Mixed Fortunes for Noske and Besnard WPS Racing's Mark Noske picked up 10 places after starting from the rear of the grid in the first of the three-race round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia ...
Mixed Fortunes for Noske and Besnard
WPS Racing's Mark Noske picked up 10 places after starting from the rear of the grid in the first of the three-race round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia today.
Noske drove a consistent race to finish 22nd, a pleasing result considering his starting position and the fact it is just his second race of the year after missing the first three rounds of the series.
But it wasn't so pleasing for team mate David Besnard, who failed to finish after being in 18th position just three laps from the finish.
After defending his position for most of the race Besnard slipped to 21st place just two laps from the end of the 42-lap charge.
Disaster then struck on the penultimate lap when Besnard, travelling in excess of 200kmh, was left with no room to move when Paul Dumbrell turned in front of him at low speed.
The two cars collided and the incident crunched the front end of Besnard's car, punctured a tyre and effectively ended his race.
He limped into the pits just 100 metres short of starting his final lap and with an estimated $25,000 of damage.
It was a crushing end to the race for Besnard, who ended up with a DNF (did not finish) next to his name.
Besnard will start race two tomorrow from 27th position.
The Barbagallo round kicked off on Friday and the first practice session confirmed that the newly-resurfaced track significantly changed the dynamics of the circuit.
Both WPS Racing Ford BA Falcons initially went to the track with set ups based on previous trips to Barbagallo Raceway.
But it soon became apparent that the track was handling much differently than in past years.
"It was gripping much more than in previous years and I think that was reflected in the fact that most drivers broke the previous lap record," said team manager Keith Evers.
"Neither of our cars was prepared for such a radical shift in track dynamics but Friday was always going to be a learning experience for all of the teams."
WPS Racing made adjustments to both Besnard's and Noske's cars overnight on Friday to better cope with the new surface.
That paid immediate benefits for Besnard in the Saturday morning practice session. He found more than a second on his best time from the Friday to set the 16th fastest time going into the first qualifying session.
However, further changes to the car proved a set-back ahead of qualifying. Besnard was well off his practice session times and placed 26th in qualifying for race one.
Noske experienced similar fortunes and couldn't match his best time from the Friday.
He started race one from the tail of the field and did a superb job to finish 22nd with what is regarded as an under-strength car.