POWERBUILT RACING TEAM BOUNCES BACK FOR A GOOD RESULT Luke Youlden and the Powerbuilt Falcon added another healthy points haul to their NZV8s Championship tally in the opening race of the second round at Powerbuilt Tools International Raceway...
POWERBUILT RACING TEAM BOUNCES BACK FOR A GOOD RESULT
Luke Youlden and the Powerbuilt Falcon added another healthy points haul to their NZV8s Championship tally in the opening race of the second round at Powerbuilt Tools International Raceway in Christchurch today.
Despite a weekend that has thrown up a number of problems Youlden and the Powerbuilt Racing Team overcame them all to qualify on the front row of the grid and then finish 4th in this afternoon's twelve lap race.
The Powerbuilt Team have done a great job to enable the car to race so strongly.
Yesterday's two practice sessions at the 3.3 kilometre circuit were troubled affairs for the team. In the first, Youlden was happy with the car only to have a gear selector fork break. Then, in the second session yesterday afternoon, the Powerbuilt Falcon holed a sump on it's out lap leaving Youlden with the sum total of five laps for the day. The team spent last night repairing the damage and the Powerbuilt Falcon was back at the circuit this morning ready for today's action.
After setting the quickest time in the warm - up the Australian found himself in the unaccustomed role of having to qualify with the slower group due to his lack of laps the previous day. However he was able to get a good clear run and that showed when he set the quickest lap of the group, a 1 minute 31.968 lap on his first flying circuit. While it was a very good lap the car had been set up for a shot at it's best lap on a later tour. However that never eventuated when the car again holed a sump and returned to the pits trailing smoke.
The Powerbuilt Team then set to work to change the engine while Youlden endured a nail biting time while the faster group from the previous day qualified. However only reigning champion Kayne Scott could better Youlden's time, recording a 1 minute 31.941 second lap to nudge the Powerbuilt Falcon off pole position by a mere .027 of a second.
Consequently Youlden lined up on the front row of the grid for the 12 lap race, the first of three for the NZV8s this weekend. After it's engine change the Powerbuilt Falcon lined up with the same unit that had been used at Pukekohe in the opening round of the series.
After a good start Youlden was "hung out to dry" at the first corner being forced three wide. He admitted later he was fairly fortunate to keep the car on the track and when the field emerged onto the back straight Youlden was in 4th position.
He settled into the race behind John McIntyre in another Ford and spent the entire race pressuring the kiwi driver. He made one bold attack around the outside of the sweeper onto the front straight on lap 5 but could not get by.
"John's car worked differently to ours", said Luke after the race. "His car had better drive out of corners where ours was better mid - corner and under brakes. He was checking me up and we just couldn't show our true pace. Still we got good points and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's races".
Tomorrow morning the NZV8s will be back on track for a 16 lap contest before the finale tomorrow afternoon, a 20 lap reverse grid event.