RED FLAG COSTS BARGWANNA AT SANDOWN
Luck has not helped Jaosn Bargwanna in terms of strategy at the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge in Melbourne, Victoria today.
Bargwanna elected to start today's race on the softer compound Dunlop tyres, allowing him to move up the order in the first part of the race.
But with a mid-race red flag allowing teams to make changes with minimal loss of time, Bargwanna was left to drive the final half of the race on harder compound tyres in his #11 Rock Commodore, while many of his rivals had switched to soft tyres during the stoppage.
Tony Ricciardello had a tough day in the #16 Stratco Commodore, served with a drive through penalty early in the race.
Suffering damaged steering from the earlier incident with fellow West Aussie Karl Reindler, Ricciardello soldiered on to come home in 27th place.
James Courtney won today's race ahead of Mark Winterbottom and Jamie Whincup.
The final two races of the 2010 V8 Supercars Championship Series will be held in two weeks time at the Sydney Telstra 500 in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct in New South Wales.
KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD:
JASON BARGWANNA - #11 Rock Holden Commodore
"Our strategy was to get track position and maintain it throughout the race," said Jason Bargwanna.
"But when they stopped the race and all those guys we had an advantage over were able to put softs on we really had no chance.
"To make matters worse there was another Safety Car during that period as well, so any advantage we had with our fuel strategy was thrown away as well.
"It was a day that we would rather forget. We will go away and put in maximum effort to have a great end to the year in Sydney.
"I can't remember having such a long red flag situation, only maybe in 1999 when Craig Lowndes had his rollover (at Calder).
"It was quite bizarre and a unique situation. But those are the rules and it was good to see those guys walk away from that big shunt."
TONY RICCIARDELLO - #16 Stratco Holden Commodore
"There was a bit of blocking going on at the start as the guys that were on the regular tyres were running their own race," said Tony Ricciardello.
"We started on the soft tyre in the Stratco Commodore and as I was trying to come through the pack I went up the inside of Karl (Reindler) and he squeezed me a little.
"I tried to get out of it and locked the rears and hit him, which gave us a drive through penalty.
"It was my fault and I can only blame myself. The contact bent the steering and that made us the walking wounded out there.
"We tried our best and came home to the finish but it was a long race for us. It was just one of those weekends where things did not really go right, but we will get the Stratco car back on track for Sydney."
-source: kelly racing