QUALIFYING better will be a key focus for Andrew Priolo in upcoming races, including the 38th Annual Scardifields Smash Repairs King of Wings at the Perth Motorplex this Saturday night.
Looking at his results sheets for the two races he has contested this season, Priolo has qualified third and fifth which is a pretty solid effort, but he wants to go better to set himself up for the rest of the show.
The second-generation sprintcar racer made the statement after finishing third in Rd3 of the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series at Bunbury Speedway last Saturday night.
“There were a couple of things we probably could have tidied up in qualifying,” Priolo said on Saturday night.
“I have got this really bad habit of being able to hotlap really good and come qualifying I think I just try to get that extra 10 per cent out of the car and sometimes it hurts me, so David (crew chief and brother David Priolo) is trying to get me to attack my qualifying lap like my hot laps.”
Priolo admitted there were close but said, “we want to be better than but, but it is a step forward from last year, so if we can continue that I can start pushing for quicker results”.
Last week’s podium result, behind winner Jason Kendrick and second-placed Daniel Harding was the first top three for the new-look team that has also swapped from #10 to #8 that was originally campaigned by father Pino and then David.
“It’s obviously been playing on my mind for the past few years,” he said of the number switch.
“I still haven’t been convinced that David is done (retired from racing), obviously mum and dad have been on my back about carrying on the family tradition but I have also had number 10 through my Formula 500 career.
“I have had that for nine years, so it was a big decision to make that change.
“In the back of my head if I was going to do a rebrand and new major sponsor, the plan all along was to go the number 8 and finally after 18 months I managed to put all that together.
“It’s just cool to have all new rebranding and fortunately the colours of my new sponsors are kind of back to the family colours as well, that wasn’t intentional, but it’s the way it worked out so we will just keep pushing on.”
When asked if there was pressure to perform well with the new number, Priolo said there was already enough pressure from David, “knowing that he wants me to win and be there because he knows what the car is capable of or what he has done in the past, so he is on my back to try and move to that next step”.
“But baby steps obviously, I am happy to come from 14th to sixth last week and then tonight a podium,” he said.
“Towards the end of the feature we had a decent car and got underneath Daniel but didn’t make smart enough decisions to stay there and he sort of got a wiggle on.”
Make sure you are trackside this Saturday night to see how Priolo and the solid field of sprintcars will go in the time-honoured King of Wings.