D'ALBERTO SHOWS STRENGTH AT SANDOWN Tony D'Alberto showed great maturity at the Midas 400 at Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne after a season-high qualifying effort before battling adversity in the meeting's three races. The meeting...
D'ALBERTO SHOWS STRENGTH AT SANDOWN
Tony D'Alberto showed great maturity at the Midas 400 at Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne after a season-high qualifying effort before battling adversity in the meeting's three races.
The meeting started well for Tony when he was 14th fastest in Saturday's practice sessions as the 22 year-old made the most of his first 'solo' V8 Supercar event at the historic track.
Sunday's qualifying was highlighted by Tony's first appearance in the second leg after he was 18th fastest in the opening session. The second session put him on grid 20 for Race 1 in what was a great effort by the whole team.
After working his way up to position 16 a misfire developed in the engine after the compulsory pit stop forcing Tony back to the garage for investigation.
Tony extricated himself from the car and nine laps later the problem was identified as a lose coil lead; he rejoined the race to finish 25th.
"It was all going well until the misfire," Tony said.
"We had made up a fair bit of ground and were posting some reasonable times.
"Rejoining the race was all about picking up whatever points we could."
Rain on Monday morning made for a wet Race 2 and with Tony starting from grid 25 it was going to be a tough race.
And that it was, with Tony unable to make any major progress in the difficult conditions.
An air jack problem during the compulsory pit stop further hampered his race and he eventually finished 25th.
"I have not raced this car in the wet before and although we were competitive it is a very hard track to pass on in wet conditions unless you have superior speed," Tony said.
The weather had cleared for Race 3 and Tony was back on the move.
He made his way up to 19th place and was closing on Andrew Thompson when Paul Morris hit him from behind on lap 25.
This not only cost Tony the chance to challenge Thompson for position but he lost a place to Morris and then was forced to pit to remove loose bodywork from the rear of the car before eventually finishing 25th.
"There is a lot we can take from this meeting," Tony said.
"We have had our best qualifying yet and showed some pretty good race pace as well.
"A few set-backs tarnished the potential for a good result; we will now look forward to the next round in Darwin."
The next round of the championship is the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway on 4-6 July.
-credit: tonyd.com.au today