August 2, 2023 | General

Garland: S5000 a ‘unique and rewarding challenge’

After his first weekend in the hotly contested S5000 category, Kody Garland has labelled it as ‘a unique and rewarding challenge’ following a competitive debut showing.Garland was immediately up to speed during Friday practice, going fifth fastest in practice one and improving to fourth in the second session. A small off in qualifying damaged Garland’s car which hampered his pace, going on to qualify in seventh place.Race one was Garland’s first experience racing with a ‘push-to-pass’ system, in which a bid to save his deployments for late in the race didn’t play out as planned, but Garland still came up one spot to sixth.“Race one was a massive learning curve for me, the style of racing was a complete 180 to what I’ve experienced in my career so far,” said Garland.“Overall, it was a pretty unique and rewarding challenge, I didn’t use as much of the push to pass as I could have early on in the first race as I wanted to save it for the end but by then the tyres weren’t in the best shape and Nic (Carroll) in front had used his up and pulled away.”In Sunday’s two races, Garland recorded finishes of seventh and sixth after running in the top five early on in race three thanks to a strong getaway off the start.“We struggled a bit for pace in the races, compared to how we rolled out in practice. Everyone got slower as the weekend went on, but we were only a few tenths away from Aaron (Cameron) in the second practice, which turned into quite a bigger margin by the end of the weekend.“I think that is a positive for us though, it shows that we do have the pace, it’s just a case of discovering where we went wrong or if there was a bit of underlying damage to the car after we went off in qualifying.“I’m happy with the weekend as a whole, we showed good speed and learnt a lot, we’re still targeting Adelaide as the place we want to get on the podium, so it’s all about learning here and next round in Tailem Bend,” concluded Garland.Before Garland tackles the next round of the S5000 season, he’ll be back in the Valvoline/Motor Traders’ Association of New South Wales Peugeot for round four of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia season at Queensland Raceway from August 11-13.