FRUSTRATING DAY FOR POWERBUILT RACING TEAM
It was a frustrating day for Luke Youlden and the Powerbuilt Racing Team at the final round of the NZV8s Championship at Pukekohe Park, south of Auckland today.
Youlden finished 7th in this afternoon's race, the first of three scheduled for the weekend. After the race the Melbourne based driver revealed the Powerbuilt Falcon was still suffering the same engine dramas experienced at the previous round at Teretonga. On that occasion the engine was 30 horsepower down and again today a loss of power was evident as the cars raced down Pukekohe's long back straight.
"The team has worked extremely hard on the problem between rounds," said Youlden in the pits after today's race. "We cured it at a test session last week and all of a sudden it is back. We are losing about three to four car lengths down the back straight and that equates to 4/10ths of a second. We've gained in chassis performance and our corner and corner exit speed since we were last here but we are losing about eight kilometres an hour on the back straight. It's frustrating because we've got a really competitive car and the chassis is working really, really well. The team has changed everything but at the moment we can't find the answer. We will endeavour to overcome it."
Yesterday morning Youlden had set the fourth fastest time in testing but in qualifying he dropped to ninth. "We lost six kilometres in speed between testing and qualifying yesterday and that meant we got no new tyre gain," (when new tyres were fitted to the Powerbuilt Falcon for qualifying).
Youlden said the car "doesn't do the same thing every lap which makes the problem difficult to pinpoint. This is a round we wanted to do well at and it is frustrating - we are not fulfilling our true potential."
After qualifying ninth yesterday Youlden actually started today's race from seventh on the grid, after two cars ahead of him were relegated to the rear of the field. The Australian ran as high as fifth at one stage but the power deficit hampered his race. A significant portion of the race was spent behind the safety car after several incidents around the high speed 2.84 kilometre circuit.
The second race of the final round takes place over 16 laps tomorrow morning at 10.25am while the final race of the championship, a 20 lap reverse grid event, is timed to start at 4.25pm.