WPS Racing Goes Out on a High
WPS Racing's David Besnard ended the team's first season in the V8 Supercar Championship Series on a high despite a disappointing finish to the BigPond Grand Finale at Sydney's Eastern Creek.
Besnard finished the three-race round in 13th position but his fourth place in the first race, coming off the back of a race win in the previous round at Tasmania, showed how far the team has traveled in its debut season.
"Despite today's result it really has been a great end to the year," said Besnard.
"We made our first Top 10 Shootout this weekend, we had a great first race, our pit crew was exceptional and the car was very competitive.
"This sets us up for a really good second season."
Besnard started the day from the second row on the grid courtesy of his fourth-place finish in the first race on Saturday evening.
He had a flying start to the race and was third into the first corner. Besnard then showed good race pace but a series of tight battles with frontrunning teams saw him slip back to seventh place after all cars had completed their compulsory pit stops.
He maintained that position until spinning on lap 25 and sliding six positions to 13th place.
Five laps later he was turned around after a clash with Paul Morris. He again lost several places and ultimately finished the race in 20th position.
In the third and final race Besnard had a flying start and moved from 20th to 13th on the first lap.
It was a promising start but his hopes of a second top 10 finish for the weekend were dashed when he sustained damage to his steering column after a minor incident with Warren Luff.
He finished the third race in 21st position.
Team mate Owen Kelly, who came into the team at the back end of the season to drive the final two rounds with WPS Racing, also had a difficult third race and finished in 31st after sustaining damage to the front of his car on the first lap.
Kelly had a great start to the weekend and was heading for a top 15 finish in the first race.
However, his charge was halted late in the race when his engine failed, leaving him to start the second race from the tail end of the field.
"The pace we had in the first race was exceptional. We were going through the field without any problems until the engine blew," said Kelly.
"Then in the next two races the car was just a real struggle. Basically it was just a lack of grip but I'm not sure what was causing it.
"Anyway, the two rounds I've driven with the team have been great fun."
WPS Racing will return to the track in March next year for the start of the 2005 V8 Supercar Championship Series.