V8SDS: Hooters Austraia Team Bathurst Sunday notes

Strong finish for the Hooters team at Bathurst The Hooters Australia - New Zealand supported duo of Brett Hobson and Terry Wyhoon continued to improve during todays second race for the Fujitsu Series V8 Supercars at Bathurst's Mount Panorama,...

Strong finish for the Hooters team at Bathurst

The Hooters Australia - New Zealand supported duo of Brett Hobson and Terry Wyhoon continued to improve during todays second race for the Fujitsu Series V8 Supercars at Bathurst's Mount Panorama, both drivers finding significant gains, although unable to match the 'factory' supported drivers who continued to dominate the front of the field.

Starting sixteenth, Hobson was quickly into the top ten, passing Dick John Racing's Grant Denyer for ninth in the opening laps, before a lap seven caution period closed the field up behind the pace car, reducing Hobson's lead over Denyer to a car length. "I managed to keep in front of him after the restart for a couple of laps, but the team suggested I let him by and try and get the tow down Conrod," Brett confirmed afterwards. "It sounded like a good plan, but those DJR cars are just so fast on the straights, I couldn't stick with him; along with the Perkins cars, they're jets in a straight line, in a class of their own. With the older cars the rest of us have got, we just can't match their pace, so he managed to get away."

Wyhoon too started brilliantly, taking six cars in the opening lap, but like Hobson, the mid-race caution period cost him a significant advantage over the trailing cars. "The car was an improvement over yesterday, but like Brett, we were just down on power." Like Hobson, Wyhoon was tied in with his own battle with a DJR Falcon, Marcus LaDelle working his way through from the back of the field courtesy of contact with team-mate Denyer in the opening race. "I held him off earlier, and could lose him across the top, but they're just so fast up and down the mountain, so after the restart he just drove away."

By race end, Hobson was also passed by Michael Caruso, who had to work his way through the field after early race contact, dropping the Sydney-sider back to a strong eleventh at the flag. A visibly exhausted Hobson was reflective post race, having worked the car hard in the closing stages in an effort to gain a top ten finish. "The car was excellent in the first half of the race, but the suspension issue we've had since day one was not right, and after the restart, we just didn't have the pace to hold Denyer and Caruso out. All in all though, considering what has happened this weekend I'm proud of what we've achieved in the United Oils/Hooters Falcon; despite being my first ever Bathurst, we've run competitively inside the top ten, and finished with a straight car. You probably couldn't ask for any better."

Wyhoon too dropped back a couple of spots in the closing laps, but recorded a fifteenth place finish, a stunning effort following the disappointment of qualifying 38th. "In the end I think engine performance cost us. Looking at the data, we were down about two seconds a lap on where we should have been, and that would have given us the opportunity to run inside the top ten, but it wasn't to be. In the end though, we've finished with a straight car and a wealth of knowledge and experience, but I think what we've also learned, is that we need to do some work on the bottom end of the engine; once we get the horsepower back, we should be able to run well inside the top ten."

Both Hooters cars will compete in the final round of the 2006 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, scheduled for Phillip Island on December 8-10.

-credit: hat

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Series CAMS
Drivers Grant Denyer , Michael Caruso , Marcus LaDelle , Brett Hobson , Phillip Island