LUFF STILL IN CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT WITH ONE ROUND TO GO Decina Racing's Warren Luff will go into the final round of the HPDC V8 Supercar Series 21 points behind the championship leader after confusion reigned at Mount Panorama when race two was ...
LUFF STILL IN CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT WITH ONE ROUND TO GO
Decina Racing's Warren Luff will go into the final round of the HPDC V8 Supercar Series 21 points behind the championship leader after confusion reigned at Mount Panorama when race two was declared a non race.
With just one round and two races left in the championship, the non result means Luff will need strong performances and some luck on his side at Phillip Island if he is to catch leader Dean Canto.
Luck that he did not have at Bathurst during the second race of the round.
With the conditions varying by the minute, Mount Panorama threw up some of its traditionally wild conditions with heavy rain falling at the top of the mountain and dry conditions at the bottom, leaving drivers and teams wondering what would come next.
The initial start of the race saw Luff struck down with a flat tyre after a coming together with Mark Porter in turn one that ripped the valve stem from the right front tyre.
Luff managed to guide his Decina Falcon across the mountain with a disintegrating tyre and back to the pits when a safety car period was implemented. Luff made it out onto the track without losing a lap and rejoined the back of the pack before the race was red flagged.
Restarting in 21st, Luff made a strong start making up a number of positions however, an incident off the line saw Lee Holdsworth hit the wall and the race again fell under a safety car.
"On the opening lap of the restart I made up five spots up over the mountain and then safety car came out again. It was pretty wet across the top and when the safety car came out again a number of the front guys made the call to come in and change to wets.
"But because of where we were we took a gamble and stayed on slicks.
"When the race finally restarted I managed to get up to fourth by the top of the mountain but it was so incredibly wet. I had Dean Canto coming blazing on down on me because he had gone to wets and on the last lap under race conditions he and I virtually had a drag race down Conrod Straight with me slipping and sliding all over the place.
"We got to the chase with me slightly in front and again the safety car boards were out and the race was subsequently ended.
"It was disappointing, but I was certainly glad to see the red flag because the conditions over the top of the mountain were just diabolical and it wasn't a lot of fun."
Decina Racing Team Principal Paul Cruickshank said while it was a disappointing outcome, he was pleased with the way the car and Warren performed over the last three days.
"It is a shame that it became a nothing race, because we were ahead of Canto when it was declared and had it gone back a lap it would have had us a lot closer to the championship.
"Overall for the weekend we are disappointed because we have lost three more points to Dean, but what has been encouraging is our car has been pretty good up here (Bathurst) and Warren did an exceptional job under hard conditions.
"So from here we will go home turn the cars around and we will do another test day and hopefully learn some more about the car and then we will go to Phillip Island and roll the dice there.
"From here we need a little bit of luck," said Cruickshank.
"Dean has done a great job throughout the year and he deserves to be where he is, but in saying that we have been very consistent all year and hung in there when it has been a bit tough and our car hasn't been right.
"So we will throw everything that we have at the last round making sure the car is right and making sure we do everything we can to keep Warren up there.
"And when it comes down to it 21 points isn't much, it is a spin or a drive through penalty so certainly we will be doing everything for those last two races and as they say it aint over till it's over.
It is a philosophy the Luff shares as he now focuses on doing everything he possibly can to ensure he has the best chance of winning the championship.
"It's certainly achievable to pull back in 21 points at Phillip Island, however we need Dean to have a bad result in one of the races as it is only a two point break between each position," said Luff.
"So at this stage I would say that it is Dean's championship to lose, but Phillip Island is a circuit that can throw up many challenges and many variables, so we just have to go down there and be on the top of our game and go out do our very best.
"Simply put we have to win races. We can't control what our competition is doing we just have to do the best we can and I am looking forward to the getting to Phillip Island and trying to win the championship."
Two 30 minute rounds will make up the seventh and final round of the HPDC V8 Supercar Series will be held at Phillip Island on November 25-27.