HENDERSON SHOWS PLENTY OF PACE Round 5 of the BNT V8s Championship at Manfeild in Feilding this weekend served up another mixture of speed and drama for Wellington driver Darryn Henderson. Henderson has shown real pace in his new Radio ...
HENDERSON SHOWS PLENTY OF PACE
Round 5 of the BNT V8s Championship at Manfeild in Feilding this weekend served up another mixture of speed and drama for Wellington driver Darryn Henderson.
Henderson has shown real pace in his new Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon on his return to the BNT V8s this season but niggling problems have intervened on several occasions to blunt the Wellingtonians challenge. The Manfeild round was a prime example.
A good beginning in qualifying saw Henderson nudging into the top ten once again. In the first segment of the qualifying period Darryn was sitting ninth and looking good for a repeat of his top ten qualifying performance at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch in November. However the situation changed dramatically. The Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon was sent out for the initial stages of the second segment of qualifying on old tyres. Rain was in the air however and it arrived before Henderson could get any meaningful laps on his faster, new tyres.
Consequently he tumbled down the order and ended the session 19th, meaning a lowly grid position would be his lot for the first race of the round the following morning.
The drama would still come thick and fast on race day. In the first race another car went off the road in front of Darryn, costing him a few more places and consigning him to almost the back of the twenty-four car field as the race settled down. Once Henderson got into his stride he was soon demonstrating the potential of both car and driver, storming through the field to 13th place in just 12 laps.
An improved grid position for the second race after that fine effort was something to look forward to but a flat tyre during the warm-up laps put paid to a golden opportunity. The Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon was forced to limp into the pits to change the left rear tyre and Darryn would again start at the rear of the field from the pitlane.
Again the impressive speed was evident as he charged through the field yet again, reaching 14th spot by the time the chequered flag was waved.
The third and final race, the traditional reverse grid event, was a beauty and one that Darryn describes as his best in a V8.
Into the first corner the Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon was three wide. Paul Manuell was in the middle of the three car sandwich and while Darryn says the experienced campaigner left room the corner tightened and Darryn was hung out wide. In an uncanny turn of events Henderson was once again at the back of the field facing another enormous task to gain positions.
Again he did a brilliant job to bring the Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon through to 14th at the finish. "I had to work really hard," he said later. However it was his dice with young kiwi international Chris Pither that gave Darryn the most satisfaction. "That was the best race I've had in the V8. We gave each other heaps of room. John Penny and Haydn MacKenzie were involved as well. It was a really good race."
"I passed thirty cars during the round," said Darryn as he discussed the weekend on Monday. "The pace is there but if you don't qualify good then you have to work really hard."
"In hindsight the decision to start the second qualifying on old tyres was a mistake, the wrong call. The car was set up pretty good and we were onto it early. I've done lots of miles at Manfeild and I know the track pretty well. We got caught at the worst possible time. We went from 9th to 19th and that's disappointing considering we had a good car. We were unlucky with the flat tyre at the start of race two and that really dealt to the rest of the weekend."
The final round of the championship takes place at the Taupo Motorsport Park, a favourite circuit of Darryn, over the weekend of 20/21 March. "The car's got pace so we are hoping to do okay there," he says as he looks forward to the day that luck goes his way.
Darryn's 2009/2010 BNT V8s Championship campaign is supported by Radio Sport, BP Ultimate, Samsung, Xtreme Forwarding, Zoagn, Global Signage, NME Electrical Waikato, Laserlite, The Interislander, Powerbuilt, Telecom and Fast Glass.
-source: darryn henderson