D'ALBERTO STARVED OF SPEED WITH FUEL PROBLEM

Tony D'Alberto has been hampered by a blocked fuel system on the opening day of practice at Round 5 of the 2007 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at Sydney's Oran Park.

With two practice sessions scheduled it became clear that there was a problem when the GMAC Commodore began to experience fuel starvation in the first session, allowing Tony just 14 laps on the track.

While other drivers completed up to 25 laps Tony was still able to post the fifth fastest time of the session.

The team worked in between sessions to identify a tiny filter in the fuel pump that appeared blocked, however there was not enough time before the second session to rectify it.

As a result Tony headed out for that session with a full fuel tank, some 80kg more than he would otherwise have had, as this was the only way that fuel delivery to the engine was possible.

Tony was 16th fastest by the end of the session, enough for him to be in the top-50% for qualifying tomorrow.

"It was just a matter of getting out there and trying to put down a lap time that would get us into the top-50% qualifying group; and we did that," Tony said.

"The extra weight made it difficult to dial in a set-up and get a true feel for the speed of the car,"

The team immediately set about fixing the problem after the session to have the car ready for qualifying tomorrow morning.

"It was good to actually find what the problem was before we head into qualifying tomorrow," Tony said.

Qualifying and Race 1 are on tomorrow, with Race 2 and 3 on Sunday.

-credit: trd