Bathurst 12: Chris Delfsma event summary

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The JMG Maintenance and Frabrication/Century 21 Ford Falcon FG Typhoon F6 that Chris Delfsma, Jeremy Gray and Andrew Miedecke raced in the Armour All Bathurst 24 Hour and failed just minutes from the finish. While his swansong from Production...

The JMG Maintenance and Frabrication/Century 21 Ford Falcon FG Typhoon F6 that Chris Delfsma, Jeremy Gray and Andrew Miedecke raced in the Armour All Bathurst 24 Hour and failed just minutes from the finish.

While his swansong from Production Racing at MtPanorama may not have been auspicious as he would have liked, Hazelbrook realtor Chris Delfsma is eagerly preparing for the challenge of V8 Touring Car racing later this year.

Delfsma co-drove in the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour for Production Cars with Jeremy Gray and Andrew Miedecke in Gray's Ford Falcon FG Typhoon F6 in what was a troubled weekend that failed an agonisingly matter of minutes before the culmination of the race.

His next outing will be in South Australia in May aboard a 600hp plus Ford Falcon AU Supercar at the second round of the Shannons V8 Touring Car Series. Most recently while his Bathurst team mates prepared to race V8 Utes at the Adelaide Clipsal 500 meeting, Delfsma has been gathering the resources and testing in order to be fully sorted for his and the car's debut in the series.

"This type of car is totally new to me and to adapt to it after a production Falcon will take time," explained Delfsma. "I have to get miles up in the AU and that is why I am aiming for round two rather than jumping in at the deep end and go to Tassie (Tasmania is hosting round one at Symmons Plains on April 10-11).

"Besides that I am still working through the setting up of the infrastructure that goes with racing a V8 Supercar style of car. There is the data logging, the engineering and driving . . . and I have one of the best in the business helping me out in John Bowe."

Delfsma has also teamed up with fellow Blue Mountains (New South Wales) resident John Vergotis who will mechanically prepare the car as well as look after his own car. Delfsma Falcon is the last AU built for V8 Supercar racing and was last raced in the Development Series by Howard Racing while Vergotis has raced his former Ford Performance Racing AU for several years.

At the 12 Hour in qualifying their FG Falcon's speed limiter was coming on at 240kph which restricted its pace. By the last practice session they had a new (computer) tune to put into the car which by then had the speed limiter disconnected.

On the form up lap to the start of the 12 Hour race at dawn on Sunday morning it became apparent that the updated tune was faulty and the car would not rev over 4000 rpm. Gray bought the car into pit lane and the team mechanics installed the old tune back in and Gray started from pit lane.

After the start the car was still suffering the same problem. It was apparent that the old tune would not go back into the computer - after six or seven attempts, everyone was at a loss.

Fortunately Dean Herrod of Herrod Performance in Melbourne came along and wrote a new tune on the spot whilst the car continued to circulate at reduced pace. After a short time the tune was ready and the car was brought into the pits. The tune was installed and all was well but the team was over 30 laps in arrears of the race front runners by this stage.

Delfsma and Miedecke jumped into car for the ensuing stints with the Ford performing well. "It handled and stopped well but the wet conditions were challenging," said Delfsma. "Andrew made up for that, displaying his fantastic wet weather driving skills."

With only about 10 minutes or so to go, with Delfsma in the car for the last stint, the cabin began to fill with smoke. "The message from the team was to keep going and get to the finish," he explained. "I was babying the car around.

"But on the very last lap the car was making a crazy sound, and then going up the mountain the differential completely let go," he added. "I had no drive and was left stranded just past the cutting - with only a few minutes left to go in the race.

"Had the car made it another few hundred metres I probably could have made it to the top of the hill and would have rolled it all the way down to the bottom and over the finish line! We would have had a fourth place in class . . . but ended up with a DNF," he lamented.

-source: pblmedia

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