POWERFUL START AT PUKEKOHE FOR WPS RACING WPS Racing's Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna continued their positive start to the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship with a powerful performance during the opening race at Pukekohe Park Raceway in New...
POWERFUL START AT PUKEKOHE FOR WPS RACING
WPS Racing's Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna continued their positive start to the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship with a powerful performance during the opening race at Pukekohe Park Raceway in New Zealand today.
In his 53rd championship round Wilson qualified for his 20th top ten shootout by setting the ninth fastest time during this morning's qualifying session. The Brazilian's qualifying effort was the best qualifying performance by the WPS Racing team since Eastern Creek in 2004.
Bargwanna qualified less than four-tenths of a second behind his WPS Racing team-mate to start today's opening race from the tenth row on the grid.
Both drivers made clean starts to steer clear of a turn one incident which eliminated local hero Greg Murphy.
Throughout the race Wilson moved up the order to finish sixth and record his best race result since race two in round 11 at Surfers Paradise in 2004.
Bargwanna made it a pair of pleasing results for the team by finishing just outside the top ten in 11th.
Mark Skaife claimed today's opening 36-lap race ahead of defending series champion Russell Ingall and Jason Bright.
Tomorrow's program will consist of two 50-lap races. The starting grid for the opening race will be a reverse of today's finishing positions with the combined points from race one and two deciding the starting positions for the third and final race of the round.
Mark Larkham -- WPS Racing Team Principal
"Today was a very strong result for the team which is the outcome of the total commitment by everyone involved," said Larkham.
"A good qualifying effort provided both drivers with an opportunity to be in a strong position during the race.
"To have both cars very competitive is pleasing and the finishing positions were a result of good pit stops, good strategy, good car speed and smart drives by both Max and Bargs.
"Overall today was extremely pleasing and it looks very positive for tomorrow's two races."
Max Wilson -- Driver #8 WPS Racing Falcon
"It was good to be in the shootout following qualifying but I made a mistake on my flying lap which meant I wasn't able to take full advantage of the opportunity," said Wilson.
"In the race I had a good start and kept out of trouble in turn one, which was vital to a good result.
"The car was strong for the majority of the race but we'll need to work on our setup for tomorrow's longer races.
"To finish inside the top six is a great reward for the effort by all for the guys in the team and I look forward to continuing our good form into tomorrow."
Jason Bargwanna -- Driver #10 WPS Racing Falcon
"Overall today was a very positive result and provides us with a good foundation to build on throughout the weekend," said Bargwanna.
"I made some good decisions in the opening lap which not only kept me out of trouble but also ensured that I missed a lot of the carnage.
"The car was very competitive during the opening half of the race but it seems as though I broke a front sway bar which affected the handling and cost me a fair bit of time as the race continued.
"Patience during tomorrow's first race, which is the first in a reverse grid format, will be vital to gain a good result."