Talented Gold Coast driver Michael Simpson managed to walk away from the fifth round of the Konica V8 Supercar Series at the Lakeside Raceway relatively unscathed today, but things could have been a lot worse. Battling from race to race on a...
Talented Gold Coast driver Michael Simpson managed to walk away from the fifth round of the Konica V8 Supercar Series at the Lakeside Raceway relatively unscathed today, but things could have been a lot worse. Battling from race to race on a limited budget, Simpson managed to avoid a 200kph-plus accident in race one and then a spinning car by just centimeters in race two.
Simpson went into the meeting with some last-minute support from the organizers of the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500.
The support came as part of the Queensland Raceway¹s 50-day countdown to the event, which will be held as round nine of the Shell Championship Series on August 24-26.
The day started terribly for Simpson when a battery problem saw his car unable to leave pit lane until the dying seconds before the start of race one.
Simpson did make the grid, but then stalled again and had to be pushed started meaning an early stop-go penalty after the commencement of the race.
He was then making great progress through the field when Alan Heath and Ric Shaw came together at the kink.
Simpson came onto the pair at around 225kph and while he managed to avoid the initial accident, he did hit the rear of Terry Whyhoon who had baulked while also trying to avoid the carnage. Simpson managed to stay in the race, although he had four massive flat spots on his tyres, and was hopeful of a top-10 finish before the event was red flagged because of the earlier carnage.
"That was the biggest "moment" of my career," said Simpson.
"I thought we were in some serious trouble because there was dirt and cars everywhere.
"I was left with nowhere to go and that¹s not a nice feeling when you are traveling at more than 200kph."
Simpson made some great early progress in race two, but lost four spots when he was again forced off the track by the spinning Commodore of Kevin Munday at the exit of Hungry Corner and finished ninth.
The young Gold Coaster managed to stay out of trouble in the third and final race and he crossed the line in fourth place. He was later boosted a spot into third after Owen Kelly was given a 22-second penalty for hitting Brisbane¹s Craig Harris.
"I guess we probably passed more cars than anyone else today," said Simpson. "Hopefully we got some TV coverage for the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 which provided us some much appreciated help today.
"I am confident we can go to the final round in Mallala and have a real chance of notching a win and finishing with a respectable amount of championship points."
Queensland Raceway Chairman, John Tetley, a regular competitor himself, was on hand to watch Simpson fly the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 colours.
"Michael had more bad luck than anyone deserves today, but he still managed to put some strong results on the board," said Tetley. "I am sure we got value for our commitment with the amount of cars he passed."
Simpson has received other support during the year from the Queensland Vehicle Warranty Network, Brannigan¹s Budget Tyres, Eddie¹s Auto Painters, MA Howard Constructions, Nerang Diffs, the Lynton Group, Chef Talk and Wade-Parker Consulting.
The day was won by Paul Dumbrell from fellow Holden drivers Wayne Wakefield and Simon wills.
The next round of the championship will be held at Mallala in South Australia on August 11-12.
RESULTS ROUND 5 KONICA V8 SUPERCAR SERIES LAKESIDE RACEWAY, QUEENSLAND
Race 1 1 Simon Wills 2 Wayne Wakefield 3 Leanne Ferrier 4 Gary Holt Race 2 1 Paul Dumbrell 2 Craig Harris 3 Owen Kelly 4 Wayne Wakefield Race 3 top 5 1 Paul Dumbrell 2 Wayne Wakefield 3 Michael Simpson 4 Simon Wills Top Five overall Round 5 1 Paul Dumbrell 228 2 Wayne Wakefield 226 3 Simon Wills 214 4 Owen Kelly 206 5 Craig Harris 192
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (After 5 of 6 rounds) Paul Dumbrell 1016 Simon Wills 998 David Parsons 986