Besnard Celebrates Birthday with Race Win at Taupo
David Besnard celebrated his 30th birthday with a race win in the 20-lap feature race at Round 3 of the NZ V8 Championship during the Taupo A1GP event on the North Island of New Zealand today.
Besnard set the second fastest time in qualifying on Friday before crossing the line second aboard the #48 Hydraulink Falcon in yesterday's opening encounter behind championship rival John McIntyre. The Australian was later penalised for jumping the start which relegated him from second to fifth in the final result.
Disaster struck for the championship leader prior to the start of this morning's opening race when an oil leak was discovered aboard his car on the warm-up lap. Following repairs by his crew Besnard started the race from pit lane, however, the problem continued and he was forced into the pit garage shortly after the opening lap with a gearbox failure.
Besnard put the disappointment of the opening two races behind him in the reverse-grid 20-lap feature race.
The Gold Coast driver started from 14th position on the 30-car grid and quickly asserted himself on the race by charging through the order to be in fifth position at the end of lap five.
Besnard continued this pace and moved into the lead several laps later. Just when things were going smoothly for the race leader a suspected oil leak began to affect the overall handling of his Hydraulink Falcon.
Using his vast experience Besnard pulled his pace back to 'nurse' the car and ensure he made it to the chequered flag first. He eventually crossed the line almost five seconds clear of his nearest rival.
"It was pretty fierce during the opening half of the final race, I had to do everything I could to pull up and avoid the hits -- but you've got to expect it in a reverse-grid race. It was just a matter of picking up positions as they came along and keeping out of trouble," said Besnard.
"The oil was leaking out slowly, but it was consistent -- and by the second to last lap the power steering went which made life pretty interesting behind the wheel.
"It was good to finish my birthday with a race win, especially after all of the dramas we had this weekend. I don't think there was a session where we didn't have some sort of drama.
"We're now third in the championship but only 33 points behind the leader and there is still a long way to go."
The next round of the NZ V8 Championship will be held at the Manfeild Autocourse, Feilding on February 16 -- 18.
-credit: bam media