Chris Alajajian in clear air en route to a race one victory at Wakefield Park. Sydney driver Chris Alajajian has joined the elite list of drivers that can claim to having won a V8 Supercar race after scoring his maiden Fujitsu V8 Supercar ...
Chris Alajajian in clear air en route to a race one victory at Wakefield Park.
Sydney driver Chris Alajajian has joined the elite list of drivers that can claim to having won a V8 Supercar race after scoring his maiden Fujitsu V8 Supercar series race win in the opening 17-lap affair at Wakefield Park Raceway today.
Whilst the remainder of the weekend didn't go exactly to plan for the 20-year-old driver, his storming drive in the opening race was nearly faultless and lifted Alajajian's reputation as a driver capable of putting together a full race, as well as charging through the field - as is his trademark.
Chris Alajajian's race win comes off the back of strong performances in Formula 3 racing earlier this season, Chris the joint-championship leader of the Open Wheel series.
Alajajian started the weekend strongly by qualifying his Commodore a career-best second in a tightly-contested 20-minute session yesterday.
He then went on to lead the first race from lights to flag in his Protecnica Racing Holden Commodore after making a strong start and slotting in behind pole sitter Tony D'Alberto through turn one.
However 'The Chris' got a strong run up the Wakefield Park hill and passed D'Alberto around the outside of turn three to assume a lead that he would never loose -- winning the race by six tenths of a second.
Race two saw Alajajian start from 10th position thanks to the reversal of the top-ten finishing positions from the opening race.
Alajajian made a storming start, scything to 7th at the end of lap one and up to fourth by the end of the second full tour of the 2.2km circuit, the Protecnica car clearly one of the fastest on the circuit as Chris posted yet another storming drive through the field.
Unfortunately at the end of the third lap Alajajian and Mark McNally came together as Chris tried to pass into third position.
Alajajian's Protecnica entry suffered damage to the Right Front suspension that forced him to withdraw from the race.
However his race one victory ensured that Alajajian had enough points to ensure a high starting position for the third race, featuring a grid formed by the combined point score from the first two races.
Starting sixth, Alajajian flew from the line and was fourth as the field piled into turn one.
From there he had a race long battle with Jose Fernandez for the third and fourth positions until misfortune struck -- Alajajian off at the top of the circuit with seven laps remaining thanks to a blown tyre.
An up and down weekend has seen Alajajian score his first (24) points of the season and prove once again that he will be a leading contender for the remainder of the Fujitsu series.
"I'm not going to reflect on the second and third races," he said after the final race today.
"(This morning) was the first V8 race win for me and the team, and they have done such a wonderful job preparing and running the car this weekend.
"They have kept my confidence up and have had positive thoughts throughout the weekend. I have to thank them for their efforts because without it we wouldn't have won.
"I always knew that I was capable of winning in V8 Supercars. This year I have more of a focus both mentally and physically. We'll take the rest of the year as it comes and hopefully good things will come to us."
"In a way I feel like I have let them down but I aim to repay them with lots more wins later this year." He said.
Alajajian explained that significant amounts of debris on the circuit contributed to his race three non-finish.
"There was debris on the circuit and I had flat spotted the tyre earlier in the race," he said.
"Because of the debris it punctured and that was the end of the race. I knew that I had the pace to catch him but the puncture ended that."
The next round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar championship series will be held at Winton Motor Raceway in late May.