WPS Racing's Besnard 8th in Tasmania WPS Racing's David Besnard put in an inspired performance to take his Wright Patton Shakespeare Ford Falcon from 25th on the grid to an 8th-place finish in the first of the three-race Tasmania Triple...
WPS Racing's Besnard 8th in Tasmania
WPS Racing's David Besnard put in an inspired performance to take his Wright Patton Shakespeare Ford Falcon from 25th on the grid to an 8th-place finish in the first of the three-race Tasmania Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains today.
Besnard put the disappointment of an ordinary qualifying session behind him as he weaved his way through the field to record a season-best result for the team, owned by Queensland businessman Craig Gore.
Team mate Owen Kelly, who started in WPS Racing's Car 48 from the rear of the 32-car grid, also had a good result as he climbed nine places to finish 23rd.
The two will start from today's finishing positions in the second race on Sunday.
Besnard said his top 10 finish was a pleasing result and showed the team was continuing to develop a strong race package.
"We had the set up good in the morning warm up, but in qualifying I think the track must have gripped up and we were pretty ordinary," said Besnard.
"We knew it wouldn't take much to get it back and we got it right. It was awesome as we had heaps of horsepower and it felt as though everything was coming together.
"Now we have to focus on doing it consistently, as we have certainly shown we are capable."
Besnard kept out of trouble throughout the race and continued to show good speed when intermittent showers created slippery conditions.
"I think most people backed off when the rain came but the track didn't get very wet," he said.
"I kept pushing at nine-tenths pace and caught a few places."
While Besnard was incident-free, Kelly had two spins but still managed to creep through the field.
He finished in 23rd position but his solid race pace indicated he would be extremely competitive during Sunday's two races.
"We had a pretty good race package so I'm reasonably happy," said Kelly.
"No one wants to come 23rd but I went forward so that was a nice positive.
"I spent the first six or eight laps just hanging around and making sure I didn't get caught up in any dramas."
Kelly had a good contest with fellow Tasmanian John Bowe until he locked his rear and spun going into the hairpin.
He dropped four places in the spin but the contest showed he was competitive in his first solo drive in the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The day started well for WPS Racing with Besnard setting the fifth fastest time in the morning practice session.
He clocked a 52.61-seconds lap and parked his car with 10 minutes left in the session.
The time would have positioned him in 11th on the starting grid had he been able to repeat it in the subsequent qualifying session.
But Besnard ended up clocking a qualifying time of 52.94-seconds, with the result positioning him in 25th position on the starting grid.
Kelly had a similarly frustrating qualifying after being relegated to the back of the grid for the start of the first race.
Kelly didn't see a signal from officials to have his car weighed during qualifying and he was stripped of his qualifying times for the indiscretion.