DECINA RACING SALVAGE MIDFIELD POSITION FROM TROUBLESOME DAY
Sydney V8 Supercar outfit Speed FX/Decina Racing has salvaged a midfield qualifying position from a troublesome day at Mallala Motorsport Park north of Adelaide, South Australia today.
Driver Michael Caruso and the team are confident the problem can be fixed, with an overnight engine change a possible solution to bring a change of fortune for the Decina Falcon in tomorrow's three races for Round 5 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series.
Caruso battled with a mysterious engine problem all day. The problem surfaced in opening practice after a coil breakage stranded the #60 Decina Falcon on the circuit.
With precious track time lost, things did not improve for the following practice, the horsepower deficit relegating Caruso to the earlier half of today's qualifying session.
The team did all it could to get the car on the circuit for qualifying and while the car's engine ailment was still present, Caruso managed to salvage 17th on the grid for the opening race tomorrow.
"We had a misfire today, which we think is electrical, that is costing us significant time," said team owner Jim Morton.
"While we haven't got a perfect car, we spent our time chasing an electrical issue. We think we can overcome that and have a good package for tomorrow."
The team is evaluating the option of changing engines overnight to ensure a better showing in tomorrow's three races. Caruso and the team realise that all is not lost and will work hard to have the car back to its usual front-running pace for Sunday.
"We are working hard on fixing the problems that cost us today and that could possibly include an engine change," said Morton.
"We are looking forward to a less troublesome run tomorrow."
Caruso is also optimistic of a better day tomorrow at the Mallala circuit, where both he and Decina Racing have won races in the past.
The young New South Welshman did a commendable job to qualify as high as he did in the competitive field and was able to focus beyond the problems of the car to give the team some hope for tomorrow.
"It's tough when you're chasing a problem all day," said Caruso.
"It takes the focus away from finding a set-up for tomorrow. I'm confident the team can get things back on track for race day.
"It's disappointing that we didn't get to show the speed I know we are capable of, but tomorrow is a new day.
"It can be tough to pass cars here at Mallala, but it can be done. Both myself and the team have had success here before and while a podium result is going to be tough from position 17 in Race 1, we can still aim at getting a strong result."
Shane Price earned pole position for tomorrow's opening race, ahead of championship leader Adam Macrow and Jack Perkins.