OPTIMA TO START 11TH AT MALLALA
Optima Sport driver David Clark will start from just outside the top ten in the first of three races to be contested during round five of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia tomorrow.
The former four-time Australian karting champion steered his Optima Sport Falcon towards the top ten during today's 20-minute qualifying session, only to miss out on his third start this year inside the top ten by a mere 0.14 seconds.
With this event being the South Australian's home round Clark remains hopeful of flying the flag high for the local drivers and his 11th fastest time ensured he remained the quickest of the three home-town drivers competing in the V8 ranks this weekend.
"We came into the round aiming to be inside the top ten at the end of qualifying but we just missed out on achieving our first goal of the weekend. However all is not lost, we certainly know where we can improve the car for tomorrow's three races," said Clark.
"The main problem I've got at the moment is getting the power to the ground on the exit of the corners. If we can make some changes to improve this I'm confident of picking up the pace during tomorrow's races.
"Racing rather than qualifying has been one of my strengths during my entire career, even back to my karting days, so I look forward to being able to race hard tomorrow and hopefully finishing up with my best result of the year so far in front of the local crowd."
Earlier in the day Clark lost valuable testing time in his first visit to the 2.6km Mallala circuit aboard a V8 Supercar when the power steering rack on his Optima Sport Falcon broke during the opening practice session.
"We basically lost a session which put us behind the eight-ball a little bit, but by the end of the day I think we finished up in a reasonable position," said team manager Ken Clark.
"The plan now is to improve the setup of the car overnight and move up the order during the opening two races before aiming to be inside the top five at the end of the day."
Shane Price set the fastest qualifying time this afternoon ahead of championship leader Adam Macrow and Jack Perkins.
Tomorrow's action for the V8 Supercars consists of three races with the first scheduled to start at 10:00am.
-credit: Optima Sport