'ALL WE NEED IS LUCK' - WASHINGTON SHOWS STRONG PACE AT WAKEFIELD Adrad Racing's Bryce Washington proved at Goulburn's Wakefield Park Raceway last weekend that he has the outright pace needed to challenge for success in this year's Wright Patton...
'ALL WE NEED IS LUCK' - WASHINGTON SHOWS STRONG PACE AT WAKEFIELD
Adrad Racing's Bryce Washington proved at Goulburn's Wakefield Park Raceway last weekend that he has the outright pace needed to challenge for success in this year's Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia Championship.
Washington's #54 ADRAD Radiator Experts Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car was amongst the quickest cars all weekend as the one-make Porsche series contested its second 2006 round at the 2.2km rural New South Wales circuit.
Unfortunately for the South Australian ace some horrid luck on race day once again stopped the team from posting a strong result, Washington walking away from the weekend with zero points to his name after two separate circumstances conspired to end his weekend early.
The weekend started extremely strongly, however, Washington setting quickest time throughout the pair of 20-minute practice sessions on Friday.
His best lap of 59.8563 seconds was just over a tenth quicker than David Reynolds, the pre event test sessions held in the week prior to the round paying off for the ADRAD Racing crew.
The tight and twisty confines of the Wakefield Park layout were always going to produce a tight Carrera Cup field -- something witnessed in qualifying where 13 cars were covered by less than a second.
Washington qualified a strong 6th -- his lap of 59.5512 just two tenths behind the pole sitter and placing the Adrad Porsche well within striking distance of the leaders.
"I probably didn't quite get the most out of my Tyres in qualifying," Bryce said afterwards.
"But to be sixth isn't too bad at all, especially given we were only two-tenths from pole position."
With the first race one of the longest in series history and including a compulsory pit stop, Washington utilized a quick stop and strong lap speed to jump from sixth to second place; a position the #54 car held until the 19th of 20 laps, when a lower left hand front suspension arm broke sending the ADRAD racing Porsche off the circuit and into retirement.
The component failure came without any warning and sent the Adelaide-based driver to the back of the grid for the second of three races.
"The pit stop was great and we were going really well, I had Caratti behind me but I could pull a few car lengths on him and I was confident that we could have been second," he said.
"The suspension arm just broke without any warning at all as I was coming through the right-hand kink.
"It sent me off the circuit and ended our race there and then. The damage wasn't hard to repair but it was frustrating not to be able to get the result."
The second race, at 16 laps a more usual race distance for the Carrera Cup field, saw Washington start from the rear of the 22-car grid and work his way up to 15th by lap five.
Bryce's race would only last a further four laps, however, the ADRAD Porsche being collected heavily by a spinning Anthony Tratt on lap nine.
The damage to the Right-hand rear of Washington's car was severe enough to oust them from the remainder of the round.
"I was going quite well when Tratt spun in front of me," said Bryce
"I went to one side and David Wall went to the other side as he spun. I was on the grass and thought I was past before I got the hit to the rear of the car that put us out of the round.
"It is really frustrating because it was one of those situations where I was helpless to avoid the contact."
Despite the tough weekend, the philosophical driver remains confident that a strong rebound will be achievable in coming rounds.
"I know that I have the pace that we need to run at the front," he explained.
"I had the pace the whole weekend, it was just a few unavoidable and really frustrating things that set us back.
"When we get a bit of luck I think that we can score some really good results."
The next round of the WPS Carrera Cup championship will be held at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway on June 30 -- July 2nd, whilst ADRAD Racing will continue their championship defense of the Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship the week prior at their home circuit of Mallala Raceway.