Gurr Wins Rain-Marred Konica Minolta Round Sunday 22nd February 2004 -- Smiths Trucks Alan Gurr has taken out the first round of the Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series at Wakefield Park, Goulburn today despite rain interrupting the third and...
Gurr Wins Rain-Marred Konica Minolta Round
Sunday 22nd February 2004 -- Smiths Trucks Alan Gurr has taken out the first round of the Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series at Wakefield Park, Goulburn today despite rain interrupting the third and final race of the day.
Gurr took the round ahead of Super Cheap Auto Racing's Luke Youlden and Gulf Western Oil/Jayco and 2003 championship runner-up Matthew White, despite having limited experience driving a V8 Supercar in wet conditions.
"I was a bit worried when it started to rain," Gurr confessed. "I haven't really driven in those sorts of conditions before, so it was great to end up on top for the day in my first full season of V8 Supercar racing."
Youlden's consistent day saw him finish in second position and puts him amongst the more experienced drivers favourite to take out the 2004 title.
"It's safe to say we had a shocker yesterday, but the team made some changes to the car overnight and the car performed really well in the races today," Youlden said.
"The third race really came down to how everyone performed on slicks and scrambled through. We had a few hiccups in that last race but overall I'm happy with how the weekend panned out."
Youlden and Hydraulink Racing's Mark Porter started the third race from the front of the grid and exchanged the top three positions with Rupprecht Motorsport's Cameron McLean until Youlden broke away.
Youlden looked to extend a healthy lead until the Safety Car was deployed due to an accident at turn two involving Holden Young Lions driver Kurt Wimmer. Soon after the race was re-started, an altercation with BOC Gases' Andrew Jones relocated Youlden back to 13th position.
The heavens opened half way through the session and stewards' red flagged the race to allow teams to pit and change to wet tyres if they preferred. The race was re-started and limited to a 14-lap race with Jones and Porter starting from the front of the grid followed by White and McLean on the second row.
Despite putting pressure on the top four drivers in the third race, Team Fujitsu's Owen Kelly continued the bad luck that he had encountered earlier in the day with a DNF in the first race due to technical problems and finishing the third race in eventual 23rd position. The second Team Fujitsu driver Jose Fernandez had a more successful weekend, finishing the round in fourth position.
With the rain easing towards the end of the 14-lap race, Jones went on to win the race convincingly ahead of White and McLean who finished with a consistent performance that saw him end the round in tenth position.
In the second race of the day, Holden Young Lions youngster Michael Caruso and Howard Racing's Mark Howard started from the front row for the full reverse grid race. Experienced V8 Supercar driver Mal Rose, who has secured a drive for Rupprecht Motorsport in 2004, took full advantage of his third row start as he jumped to the lead ahead of Caruso and Howard.
The rain that the drivers encountered in the third race began in the second when the race was red-flagged on the twelfth lap. Youlden showed what his Ford Falcon was capable of by making his way from twentieth position on the grid to third position before the race was stopped and placed him in a competitive position for the remainder of the day.
Rose managed to hold onto his lead before the race was stopped, ahead of Caruso in his first weekend of V8 Supercar racing, and Youlden.
In the first race, Team Fujitsu's Kelly jumped on Andrew Jones' slow start of the grid, and battled with Cameron McLean for the lead of the first race.
Kelly led the race and looked set to record his first win for the year before technical trouble plagued the Team Fujitsu Ford Falcon and resulted in a DNF.
Konica Minolta debutant Alan Gurr showed how much potential the young guns have in the series this year as he finished the first race in first position ahead of White and McLean.
The next round of the Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series heads to the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide where it will run as the main support category to the V8 Supercar Championship Series.