V8 Supercar Shell Championship Series Race One Round Thirteen Sandown

Wills Faces Tough Start To Sandown Grand Finale

Cat Racing's Simon Wills endured a tough start to this weekend's V8 Ultimate at Sandown today - finishing 18th in the opening race after two clashes with Larry Perkins.

After starting 15th on the grid, Wills dropped a couple of spots initially, but progressed well before making his compulsory pit stop on lap five.

Wills was later struck from behind by Perkins at turn two, losing the Briggs Motorsport driver a position and sending Perkins to the pits for a stop-go penalty.

The pair later clashed again on lap 30 when Wills was pushed into the rear of Jason Richards.

Both Wills and Richards ran off the circuit and rejoined in 21st and 22nd position.

The Brisbane-based Cat star pushed on to complete the opening race of the weekend in 18th position.

"I certainly had a tough time out there because the car was not putting it's power down as well as I would like," Wills said.

"Larry also gave me a bit of a hard time, but I certainly wasn't expecting V8 Supercar racing to be an easy time.

"The crew are working hard on a couple of solutions for us to try to improve the car tomorrow.

"I am probably losing two to three car lengths coming on to the front and back straights.

"If we can find a solution we will have a pretty solid package because the car is pretty good everywhere else."

Today's opening race of the weekend was won by Holden's Mark Skaife ahead of Ford driver Craig Lowndes and Holden's Todd Kelly.

Wills is eagerly awaiting the final two races of the 2001 season tomorrow which kick off at 11am and 3.20pm.

"This weekend is a great learning opportunity for me and I am certain we should be able improve the car tomorrow," Wills said.

"The more laps I do in the car, the better prepared I will be for the 2002 championship."

Race One - 48 Laps
1. - Skaife (Holden) - 1:04:59.561
2. - Lowndes (Ford) - 1:05:04.943
3. - Kelly (Holden) - 1:05:06.974
4. - Ingall (Holden) - 1:05:07.893
5. - Bright (Holden) - 1:05:12.204
6. - Ambrose (Ford) - 1:05:13.477
7. - Seton (Ford) - 1:05:25.090
8. - Murphy (Holden) - 1:05:26.906
9. - Bargwanna (Holden) - 1:05:29.030
10. - Jones (Ford) - 1:05:34.397
18th Wills (Cat Ford) - 1:05:49.746

Sunday, December 2
9.35am: V8 Warmup
11.00pm: V8 Race Two - 48 Laps
3:20pm: V8 Race Three - 48 Laps