Phillip Island: WPS Sunday report

WPS RACING PRIDE RESTORED AT PHILLIP ISLAND The never say die attitude of WPS Racing was on show in abundance today as drivers David Besnard and Craig Baird grafted a swag of positives during the BigPond Grand Finale at the Phillip Island...

WPS RACING PRIDE RESTORED AT PHILLIP ISLAND

The never say die attitude of WPS Racing was on show in abundance today as drivers David Besnard and Craig Baird grafted a swag of positives during the BigPond Grand Finale at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.

Genuine speed complemented the overall strategy as Besnard returned to his trademark hard charging ways, jumping up 12 spots and into the top 20 after yesterday's disappointing race opener.

Starting from the rear of the grid in this morning's second race, Besnard played a patient hand.

A similar formula in race three brokered the Gold Coast driver a commendable result, despite finishing the race meeting in 27th position.

"It's been a huge turnaround over the past two weeks since Tasmania and everyone was focused on a result here," said Besnard.

"We went forward and heading into the last race we were back to where we started from during qualifying which was a solid recovery.

"We brought it home well and full credit to the team. We'll now regroup and get ready for bigger things in 2006."

Baird was also at his strategic best early on today elevating himself up the order and managing to temporarily slot into 22nd position with just five laps remaining.

However as cars in front bunched on cornering, Baird was forced to brake hard and came off worse for wear, settling into 29th by the completion of the 32 lap assignment.

"That was a tough drive, we did everything we wanted to early on but once again luck just didn't run our way," said Baird.

"That's consistently been the story for us for the bulk of this season but generally the team is slowly gelling and I'm confident we can come back next year and give the competition a shake up.

"We finished just outside the top 20 for the year so it's a good starting point as we look to consolidate in '06."

Similarly, team owner Craig Gore could reflect on many positives from 2005 in just the second year of competition for WPS Racing.

"Our results in 2005 have been fair, but overall the performance and general perseverance as a team has been above average," said Gore.

"We've had numerous personnel changes throughout the season and I feel like we're now very close to having the perfect mix from which to build on.

"It was another educational year for us, but I think we're getting closer to seeing more consistent results and are all very much looking forward to 2006."

It was a huge day for Ford's Stone Brother's Racing outfit as Marcos Ambrose collected the event silverware and team mate Russell Ingall was crowned 2005 Series champion.

Holden's Garth Tander and Rick Kelly completed the minor placings during the BigPond Grand Finale.

There'll be little time for WPS Racing to ponder the year that was as they strive to become a genuine force in the V8 Supercar Series.

Upon reflection the scorecard may not read as a flattering account, however the general upbeat mood and feeling within the camp late this afternoon is an appropriate pointer towards better times ahead.

The 2006 campaign will begin with the Clipsal 500 on March 23-26, 2006.

-wps

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Series V8SUPERCARS