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Dodge Viper’s Greg Crick talks 2011 season and his 2012 plans

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Greg Crick, Dodge Viper GT3
Greg Crick, Dodge Viper GT3

Recently we were able to catch up with long time Australian GT driver, Greg Crick.  Crick in the Jeep backed Dodge Viper GT3 had a strong end to the season taking a double win at the season ending Sandown round.  He made a valiant Championship attempt and should be a favourite for the 2012 title.  We were able to have a chat about his 2011 season and his plans for 2012.

Hi Greg, thanks for joining me – you ended your Australian GT season on a high at Sandown with a double race win.  Can you take us through the weekend from your perspective?

It was just a good weekend for us.  We have worked very hard on the car and the chassis to get it consistent all year and I think we had a terrific car at Bathurst that was capable of winning.  We got pole position up there but we didn’t capitalise as I made a very bad tyre choice on a wet track.  We came to Sandown and right from the get to we were quick.  We topped the first two practice sessions, then we had a wet qualifying and the Mercedes knocked me off by about three and a half tenths – which you would expect with all its gadgetry.

The first race, Pete and his extra warm up lap, had to start from the back of the grid – which probably robbed us of a good race.  My car was just fantastic and I just pushed for the whole race.  It seemed to get better as we went along.  When we started the track had mud and gravel on it from the previous race.  I think it was a Ute race but even as the track cleaned up it still had water across it on it between turns one and two.  The car though, continued to get better as the track got better and I think it was lap 17 where we set the lap record.

It was enjoyable to drive and nice to drive.  I was pleasantly surprised at how consistent it was and how it stayed there.  It was good on its tyres and good over the bumps coming out of the slow corners.  They are usually a problem at Sandown, getting the power down and getting off those slow corners.

Was it satisfying to dominate like that, being able to get the car to a point where it can be the class of the field?

At Eastern Creek round we won the first race and were in control of the second round until the clasp wire broke on the front splitter.  We have shown the potential but haven’t capitalised, so yes that is pleasing.

The 2012 season will see many new cars – what are your plans?

We have another year with Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge in Australia.  We will definitely be back and racing next year.  We will require more upgrades on the car to get on the pace of the new cars because they are very fast.

Do you have any plans for the Bathurst 12 Hour?

No we will go straight into the GT season.  I’d love to do the 12 Hour but the date is one week away from the start of our season.  I am going to support the Series.  Tony Quinn has taken a big punt to take on the Series.  We want to help build the Series next year and don’t want to risk not being at the first round at Clipsal [Adelaide].

We have another year with Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge in Australia.  We will definitely be back and racing next year.  We will require more upgrades on the car to get on the pace of the new cars because they are very fast.

Finally, looking back on the 2011 season – what are you major moments?

Townsville was awesome.  Even though we didn’t have a great run – we had some mechanical problems like overheating and we ended up starting out of pit lane in race two.  It was very memorable from a racing point of view.  It was a great track and I loved it even through we are not back there next year.

The Phillip Island battles with Peter Hackett and Mark Eddy in the two races there.  We have had some good racing – close racing that has been clean.  It has been enjoyable and I believe next year will be better.

Many thanks Greg for your time and I hope you enjoy the off season.

Thanks Sam.

Interview and article (c) Sam Tickell, December 2011

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