V8SDS: Protecnica Racing Phillip Island Sunday notes

ALAJAJIAN FIGHTS BACK TO 14TH IN FINAL RACE OF YEAR In the final race of the 2006 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Phillip Island Raceway today, Protecnica Racing's Chris Alajajian progressed through the order to finish 14th from the rear of ...

ALAJAJIAN FIGHTS BACK TO 14TH IN FINAL RACE OF YEAR

In the final race of the 2006 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Phillip Island Raceway today, Protecnica Racing's Chris Alajajian progressed through the order to finish 14th from the rear of field.

After a Race 1 DNF, Race 2 was always going to be a challenge for the 20 year-old, starting from the tail end of the 34-car field. Alajajian signaled his intentions early, though, passing 12 cars on the opening tour to complete it in 22nd place.

Further overtaking maneuvers saw the Jack Hillermans Smash / Elf Lubricants Commodore sit in 13th place by Lap 7. He eventually finished 14th, delayed by a half-spin at Turn 4 on Lap 13.

"We were having a pretty good run," said Alajajian. "The first lap was pretty hairy, with cars everywhere, but I was able to settle into a rhythm and improve my position pretty much every lap.

"Unfortunately I made a mistake at Turn 4 which cost us a couple of spots. I was playing around with the brake bias trying to find the best setting but put too much on the rear and the back of the car stepped out under brakes, allowing a a couple of cars to get past me.

"The team did a great job to get the car prepared for today with the damage it had after Race 1 and our pace was pretty good, I probably would've ended up inside the Top 10 if not for the spin."

It ended a frustrating weekend for the Sydneysiders, though one highlighted by seventh place in qualifying - the best result to date for Alajajian and the team in their short Supercar career.

"We improved a lot through this weekend," Alajajian said. "As usual this year we came here without any experience of the car here, but worked at it and got better as our result in qualifying showed.

"We just worked with what we had and the result was a pretty good car. Today's result wasn't one to be particularly happy about, but if it wasn't for all the Protecnica guys we wouldn't have even been that high up.

"I'd like to thank them for all of their efforts and the awesome job they've done this year."

The weekend capped Protecnica Racing's first foray into the V8 Supercar feeder class. Since debuting in the series in Round 3, Alajajian has qualified in the Top 10 three times, and scored Top 10 round results at Oran Park and Mallala Motorsport Park, with sixth at the latter.

"I'm pleased with what we've done this year," said team owner Scott Anderson. "We've come into one of the most competitive categories in Australia mid-season without any other experience with these cars and performed well.

"Chris has shown he has the speed to get the job done and our guys have done a great job to adapt to the class and give Chris a good car. The results we've achieved on paper are good, and while the results may not totally reflect it, it's extremely satisfying to have been as competitive and quick as we have been."

-credit: pr

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Drivers Chris Alajajian , Phillip Island