TIM SLADE HIT OUT OF POTENTIAL TOP FIVE IN DEBUT DEXION RACING DRIVE AT CLIPSAL An innocent coming together with another competitor two laps from the end of today's first race of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship series, has foiled Dexion ...
TIM SLADE HIT OUT OF POTENTIAL TOP FIVE IN DEBUT DEXION RACING DRIVE AT CLIPSAL
An innocent coming together with another competitor two laps from the end of today's first race of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship series, has foiled Dexion Racing driver Tim Slade's chances of a top five finish on his V8 debut.
Slade eventually finished 10th in the 24-lap race held this evening in sweltering conditions, but was on course for a potential top five finish until a contentious coming together with Adam Sharpe two laps from home spun the South Australian's Dexion BA Falcon at turn four.
Recovering quickly, Slade brought the car home in one piece to finish in a still-strong 10th position in his V8 Supercar racing debut.
Earlier, Slade had made a strong start from the fourth row of the grid and had climbed to 6th place by the sixth lap of the race.
A concerted battle waged for a number of laps with Kayne Scott, Jonathan Webb and others ensured that Slade gained plenty of first-hand experience in hand-to-hand V8 Supercar racing, The Dexion Falcon moving back and forth throughout the top ten before settling into 6th place before a late-raced safety car neutralised the proceedings.
It was on the restart with two laps to go that the Dexion Falcon was tagged on the inside; ending his hopes of a top five finish on debut. Sharpe was later penalised for the contact.
Whilst proud of his debut V8 Supercar race, Slade said that he was hoping for the top five finish that eventually eluded him.
"It's disappointing because we could have been in the top five, which would have been a great result," he said.
"I was lapping a car heading into turn 4 after the restart, and I just felt a big whack on the side of the car. That was the end for us.
"I took it pretty easy after that to make sure that we brought the car home.
"There were a lot of things going on throughout the race so I kept it pretty cautious and made sure that I got through," Slade explained of his maiden race in the Dexion Falcon.
"I felt the tyres going away in the middle of the event and my times probably dropped off a little bit. I didn't want to stack it in the wall but I pressed on at the end and it all ended up going really well.
"Getting the top five would have been nice, but to get to the finish and get the points for the championship was the main thing," he said.
In Qualifying earlier in the day, Tim continued his gradual climb up the order by placing his #30 BA Falcon in 8th position on the grid -- one position higher than his position in yesterday's combined practice session.
Slade banked his time of 1m24.8463 on his penultimate lap, elevating him into the top eight.
And whilst the grid position wasn't higher than his practice result -- a sign of Slade's progress towards the front of the field was evident by the scant half-second separating him from pole position.
Tim's best lap in the 20-minute top 50% session was exactly half a second slower then pole, a net gain of over four tenths from his performance yesterday.
His time in qualifying was also a full second faster than his practice best.
"I'm getting more and more comfortable with the car," Slade said after qualifying.
"There is much more time to come from me and a bit more from the car. It's a testament to the team that we have gotten this far because the car only went back together last week."
Tomorrow's second race will be held at 9:50am, and will be again contested over 24 laps. Dexion Racing's Tim Slade will start 10th.