V8SDS: Saturday Clipsal summary

CANTO TAKES A CLEAN SWEEP AT OPENING ROUND Dean Canto has started his V8 Supercar season in fine fashion finishing both practice sessions, qualifying, race one and this morning's second race in first position. The 24-year-old, who won the ...

CANTO TAKES A CLEAN SWEEP AT OPENING ROUND

Dean Canto has started his V8 Supercar season in fine fashion finishing both practice sessions, qualifying, race one and this morning's second race in first position. The 24-year-old, who won the series in 2000, returns this year driving a Dick Johnson Racing prepared BA Falcon which was run by Steven Johnson in last year's V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Canto finished ahead of Adam Macrow and Tony D'Alberto who had a consistent weekend in his ex-Kmart Racing VY Commodore.

Canto, Macrow and D'Alberto finished the second and final race of the first round of the HPDC V8 Supercar Series at the Clipsal 500 with the same result as the twilight race held last night. 2004 Rookie of the Year award winner Warren Luff looked like he could be the driver to put a stop to Canto's dominance after starting from the second row of the grid for race one but a blown tyre in each of the two races relegated him to eighth overall for the round.

The second race was extended by three laps when Mark Porter's Falcon stopped on the circuit due to an altercation on the second lap. The Steve Ellery Racing prepared car was unable to finish the race and continued a horror weekend for the Queensland based team as they worked feverishly through Thursday night to repair damage from practice one when Porter ran into the side of Tony Evangelou.

Canto won the second race by a convincing 19 seconds and has shown signs that he will be a force to be reckoned with in this year's series.

"The car has been very consistent all weekend and has been quick out of the box in both races," Canto said.

"The key for the race this morning was temperature consistency, we noticed Adam (Macrow) was struggling for grip towards the end of the race so it was fortunate for us that we had good tyres on the car."

Macrow, who has secured a drive with Championship Series' Team Betta Electrical for the endurance races this year, showed good speed this weekend as he gains valuable race miles.

"My start today was a lot better than the race last night and within one or two laps of the race today the car was very strong," Marcow said.

"We went through data from yesterday's race and the team has done a great job to get the car the way it was handling by the end of the second race. The whole weekend has been a confidence booster and I am absolutely overwhelmed with the end result for the first round of the year."

V8 Supercar youngster Tony D'Alberto finished third for his second ever podium position, stating after the race that the car has a lot more to come out of it.

"We only received the car a month ago and tested for the first time this year last Monday," D'Alberto said.

"Overall we are really happy with the way it has been handling despite the short amount of time we have had it. The balance is not quite right yet but obviously with a podium position we are really happy with the result knowing that there is a lot more to come out of the car."

Philip Scifleet finished fourth overall for the weekend in an impressive driving display for the Paul Cruickshank Racing team, with Gary MacDonald rounding out the top five in his Kanga Loaders sponsored Falcon.

The next round of the HPDC V8 Supercar Series will be held at Wakefield Park, Goulburn on May 13 -15.

<pre> Race Two Top Five 1. #71 Dean Canto Gators Racing 27-laps 2. #27 Adam Macrow Howard Racing 3. #99 Tony D'Alberto Tony D'Alberto Racing 4. #65 Phillip Scifleet Doric Racing 5. #41 Gary MacDonald Kanga Loaders Raing

Race One Top Five 1. #71 Dean Canto Gators Racing 24-laps 2. #27 Adam Macrow Howard Racing 3. #99 Tony D'Alberto Tony D'Alberto Racing 4. #65 Phillip Scifleet Doric Racing 5. #41 Gary MacDonald Kanga Loaders Racing

Round One Top Five Points 1. #71 Dean Canto Gators Racing 192 2. #27 Adam Macrow Howard Racing 186 3. #99 Tony D'Alberto Tony D'Alberto Racing 180 4. #65 Phillip Scifleet Doric Racing 174 5. #41 Gary MacDonald Kanga Loaders Racing 168

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Series CAMS
Drivers Steven Johnson , Dean Canto , Mark Porter , Phillip Scifleet , Warren Luff , Tony Evangelou , Tony D'Alberto , Adam Macrow , Dick Johnson , Paul Cruickshank