FIGHTING SIXTH FOR SYDNEY'S DECINA RACING Speed FX/Decina Racing produced a fighting performance to salvage sixth place in a dramatic end to round seven of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship at Oran Park Raceway today. Rookie driver Michael...
FIGHTING SIXTH FOR SYDNEY'S DECINA RACING
Speed FX/Decina Racing produced a fighting performance to salvage sixth place in a dramatic end to round seven of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship at Oran Park Raceway today.
Rookie driver Michael Caruso had a much tougher day at the office than yesterday when he won pole position and finished second in race one. Caruso had to fight through the entire field in both races, making up a total of 40 positions over the two races en route to a sixth placing overall.
Caruso moved from 33rd to 13th in the reverse grid race two which placed him third on the starting grid for today's final 28 lap feature race. Caruso struggled to get away from the line on the difficult inside of the track which forced him to fight for position with several drivers through the first few corners.
This battle ended badly for Caruso when he was hit from behind and spun into a tyre wall. The impact from the collision removed his rear bumper and caused some damage to the Speed FX/Decina Racing Falcon, but Caruso managed to free himself from the tyres and rejoin the race in last place.
This incident left the Sydney based driver with a mountain of work to do in order to record a solid result for the weekend. He immediately showed that he would rise to the challenge, setting the second fastest lap of the race on lap two as he pushed hard to catch up with the field.
Caruso continued to set some of the quickest laps of the race as he stormed through the traffic in his damaged Speed FX/Decina Racing Falcon, making up 25 positions en route to finishing 13th. This fighting effort secured enough points to place him sixth for the round which in turn elevated him to sixth in the championship.
Caruso was disappointed not to be standing on the podium, but was happy with the speed shown by his Speed FX/Decina Racing team and eagerly awaits the final rounds of the championship.
"I'm really disappointed, after pole position and second in race one I was on target for a podium when someone turned me around and I ended up in the tyre wall," said Caruso.
"There was definitely some damage to the car, I was dealing with some vibration but the sticky throttle was the bigger problem. It was a hard drive today."
"The car was fast enough to win the round, you could see that by the lap times I was setting despite fighting through traffic. The Decina Racing team is one of the fastest out there and the championship standings don't reflect our car speed."
"I was pushing really hard all race. It was extremely tough on my tyres driving through so much traffic and I had to use every ounce of energy to keep pumping out quick lap times. Despite all the problems though, we were still consistently one of the quickest on track."
Team manager Jim Morton shared Caruso's disappointment but was pleased with the gritty performance displayed by his young charge in difficult circumstances.
"We're really disappointed. Michael was turned around and wacked a few times at the start of race three, pushing us back to dead last. This meant that instead of starting in position three -- we were really starting in position 38," said Morton.
"We were really confident this weekend. We had a good car set-up as shown by setting the second fastest lap in the race. Michael's super fit, and he was the fastest driver on track at the end of the race pushing through to 13th position."
"The team is happy with our engineering and race package, we know we've got the pace to be the fastest out there. We now expect to be at the front and look forward to competing for race wins in the tail end of the season."
Adam Macrow won the round and further extended his lead in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship series. Shane Price finished second while Matthew White rounded out the podium.
Round five of the championship will be held at South Australia's Mallala circuit on September 15-17 before Speed FX/Decina Racing visits Bathurst and Phillip Island to close out the season.