TEAM ADRAD INSIDE CARRERA CUP TOP FOUR ON INDY OPENING DAY. Team ADRAD Racing's Bryce Washington has today opened his Lexmark Indy account in strong fashion, scoring strong results in qualifying and the opening race for this weekend's seventh...
TEAM ADRAD INSIDE CARRERA CUP TOP FOUR ON INDY OPENING DAY.
Team ADRAD Racing's Bryce Washington has today opened his Lexmark Indy account in strong fashion, scoring strong results in qualifying and the opening race for this weekend's seventh round of the WPS Australian Carrera Cup Championship on the Gold Coast.
Attempting this weekend to secure a place inside the championship's top ten, Washington today took his ADRAD Radiators Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to one of the strongest opening day's of his 2005 campaign, featuring amongst the top half-dozen competitors in each of today's sessions in extremely wet weather conditions.
Qualifying saw the ADRAD team positioned strongly for the opening race, Washington completing just four laps to bank a best time of 1m56.5708 to qualify 6th -- just 1.2 seconds behind pole sitter Fabian Coulthard.
"Qualifying was very good today," Washington enthused before the afternoon's opening race. "Considering we were very poor here last season it's a nice reward for all of our hard work to be inside the top six here this weekend.
"We struggled at both Bathurst and Indy last season -- whilst this year we have produced some of our best efforts on those tracks is a good sign of the progress we have made." He said.
The opening race was started in extremely wet conditions, solid rain all afternoon turning the Surfers Paradise circuit into something more resembling a skating ring.
Immediately showing great speed despite the difficult conditions, Washington moved into the top four by the third lap of the race -- taking advantage of other competitors misfortune in what was quickly turning into an attrition-filled affair.
After a short safety car period, Washington engaged in a battle with Paul Freestone; the ADRAD driver cautious in the challenging conditions.
"I was being really careful to not take Paul out," he explained. "It was just so slippery and I don't have a huge amount of experience driving in those conditions. I was just driving to keep the car off the walls, off the other competitors and to finish the race well."
After a race that saw five cars fail to finish, the ADRAD Radiators car eventually finished a season-best equalling fourth, backing up his race one result at Bathurst and setting the team up for a very strong weekend in the 'Sunshine' state.
"I'm really happy with the results so far this weekend," he said after the race. "I guess I was a little bit lucky because we took advantage of cars in front of us falling off the track. I couldn't believe how many cars were spinning off behind the safety car it was that wet.
"I think I'm driving the car so much better this year, compared to the last time I was here in this series," he said.
"Im not so afraid about damaging the car any more, which means I can be much more aggressive and push a whole heap harder each time I go out on the track."
And despite equalling his best ever result in the competitive Carrera cup championship, the young South Australian driver was confident that following today's results he would be a contender for a podium tomorrow.
"I have finished in fourth place three or four times this season, so my main aim for this weekend is to get onto the podium for the first time," he explained. "I'm much better in the dry than I am in the wet, so hopefully it's a lot better tomorrow and I can get past Paul and hold onto a podium finish.
"The Night race is going to add another element into it as well," he explained, regarding the innovative twilight race scheduled for tomorrow evening. "It's a pretty good experience racing at night, I just hope the weather holds so we can have a good competitive race."
Qualifying -- WPS CARRERA CUP ROUND 7 Lexmark Indy 300
1. Fabian Coulthard
2. Jim Richards +0.1302
3. Jonathon Webb +0.7024
6. Bryce Washington (Team ADRAD Racing) +1.2038
Race 1 -- WPS CARRERA CUP ROUND 7
1. Fabian Coulthard
2. Jim Richards
3. Paul Freestone
4. Bryce Washington (Team ADRAD Racing)