IRWIN RACING BATTLES TO THE FINISH AT PHILLIP ISLAND 500 The IRWIN Racing team of Marcus Marshall and Matt Halliday have battled the field and the conditions to finish the L & H 500 V8 Supercar round at Phillip Island in 21st position. With...
IRWIN RACING BATTLES TO THE FINISH AT PHILLIP ISLAND 500
The IRWIN Racing team of Marcus Marshall and Matt Halliday have battled the field and the conditions to finish the L & H 500 V8 Supercar round at Phillip Island in 21st position.
With an eye on a finish inside the top-10, Matt Halliday started the IRWIN Racing Ford from 15th position. He put in a solid drive and climbed to sixth position when he handed the car over to Marcus Marshall on lap #41.
With teams running a range of strategies Marshall returned to the track one lap down, but put on a charge with the aim to climb back onto the lead lap.
Marshall's charge was ended when he was sent off the track by Michael Patrizi. Patrizi was handed a drive-through penalty, but the wheel alignment of the IRWIN Falcon was damaged and Marshall was forced to endure an ill-handling car through to the end.
It was a credit to Marshall who also had to withstand a drenched track and was amongst the lead lap cars on a number of re-starts.
The final result was not a true indication of the performance of the IRWIN Racing Ford over the weekend.
"Car was really good, the result could have been a lot better," said Marshall.
"The car was strong in the race, but after the incident it was not the same. Then we had rain and I really feel like I did 500 kilometres of racing this afternoon!
"We have made a lot of improvements in the car this weekend and that's a credit to everyone on the team. We showed in qualifying and the Saturday races that we have genuine pace.
"The package in and out of the car is getting better, that's important as we head to Bathurst."
Halliday was pleased with his time behind the wheel.
"I played it safe and tried to stay out of trouble," said Halliday.
"I had an ongoing battle with cars from Ford Performance Racing and the Holden Race Team that kept me pretty busy throughout my stint.
"The pace of the race was 100%, but I have to say the car really felt strong throughout.
"It was a tough weekend as I had never driven a V8 Supercar at this track, but I will feel a whole lot more confident going Bathurst."
Race Engineer Marcus Clarke was disappointed with the result but is optimistic heading to Bathurst.
"The car had really good speed, but we got a safety car at the wrong time that put us a lap down," said Clarke.
"Marcus got tagged in the rear and that actually affected the wheel-alignment. So it's a credit to Marcus to keep it all together and bring it home in what was some of the trickiest conditions of the entire season.
"Considering we debuted a number of new components this weekend, the car ran faultlessly. Marcus and Matt are a very good combination that is getting better and that will only improve as we head to Bathurst."
IRWIN Racing now switches its attention to Mount Panorama and the Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst on October 9-12.