Subaru Shows True Speed on the Mountain
Wilson Brothers Racing came oh-so-close to picking up a dream result from the weekend's Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour, with the Subaru WRX Sti crew of Lee Castle, David Wood and Kurt Wimmer setting a cracking pace in some of the most treacherous conditions ever seen at the Mountain.
After running in a certain fifth position with less than half an hour remaining, the crew was forced to replace a the right rear hub after two wheel studs sheared.
An incredible effort by the team saw the crew return to battle, however they had to settle for eighth outright at the conclusion of a long day of racing.
The chain of events provided a shocking case for deja vu for the team, which was finished in eighth position in the 2008 after running in fifth before a last-hour hub change.
Despite the crushing blow within sight of the finish line, the team can take much from the event, including being the highest placed Subaru outfit once again.
"I am incredibly proud of the team, all of the drivers and the crew working on the car did a brilliant job," said team principal Cameron Wilson.
"While we are very happy to finish in eighth, we are disappointed to miss out on the top-five, we really had that in the bag for most of the race.
"Everything went to plan, we were on or near the lead lap throughout, and our strategy was spot on.
"Considering we are fairly restricted with regard to turbo boost compared to the Mitsubishis, we probably couldn't challenge the class leaders at the end of the day, but we did have a few laps over the cars behind on the track before the dramas.
"I've really got to thank everyone who helped out in our preparation, during the weekend, and all of the Subaru fans for their support throughout the race, it was very heartening."
The race saw an unprecedented number of laps spent under the safety car due to accidents and the inclement weather, which included a considerable delay when a tree fell and blocked the circuit on Conrod Straight.
Following on from that stoppage just after mid-race distance, the team made a precautionary front tyre and brake pad change under safety car, although on inspection of the changed items it was noted that wear was well below expectations.
The only real on-track moment for the team occurred when eventual race winner Paul Morris hit the Subaru WRX Sti hard from behind in the Dipper with Wood at the wheel, although damage proved to be minor.
Wilson Brothers Racing would like to acknowledge the continued support of Redken For Men, Gold Coast Indoor Hire Karts, Castrol, Racing Logic, Mercury Motorsport, EcuTek, Ingear Industries, Elan Mens Salons, L?Oreal Paris Men Expert, RLS Data & Electrical, Gametraders Townsville, John Muller Tyres Plus, Contacting Public Relations, Racer Industries and Subaru Sti Australia for their assistance in team's 12 hour efforts.
"I was very pleased with the way the car and the team went, it's just a shame that the wheel stud problem cost us a class podium for the weekend.
"The development the team has done to the car in the past couple of seasons was just incredible, and we had exceptional fuel milage throughout in the wet, which made strategy a lot easier.
"It would have been nice to be on a softer compound in the wet weather, but you just can't take that gamble in a 12 hour race, but the package performed very well.
"David and Kurt did a top job, it's just a shame that we didn't qualify any better, because we showed that we definitely had the race pace on Sunday."
"We had a pretty good day obviously, and a top ten is nothing to be sneezed at when you consider the competition.
"All in all, to bounce back like we did after last year was very pleasing, and I think we made a lot of people sit up and take notice.
"We were really punching above our weight when you consider the other big budget teams with professional drivers, and it was particularly pleasing to catch and pass Andy Jones in the Holden Wagon in one of my stints.
"The car was absolutely ballistic in the wet, but we really had to drive it at ten-tenths throughout to try and keep pace with the leaders."
"The car was awesome, it was quick and easy to drive, and really really good in the wet.
"The crew did a top job overcoming a few dramas in the lead up to the event, and on race day they made all of the right calls in the pits.
"It's a shame about the stop right at the end, but we definitely had the pace to finish in the top five on merit."
Wilson Brothers Racing- Racing for a Cure
Wilson Brothers Racing is proud to support Cure Cancer Australia, an organisation that has been operating in Australia for 44 years to support young researchers at the beginning of their careers across the Cancer spectrum. Wilson Brothers Racing is helping to raise the profile of this fantastic organisation through their various motorsport activities around Australia. For more information, catch up with the team trackside.