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Mount Panorama
Thursday, May 30, 2024


PREMIAIR Racing will enter its maiden Repco Bathurst 1000 with momentum on its side after establishing itself as a genuine top 10 contender in recent rounds.

Mid-season recruit James Golding has led the charge since taking over from Garry Jacobson for the Townsville 500 in July.

By his second race weekend, Golding was mastering wet conditions at Tailem Bend to be hunting a fine result before being clobbered by an out-of-control David Reynolds.

Last month at Sandown he delivered the best qualifying performance in PremiAir history (eighth), and then at Pukekohe he hovered around the 10 all weekend.

Teammate Chris Pither has been solid too, gaining multiple positions in each of the past five races.

“It’s been a slow progression. I think that top 10 for us, that needs to be the benchmark now,” PremiAir team principal Matt Cook told V8 Sleuth.

“We have sort of got to that and that just needs to be the standard.”

It’s a stark change from the outfit which had hit a hurdle after half a dozen rounds.

“We’re definitely riding that wave and that momentum,” said Cook.

“We’re trying to keep the team morale up and trying to keep everyone happy and rejuvenated and invigorated.

“It’s definitely there and when the results are starting to come, it makes it even better: the boys lift their head a little bit higher, pump their chest out a little bit more and it makes it amazing to be part of the team.”

Next up is their biggest challenge yet: the championship’s showcase event at Mount Panorama.

Chris Pither at Pukekohe

“Just about everyone here has done a Bathurst anyway so they know what to expect, they know what it involves,” Cook added.

“It’s going to be a very systematic approach, step by step, just take a little bit at a time, make sure the job lists are done.

“Bathurst is almost won in the factory a week prior to that.

“Once you get all of those bits right, the week just sort of plays out itself. So it’s just making sure we have got all of our procedures done right, all our preparation right before we get there and the rest looks after itself.”

Golding will be joined by co-driver Dylan O’Keeffe in the Subway-backed #31, while Pither will combine with Cameron Hill in the #22 Coca-Cola Commodore.

The cars are due to be engineered by Geoffrey Slater and Ken Douglas, respectively, at Mount Panorama.

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