Bathurst Bites Back at WPS Racing The Bathurst circuit bit back at the two-car Ford team of WPS Racing on day two of the four-day Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 event at Mount Panorama today. After a very promising and incident-free first day ...
Bathurst Bites Back at WPS Racing
The Bathurst circuit bit back at the two-car Ford team of WPS Racing on day two of the four-day Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 event at Mount Panorama today.
After a very promising and incident-free first day of practice on Thursday, both WPS Racing entries fell victim to the fast and furious circuit and will start in the back half of the field in Sunday's main race.
Car 23, driven by David Besnard with co-driver John McIntyre, will start from 21st on the grid and car 48, driven by Alex Yoong and co-driver Neil McFadyen, will start from 33rd position in the great race.
Yoong had completed only a handful of laps in the first qualifying session when his car was thrown into a wall at speeds approaching 300kph in Caltex Chase, the fastest stretch of track on the mountainous circuit.
It prematurely ended his session and left him unable to have real shot at a qualifying time.
Yoong, in just his second race in a V8 Supercar, said he has developed a healthy respect for the challenging Bathurst circuit.
"The hype is justified," said Yoong.
"It is a mega track in these cars. V8 Supercars move around so much and you add the gradient changes at this circuit and you feel like you are on a rollercoaster that has already gone off the rails."
Yoong's lap times have been progressively falling from his first look at the track on Thursday through to the end of the qualifying session on Friday.
"You definitely need to get comfortable with this circuit before you push too hard," he said.
"Coming downhill is pretty scary over Skyline and into the Dipper. It is hard to find your markers and if you get the wrong line it's easy to put the car into the wall."
Team mate David Besnard did exactly that in the morning's practice session and his team spent several hours repairing extensive damage the car's suspension.
Besnard then stepped out in the second of the day's qualifying sessions and had difficulty extracting a flying lap out of his Ford Falcon.
He completed the session just over one-second behind the fastest qualifier, leaving him to start in the back half of the field.
"The car just didn't feel the same when I went back into qualifying but we'll get it right for the main race," he said.
He will be joined by co-driver John McIntyre, who is highly impressed with the Bathurst circuit following his debut drive at the track on Thursday.
"It is funny as people go on and on about Bathurst but I had never driven here before so it gets a bit annoying," said McIntyre.
"You tell yourself Bathurst is just another race track but now that I've driven here I can tell you it's not.
"It really does live up to the hype."
McIntyre put in a strong practice session on Thursday but sat out the Friday session in favour of giving Besnard more time behind the wheel.
One to get a bit more time behind the wheel was Alex Yoong's co-driver Neil McFadyen.
He competed in a WPS Racing Ford Falcon AU in the Konica Cup sessions to give him more track time and help prepare him for Sunday's V8 Supercar Championship Series race.
"The whole idea of the Konica entry is to give me time on the track and it has been a valuable experience," said McFadyen.
"Alex did the practice and qualifying today in the V8s so the Konica drive at least ensured I got some time behind the wheel today."