tander and Ford Sent Scott McLaughlin to a two-day test to explore solutions.
At one point, the problem reached such epidemic proportions that Supercars went back to the tyres that had been abandoned following 2016. Earlier this year, one race at Phillip Island was punctuated by 15 punctures of various degrees.
In remarks published by The Daily Telegraph, Caruso said, “The tyre performed well at Bathurst last year so we’re confident we’ll have a good run this weekend. “The tyre performed well at Bathurst last year so we’re confident we’ll have a good run this weekend.”
“Bathurst is the biggest event of the year,’’ Caruso said, “And it’s the race every driver wants to win. We’ve had a bit of a rough season so far, but Bathurst is a long race and anything can happen. It presents the perfect opportunity to turn it all around.”
Caruso sits back in 17th place for the season thus far of the Virgin Australia Supercars. His teammate Dean Fiore at 49th is just a few spots above spoon territory.
Scott McLaughlin is the current leader, having won six races thus far. Two others, Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen have won four.
Despite the gap in wins, however, McLaughlin holds only an 84-point lead over no. 2 Jamie Whincup. Whincup has won only two races and qualified for just one pole, but his consistency in averaging the top finish in the series has kept him near the top.