Phillip Island: David Russell race report

DAVID RUSSELL RACES TO 6TH IN DJR ENDURO DEBUT September 12, 2010 - Debutant Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) V8 Supercar endurance race driver David Russell has completed an impressive main series performance partnering Jonathon Webb at the L&H 500...

DAVID RUSSELL RACES TO 6TH IN DJR ENDURO DEBUT

September 12, 2010 - Debutant Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) V8 Supercar endurance race driver David Russell has completed an impressive main series performance partnering Jonathon Webb at the L&H 500 at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit over the weekend.

While it wasn't the 28 year old's first main series race, it was his first main series start at Phillip Island and the second main V8 Supercar series start of his career. Russell, who is currently fourth in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar championshiop chase, partnered 2010 V8 sensation Jonathon Webb in the Mother Energy Drink DJR Falcon.

Inclement conditions on Friday made opening practice tough going, but it was Saturday's qualifying which saw Russell take a wild high speed ride through the infield after a gearshifting error on the ultra-high speed approach to Phillip Island's first turn. Luckily the net result was no damage, Russell re-joining to qualify just outside the top 20 at 21st.

The separate 14 lap qualifying races to determine Sunday's L &H 500 starting grid saw Jonathon Webb take 18th without the compulsory pit stop that Russell made in his race, finishing 21st. This earned the DJR duo the 16th spot on the main race starting grid, ahead of seasoned competitors Lee Holdsworth, Dean Fiore, Tony D'Alberto, Fabian Coulthard and Greg Murphy amongst others.

The race started with David behind the wheel, getting off to a great start through to the teams first scheduled pit stop on lap 19. He maintained a strong pace in the opening half of the race, staying out of trouble throughout despite battling a cut sidewall on the right front tyre which had to be nursed through to lap 51 when he handed the car to Jonathon Webb in perfect condition and about to break into the top 15 by the mid stages of the race. From there Webb maintained a strong pace make his way into the top six with less than 30 laps remaining. Webb and Tim Slade fought over 5th and 6th positions during the final ten lap sprint, but with just three laps to go Paul Dumbrell and Webb found themselves on the grass in dispute for track space at turn six. Luckily they both continued without losing position. Webb took the chequered flag in 6th after a superb drive, the DJR duo's consistency throughout the race had paid dividends. This earned Russell his first main V8 Supercar series top six finish after starting the long race from 16th.

Russell and Webb's giant killing performance in their Mother Energy Drink DJR Falcon saw them complete the 500 kilomertre enduro ahead of Paul Dumbrell, Russell Ingall and Garth Tander with Alex Davison rounding off the top ten. The race was won by Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife (Commodore) with Mark Winterbottom and Luke Youlden second (Falcon) and Jason Richards and Andrew Jones (Commodore) third.

"We had our fair share of challenges thrown at us to find the right set up for the ever changing track conditions this weekend but we constantly improved the car and learned a lot along the way which will help us at Bathurst. Webby and I worked very well together and he did a fantastic job today, the DJR boys didn't miss a beat. This team is a class act and I am privileged to be racing with them in the enduros - bring on Bathurst!" David Russell said.

-source: marinellipr.com.au

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Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Andrew Jones , Mark Skaife , Fabian Coulthard , Craig Lowndes , Jason Richards , Alex Davison , Mark Winterbottom , Luke Youlden , Paul Dumbrell , Tony D'Alberto , Jonathon Webb , Dick Johnson , Tim Slade , Dean Fiore , David Russell , Phillip Island