SUCCESSFUL START TO ALAJAJIAN'S PERFORMANCE RETURN A win has helped Protecnica Racing's Chris Alajajian ensure the rest of the field know he means business this weekend, on his return to the Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship at...
SUCCESSFUL START TO ALAJAJIAN'S PERFORMANCE RETURN
A win has helped Protecnica Racing's Chris Alajajian ensure the rest of the field know he means business this weekend, on his return to the Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship at Oran Park Raceway.
Having missed the most recent round of the championship while on Formula 3 duties, Alajajian entered round five of the 2005 championship confident of a good showing on home turf.
His form to date in 2005 aboard the Protecnica Racing Subaru WRX STi has been imposing. A win at Adelaide started the year on a winning note, and he also tasted race success the last time the series visited Sydney, at Eastern Creek.
A result of not having driven the car since the round at Eastern Creek in May, it was a conservative start to the weekend in the two practice sessions, but the 18 year old made sure he was on the pace when it counted.
With a lap time of 1:14.8371 around the 2.62km circuit, Alajajian secured second place on the grid for the first of the weekend's three races.
From the front row, Alajajian blasted off the line and took the race lead. From there, he wasn't headed. 'The Chris' built a lead at every opportunity, and set the fastest lap of the race - 1:15.6008 - along the way.
At the end of the ten lap duration, he greeted the chequered flag with a four second margin over Mazda driver Ric Shaw. The win is his fifth of the season in the Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship.
"The guys have worked hard given me a great car this weekend, so it is good to be able to reward them with a win," said Alajajian.
"Qualifying went well; even though we weren't quite as quick as Ric, we still got a good position on the front row of the grid.
"In the race, I knew the start of the race would be important. So it was good to make a good start and get the lead. I was able to stay ahead of Garry Holt when he was there, and we had a good gap over everyone else.
"As a driver, you had to really concentrate to stay on the racing line, because off of it, there was so much dirt and debris which can easily catch you out.
"We will make a few minor adjustments to the car and look to get some more good results tomorrow."
The win moves Alajajian back up to fourth place in the 2005 championship standings. Alajajian will return to the track tomorrow, Sunday, with the racing set to continue with a pair of fifteen lap races.
"The car hasn't missed a beat all weekend and Chris is driving it well," said chief engineer Dan Lousada. "We have always been pretty strong here running WRX's so we have some good data for the circuit.
"We felt we would be strong this weekend, and now that we have installed some new Bilstein shocks, the car is performing even better."