WPS Racing's David Besnard was left shattered and disappointed after being forced out of round seven of the V8 Supercar Championship Series while travelling inside the top 10. Besnard had driven a patient and tactically strong race to give...
WPS Racing's David Besnard was left shattered and disappointed after being forced out of round seven of the V8 Supercar Championship Series while travelling inside the top 10.
Besnard had driven a patient and tactically strong race to give himself a shot at his first top 10 finish of the year when extreme misfortune struck early in the back half of the race.
The front end of Besnard's car was crumpled after a three-car incident in front of him left him with nowhere to go on lap 54 around the tight Winton circuit.
He punched into the back of Mark Skaife's car and the resulting damage to the radiator immediately forced him out of the race.
"Today was just sheer disappointment," said Besnard.
"We had the strategy right, we had good tyres and we were up to 10th place. There were guys in front of me on bad rubber and it was just a matter of being patient and the result would come.
"But then the guys just in front of me got three wide and into trouble so I went to the inside to avoid them and went straight into Skaife.
"It is just so disappointing because the car was so close to being just right. We proved today we can race with the frontrunners and with a little more improvement we can really be mixing it with them."
Team owner Craig Gore said he was excited by Besnard's strong showing throughout the race but disappointed at the way he was forced out of the race.
"We had it together today from an engine perspective and it was disappointing that an apparent desperate move by Skaife up the inside of two other cars led to us being forced out of the race," said Gore.
WPS Racing's birthday boy Mark Noske put in a strong back half of the race but his chances of a high finish were cruelled early in the day when he experienced handling problems on his first set of tyres.
By the time he came in for a fresh set of rubber on lap 33 he had slipped well down the field, but he recovered strongly to finish the race in 21st position.
"The first set of tyres just didn't feel right and I lost balance very early in the race," said Noske.
"After the tyre change the car felt very good but by that time I was well out of contention.
"It wasn't the birthday present I was looking for today."
Earlier in the day Noske's WPS Racing team mates had a celebration in the pits to acknowledge his 30th birthday.
WPS Racing now moves on to the next round at Oran Park Raceway on August 13-15 in the knowledge that it has overcome an engine problem that had plagued it in early-season races.
"I think we showed some real improvement today so we can take something out of this race," said Gore.
Meanwhile, WPS Racing's Charlie O'Brien finished in sixth place in his comeback race in the Australian Carrera Cup at Winton today.
Driving his GT3 Porsche for the first time since the Australian Grand Prix carnival in March, O'Brien finished the three races in the round in fifth, seventh and sixth positions.
"For my first race back I'm happy with the result," said O'Brien, who was sporting the Wright Patton Shakespeare livery for the first time this year.
"I would like to think I can only improve as I haven't even done any testing.
"I'm now concentrating on getting fitter and faster so I can bridge the gap on the top cars in the final races of the season."