Gilroy saves best result for Mount Panorama
BY JEM ANSHAW
Despite struggling to see through massive spray and a foggy windscreen, Ryan Gilroy has kept his eyes forward for his best result yet in the Toyota 86 series at Bathurst.
The 6.2 kilometre Mount Panorama circuit is challenging enough with its elevation, tight turns and sheer speed, but the weather took things up a notch a fortnight ago when race fans made their annual pilgrimage for the Bathurst 1000.
Gilroy described the conditions as diabolical, but he still managed to place second in two of the three races.
“Race one we knew it was going to be raining so we prepared pretty well,” he shared, adding that starting out of seventh position meant he had some passing to do if he wanted a good result.
“By the end of the first lap, I was leading the motor race, so it’s pretty cool.”
He led the pack through a safety car restart but was eventually passed by Zach Bates, who would go on to win all three races.
Race two on Saturday was an unknown – rain was on its way, and close, but there was no way to have planned for the deluge that came down at the start of the race.
Going out with a full wet setup paid off for Gilroy who got another second place in the race that was red flagged with one lap to go after an incident brought out the safety car and conditions were deemed too bad to restart.
Their first dry run for the weekend was on Sunday morning and Gilroy admits to making some silly mistakes in the drying track conditions which saw him drop to fourth.
“It’s blind and scary when you’re in the dry, but in the wet, there’s just rivers and the cars aquaplaning,” he told The Hunter River Times.
“You’ve got to predict what it’s going to do and to not be able to actually see the car in front or have a river going down the road, it was pretty wild.”
Speaking with the Singleton driver after the final race of the weekend he was understandably annoyed to have not made the podium in all three races, but there is still plenty to be happy with for the weekend.
“To start on the front row on Sunday morning before the Bathurst 1000, I think that’s a massive thing, that’s a big bucket list thing,” he reflected.