Today saw yet another frustrating round for Team Betta Electrical, with the first of the two 54 lap races getting underway this morning under cloudy skies and chilly winds. The opening lap saw Todd Kelly surge to the front followed closely...
Today saw yet another frustrating round for Team Betta Electrical, with the first of the two 54 lap races getting underway this morning under cloudy skies and chilly winds.
The opening lap saw Todd Kelly surge to the front followed closely by Mark Skaife and Jason Richards, with the two Team Betta Electrical Fords of Max Wilson and Paul Radisich starting further back in the field in 14th & 25th positions respectively.
Team concern came quickly when on lap two of the 54-lap race, smoke appeared from the left rear wheel of Wilson's car #888.
The team manager chose to chance the incident wasn't serious and left Wilson until lap 12, returning to the pits to change a very badly damaged tyre.
Just six laps later on lap 18 Wilson was the victim of a very solid shunt from behind by the Shell Helix car 17 of Steve Johnson, resulting in Wilson spearing off the circuit and into the infield.
Wilson limped back to the pit garage for an assessment of the damage; car #888 was immediately garaged with the team setting about to repair the car in advance of race two.
Meanwhile Radisich in car #88 continued to circulate, slowly picking his way through the field, finding himself in second position by lap 24 and still to make his mandatory pit stop.
Lap 26 saw Radisich pit for tyres, rejoining the field again in 18th position.
Again Radisich began to reel in the cars ahead of him, finally finishing in 14th position with Mark Skaife winning race one, closely followed by Marcos Ambros and Russell Ingall rounding out the top three placing's.
Race two again started at a frantic pace, with Marcos Ambrose in the having the most impressive start of his career.
Paul Radisich in the Team Betta Electrical Ford starting 14th on the grid, managed to gain two places by the second lap whilst settling into a rhythm of challenging each car ahead of him in quick succession, finding himself in 9th spot by lap 6.
Wilson in car #888 starting from the rear of the grid in 32nd spot because of his DNF in race one, battled in the early stages, only managing to improve on his position by five placing's by lap 12.
Radisich pitted for tyres on lap 23, returning to the circuit in 16th position with 31 laps still to complete.
Wilson exited the circuit after an altercation with another car on lap 33, dropping one placing.
Lap 40 saw Wilson become a victim of another DNF when the front left suspension broke, forcing him back to pit lane where he ultimately parked the 888 car.
Paul Radisich went on to complete the race, finishing race two in 13th position, however he too battled adversity with a failed power steering unit just laps from the chequered flag.
"Well I feel I have earned my stripes today" - sad Radisich.
"I stuck to my plan of maintaining consistency throughout the race and in the most part it paid off, but I tell you it wasn't easy out there".
"It's a little disappointing not to have had a little more power to make the passing easier, but that's racing" - he said.
'I'm looking forward to the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 now, as I do enjoy racing there"
A dejected Max Wilson was disappointed with the entire weekend, saying "It's one event I will prefer to forget, my worst result ever I think".
'All I can do now is to forget about it and move on to Sandown and the first of the long distance races for the year".