LUFF EDGES CLOSER TO CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD Decina Racing's Warren Luff edged closer to the lead of the 2005 HPDC V8 Supercar Series in an action packed Round Five of the Championship at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia over the ...
LUFF EDGES CLOSER TO CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
Decina Racing's Warren Luff edged closer to the lead of the 2005 HPDC V8 Supercar Series in an action packed Round Five of the Championship at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia over the weekend.
In one of the most incident packed rounds of the year, Luff began the weekend by once again qualifying inside the top four before crossing the line third in the opening 16-lap journey.
Entering the round Adam Macrow led the Championship but a flat left front tyre in the first race enabled Luff to move to the top of the Championship points table. Unfortunately his time at the top was short lived when disaster struck in the reverse grid second race.
In the second race Macrow encountered a broken oil line causing the track to be extremely slippery under brakes and Luff, who was in fifth position at the time, speared into the sand trap in turn seven on the 2.6km circuit with four laps remaining.
Shortly after the incident Luff's engine overheated forcing him out of the race.
After starting from 18th in the final race Luff clawed his way through the field to finish sixth, ensuring he stayed in contention for the Championship.
"It is disappointing to come away from the weekend still in second place, when realistically there was an opportunity to snatch the lead this weekend," said Luff.
"On the positive there are still two rounds remaining in the Championship and we are only 18 points away from the lead, as we have seen this weekend anything can happen and one race can make or break a Championship.
"We struggled a bit in practice and qualifying but come race time the Decina Falcon was very good to drive. In the second race which was the reverse grid race, we improved the car even more and I was one of the fastest drivers coming through the pack. I got caught out by some oil that had been dropped on the circuit by Macrow's car and it cost me dearly.
"In the final race it was all about gaining as many points as possible, but starting down the order like I did, unfortunately used up my rear tyres and I struggled getting the power to the ground over the final half of the race."
With two rounds remaining in the Championship Team Principal Paul Cruickshank believes that the Championship is still wide open.
"Obviously this weekend's result is not the result that we were looking for but surprisingly have still managed to bridge the gap to the Championship leader slightly and it is extremely tight at the top of the table," said Cruickshank.
"The opening race was pretty much as we planned and we were within 3 to 4 laps of again starting on the front row for the final race before disaster struck and Warren was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"We now have to focus on achieving a good result at Bathurst and taking the chase to the title down to the wire in Phillip Island."
Despite not finishing the second race Luff's results rewarded him with 12th position for the round and remaining in second place in the Championship, 18 points adrift of Championship leader Dean Canto.
"We came into this weekend with hopes of closing in on the Championship, while we achieved this goal, we could have been in a lot better position than we finished up if we had some more luck on our side," said team owner Jim Morton.
Dean Canto won the round and also took over the lead in the Championship on 816 points, 18 points clear of Luff in second position.
Luff's Paul Cruickshank Racing team-mate Phillip Scifleet gained his best round result of the year so far finishing third, his swag of points also elevated him from fifth to third in the Championship.
The next round of the 2005 HPDC V8 Supercar Series will be held alongside the Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst on October 6 -- 9.