POWERBUILT RACING TEAM IN THE WARS
Unfortunately Timaru International Raceway could not deliver the results for Powerbuilt Racing Team driver Luke Youlden after he crossed the Tasman on Saturday night to join the NZV8s field for two races at the South Canterbury circuit today.
Youlden had made an overnight dash from his racing commitments in the Australian V8 Supercar Development Series in Adelaide to drive the Powerbuilt Falcon in today's two races after missing yesterday's first race at the circuit. That relegated the Australian to the back of the packed grid as he lined up for the first of today's races. However the opening race was brief as Youlden arrived at the third corner only to have another competitor have a problem in front of him. Left with nowhere to go Youlden got caught in the incident leaving the Powerbuilt Falcon with a holed radiator and damaged oil coolers. Youlden brought the car back to the pits where it was promptly wheeled away for repairs before the reverse grid event later in the day.
After his earlier retirement Youlden would again be forced to start from the rear of the grid in the final event of the NZV8s weekend. This time the Melbourne based driver made steady progress but as all the fast men at the back of the field found, passing was extremely difficult around the very tight 2.4 kilometre track. Youlden spent a long period of the race in a train of cars that included series leader John McIntyre, fellow Australian David Besnard and Holden Commodore drivers Andy Booth, Andrew Anderson and Paul Manuell. He eventually crossed the line in 16th place.
"It was a calamitous weekend," said Youlden after a very tough time. Referring back to his efforts in Adelaide earlier in the weekend he said he had retired from the opening race at that event when a sway bar blade went inside a rim, causing a puncture and sending the car nose first into the fence. Safety issues caused by the failure then meant the car was withdrawn from Saturday's race in Adelaide. Then it was onto a flight to Melbourne followed by a trip across the Tasman. Arriving in Christchurch at midnight, Youlden then drove to Timaru, getting to bed at 2.00am this morning.
"Someone had a half lose in front of me this morning and I got caught in the mess. We dumped our oil and were concerned for the engine as we lost oil pressure. The team replaced the radiator and oil coolers and the engine lasted the distance. Race three was a tough battle," he continued, "it was difficult to pass. We got held up and we were not able to do our own race. It was a good effort by the team to turn the car around between races, but it was disappointing. We should have been fighting with Kayne Scott." Scott also travelled back from Adelaide to compete in Timaru today.
Unfortunately this evening a 10 second penalty was added to Youlden's race time and thirty championship points were deducted from the team after an incident during the final race.
The NZV8s Championship now moves to Teretonga Park near Invercargill for the penultimate round of the championship next weekend.