SEASON'S BEST RESULT GOES BEGGING FOR OPTIMA SPORT A season's best result for David Clark and his Optima Sport outfit was so close, but so far, during round five of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia ...
SEASON'S BEST RESULT GOES BEGGING FOR OPTIMA SPORT
A season's best result for David Clark and his Optima Sport outfit was so close, but so far, during round five of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia today.
The South Australian based driver steered his Optima Sport Falcon towards the front of the pack in each of today's three races before a delaminating left rear tyre ended his charge late in the final 28-lap journey.
Following an impressive performance during the opening race where he finished ninth and the reverse-grid second race where he passed 14 cars in 16 laps around the 2.6km circuit Clark began the final race from fifth spot on the grid.
Despite losing a two spots during the opening lap Clark held his composure to move up the order and challenge the experienced Nathan Pretty for fourth position at mid race. After hounding Pretty for several laps Clark made a passing move on lap 19, only to gyrate his Optima Sport Falcon seconds later as he turned into turn seven.
"I followed Nathan for a few laps and after a couple of attempted moves a gap opened up and I went for it. I actually didn't brake any harder entering the corner than I did on any other lap but the left rear tyre was already starting to cause me some issues and I spun," said Clark regarding his lap 19 spin.
The V8 Supercar rookie lost two positions as a consequence of the spin but remained on track to better his seventh placing at the Wakefield Park round of the championship earlier in the year.
Unfortunately as the race continued Clark's issue with the delaminating tyre worsened and he dropped down the order to be outside the top ten before eventually being forced into the pit area with one lap remaining.
"It was an extremely disappointing end to what could have been a very good day in front of my local crowd," said a disappointed Clark.
"I think we've again shown that we have the speed to match it with the leading teams but unfortunately we were unable to convert this speed into an outright result.
"All weekend the team worked hard to improve the set up of the Optima Sport Falcon and I genuinely believe that we had a top five car out there today. Now the challenge is to build on our speed and be near the front of the field at Bathurst."
While disappointed not to have transferred the team's speed into an outright result team owner David Macdougall remains confident of taking the challenge to the more experienced teams during the remainder of Optima Sport's rookie year.
"Once again we've done it hard and come from behind after an issue in the opening practice yesterday but ultimately we've got some speed up and knocking on the door of the front runners," said Macdougall.
"I'd like to reverse our recent habit and transfer our speed into results. We know we've got the speed but we've just got to work this into an outright result."
Adam Macrow continued his incredible run in the 2006 championship and won his fifth round of the year. Shane Price finished second overall with Mark Porter third. Clark was classified 20th for the round and is now in 16th position overall in the series.
The next round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series will be contested at Mount Panorama in conjunction with the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on October 5-8.