Round 5 Race Report

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A very tactical qualifying session! (Photo: Graeme Howie)

At the start of qualifying, there was another fast driver behind me, and I knew that he had intentionally positioned himself there so that he would have my draft, so before I started a lap, I let him through.  A lap and a half later, he let me through.  In doing so he had compromised his second lap, but I knew mine had not been affected and I had the quickest time.  A red flag stopped the session short and I got the best of the situation, taking pole once again by three tenths of a second.

At the start of the first race, I dropped to second after a poor getaway off the line, but I managed to take back the lead a couple laps later by drafting down the back stretch and out braking into the final corner.  While leading the next lap, during braking into the final corner, the gear shifter snapped, meaning I couldn’t select a gear.  Unfortunately, this meant I had to retire from the race, and would also have to start the following race from the rear of a very large field.

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Leading Race 1 (Photo: Graeme Howie)

In the second race, I therefore started from position 18 on the grid due to not finishing the first race.  I knew in this race that I’d need to make up as many positions as possible to give myself a decent starting place for the final race.  I got a very good start and had managed to get past a couple drivers by the first corner.  From thereon it was one or two moves per lap.  Until, after 4 laps, there was a 2-car incident which brought out the safety car, with me sitting in 10th place.  With two laps to go, the safety car was pulled off the track, and we were racing again. I knew that I’d have to make the most of the remaining two laps, so I didn’t hesitate to pass the next driver into the first corner after the restart.  Then, on the last lap, one driver, a few places in front spun, giving me 8th position.  And with two laps to go, I managed to pull off the undercut move to pull alongside down the straight, and then outbraking into the final corner to take 7th place for the race. But, due to two other drivers being given penalties, I was classified in fifth place.

In the final race, I started from fifth.  I dropped to sixth at the start after too much wheelsman off the line, but quickly regained that position a lap later into the first corner.  The next lap, I was going side-by-side with fourth place into the first corner, with me about to make a move down the inside, when the safety car was pulled out for a 4-car incident in turn 6.  Unfortunately, because I was slightly behind at the time the safety car was brought out, I had to stay in fifth place.  Due to the nature of the incident, the officials were unable to clear the track before the end of the race, so we finished under safety car conditions, meaning I placed 5th for the race.

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The good news following this round is that I have moved up to 4th in the championship, though the frustrating part is that I was not able to capitalise on my pace and close the gap to the top of the table. I am pleased however that I performed really well, and sometimes there are factors like the mechanical failure and safety cars which are totally beyond my control.

I am very much looking forward to the next round, and I would like to thank al my sponsors Truck Dealers Australia, Edith Cowan University, ES2, Impressions the Home Builder, Grand Toyota, Rvend, Fullworks Fire Safety, Kingsway Community Bank Brach, Online Logistics Solutions, Signarama Joondalup and Focused Recruitment, along with Brett Lupton and Fastlane Racing.

 

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