Frustrating finish to home round for Howard Racing
The crew at Howard Racing will make a check of their workshop tomorrow for hidden black cats, ladders and broken mirrors after enduring an incredibly luckless weekend at Queensland Raceway.
The home round that promised so much delivered very little for the reigning Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series champs, with its three drivers in the thick of action for much of the weekend.
The promise of a new day yielded little more than frustration for the team today, who struggled to make inroads as a result of a number of on-track incidents and sheer bad luck.
In today's opener, which featured a reverse of the top ten results from race 1, Adam Sharpe sat in a handy third position on the grid, ready to make the most of the opportunity and gun for a podium finish.
It all went wrong for the talented Brit in the first few corners, and he rejoined after a small spin well down the order.
He was then forced to pit for a mechanical black flag after his perspex passenger window-pane became dislodged, costing him precious seconds as he crawled down pit lane.
Sharpe put his head down and despite the race 2 mishap, was able to finish in his best ever round position after a hard charging race 3.
He finished the round in 12th overall, and would certainly have been within the top 10 had it not been for the race 2 result.
"It was an up and down weekend and some patches of bad luck made it hard to move forward even though the car was working so well," said Sharpe.
"The end result is my best round finish, which is a good achievement and something I'll be working on to further improve at Oran Park."
Andrew Thompson's Queensland Raceway campaign made no improvement today, with the talented young driver left to rue what could have been.
A post-race penalty from yesterday was imposed on Thompson for race 2, relegating him to near back of field with a huge task in front of him.
Thompson was quick to take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves as the field sorted itself out in the opening few laps, but disaster again struck when heavy traffic hindered his progress.
In completing a successful passing move, the #71 Ford Falcon was hit hard from behind, the impact sending it into the air causing race-ending damage.
He staged a steady comeback in the decider, climbing back to 14th to salvage some points from the disastrous outing.
"I can't really take a trick at the moment, I didn't know it was possible for a driver to have such bad luck and this was the place we were going to turn it all around and get the home win," said Thompson.
"It's been a disappointing round but I guess the only way from here is onwards and upwards, there is only a small break until Oran Park and I am not really in the position to challenge for the championship so you can be sure I'll be gunning to win some races!"
Mark Howard continued his solid run in today's two races, despite struggling for pace in the opener.
He took 27th in this mornings 16-lap race, and 15th in the 26-lap race 3. The consistent approach saw him take 15th for the round, a commendable result well within the front-half of the field.
"The team had a tough weekend, certainly not the results we were chasing in front of the home crowd but that is motorsport, there are highs and lows and very little in between," said Howard.
"I feel as though I had a fairly consistent round, it was fantastic to start things off on a high with a good practice result and this shows the team has a good handle on the track."
"Consistency was key today and I was glad to be able to circulate around without getting involved in a number of the battles that were clearly raging on track!"
The team's next outing will be round 5 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, at Oran Park in Sydney, in one month's time.