Surfers Paradise: Kelly Racing race 1 report

BARGWANNA AND TAGLIANI JUST MISS TOP 10 IN GOLD COAST OPENER Rock Racing drivers Jason Bargwanna and Alex Tagliani have narrowly missed out on a top 10 finish in the opening race of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in Surfers Paradise, ...

BARGWANNA AND TAGLIANI JUST MISS TOP 10 IN GOLD COAST OPENER

Rock Racing drivers Jason Bargwanna and Alex Tagliani have narrowly missed out on a top 10 finish in the opening race of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in Surfers Paradise, Queensland.

Bargwanna was in a battle for eighth place on the final lap but at the second to last corner the #11 Rock Commodore ran low on fuel and staggered home in a still-respectable 11th place.

The opening stint was a hectic one for Tagliani, who did well to avoid carnage on the opening lap but lost roughly six positions at the opening lap track blockage at the Turn 4 hairpin.

Dale Wood was forced to retire the #11 Stratco Commodore with clutch problems, meaning he and team-mate Tony Ricciardello missed out on a solid finish in the top half of the field.

Garth Tander and Cameron McConville won today's opening race of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 ahead of Craig Lowndes and Andy Priaulx and Kiwi pairing Shane Van Gisbergen and John McIntyre.

The second race of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 will be held on Sunday.

KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD:

JASON BARGWANNA - #11 Rock Holden Commodore

"I think Tags did a great job in that first stint but unfortunately he got caught up in all that first lap stuff," said Jason Bargwanna.

"He stopped at the hairpin and lost about six spots out of it. I think it was a great result for us to fight our way back.

"We obviously rolled the dice on the fuel and it ran out on the last lap. We were up inside the top 10 but I had to cough and splutter across the line but we managed to get there, although they had to tow the car back to the pits after we crossed the line.

"Clearly we have to qualify better but hopefully we can continue to improve the car and if we can get the car up into the top 10 in qualifying we have the race pace for a really good result."

ALEX TAGLIANI - #11 Rock Holden Commodore

"It was really, really nerve-wracking at the start because my mission was to make sure that I could bring the car back in one piece for Bargs at the end of my stint so that he could score some good points out of this race," said Alex Tagliani.

"So when I saw the chaos at the start I was a little bit nervous. I felt that we had a good start and when we got to the hairpin we had gained a position or two.

"I deliberately went to the outside to avoid the cars that had spun but the track was blocked on the exit of the corner and the way it all cleared up we lost about six spots.

"It put us at a disadvantage because we could have been right up in the top 15 at the start. If I got a good start I could have just held position and it would have put us in a great spot.

"I fought my way back and passed a few guys before I handed over to Bargs.

"The whole team did a great job and Brendan our engineer got the fuel calculation right on. Bargs was saving fuel and we just made it there and finished 11th.

"With one race to go hopefully we can at least match what we did in the first race or be even better and get a top 10.

"The racing here is fun but there is no margin for error because you are in between concrete walls at almost every corner.

"As I'm learning the car I can apply that with every lap. We brought the car home in one piece so we can concentrate on improving the car in a few areas for Sunday. If we can improve qualifying it will help us in the race and I think we can achieve even more in the final race."

TONY RICCIARDELLO - #16 Stratco Holden Commodore

"We missed all the mess at the start of the race in the first lap but the track was blocked completely so we all had to stop for a while there," said Tony Ricciardello.

"It was a shame that we had the clutch dramas because we were looking at a decent result there but didn't finish with a mechanical failure.

"The car has been good all weekend so it's a shame. We will get it out there for Sunday and look to get a good finish."

DALE WOOD - #16 Stratco Holden Commodore

"When I got in the Stratco car Tony warned me that the clutch was a problem," said Dale Wood.

"I tried to take it easy on the clutch and it seemed to come good so we were looking good.

"But towards the end it started to get worse and in the end it was well and truly gone and we had to pull in.

"We had real potential for a decent result in the top half of the field so we need to keep our heads up and press on for the second race."

-source: kelly racing

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Alex Tagliani , Garth Tander , Cameron McConville , Craig Lowndes , Jason Bargwanna , Tony Ricciardello , Dale Wood