YOULDEN'S RACE ENDS PREMATURELY
Luke Youlden was a non finisher in the first race at Round 3 of the NZV8s Championship held at the Taupo Motorsport Centre today. Youlden had started the race from the back of the thirty car grid after the Powerbuilt Falcon broke a camshaft in one of Thursday's test sessions at the circuit. That forced the team to change the engine, and after two previous changes the series rules consigned Youlden to start dead last.
Youlden was quickly on the move from the rolling start and was into 19th place after just three laps of the 3.320 kilometre Taupo track. However soon after the Powerbuilt Falcon began emitting a trail of smoke and despite passing two more cars during it's final circuit Youlden retired the car midway through lap six.
On his return to the pits a dejected Youlden explained that another car in the race had made contact with the right rear of the Powerbuilt Falcon, fracturing a Watts Linkage pin and tearing it out of the diff. The incident left a large hole in the back of the diff causing the oil to leak out, stripping some teeth.
The Melbourne driver was disappointed with the standard of driving as he tried to make his way through the field. "The driving was disappointing, sure we are racing but we were battling for 24th not the top ten. The opportunity was there to latch on and learn," he said.
Youlden's frustration was compounded by the fact that he could not get a clear lap as he fought his way through the traffic and will now start tomorrow morning's race from the middle of the pack.
The poor starting position allied to today's result are disappointing when, if it had not been for an engine change prior to qualifying yesterday, the Powerbuilt Falcon would have started from fourth position on the grid today - one place ahead of the eventual winner John McIntyre.
The NZV8s competitors will feature in two further races tomorrow. The first is a 16 lap contest timed to start at 11.50am with the final race, a 20 lap reverse grid event, scheduled for 5.00pm