Alajajian end's King's Adelaide reign Not content to let rival Japanese marque Mitsubishi enjoy all the Adelaide success, Subaru driver Chris Alajajian won the second race in the opening round of the 2005 Donut King Australian Performance ...
Alajajian end's King's Adelaide reign
Not content to let rival Japanese marque Mitsubishi enjoy all the Adelaide success, Subaru driver Chris Alajajian won the second race in the opening round of the 2005 Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship at the Clipsal 500.
While the early morning temperatures were colder than Friday afternoon's race, the racing was just as hot, during the nine lap race around the 3.22km circuit.
After finishing third in yesterday's series opening encounter, Alajajian continued his racy form today, while early weekend pace setter Mark King's reign at the top of the weekend's order has come to an end.
On pole position as a result of his race one win, King experienced clutch creep on the line, was adjudged to have jumped the start. After serving a drive-through penalty, he eventually finished 12th and turns his attention to tomorrow's final race of the weekend.
This was of little consequence to Alajajian, who had already made his way past Garry Holt and King into second place before the Lancer driver peeled into pitlane. Alajajian set a new lap record, 1:32.6755, caught and passed Peter Floyd and went on to take the win.
"It was an exciting race," enthused Alajajian. "I pushed hard to build a gap as fast as I could, so I would be able to leave those behind me to battle it out.
"We got the lap record which was good; there are still a couple of improvements we can make so we will look at those before tomorrow's race and see how we go."
On the remaining steps of the podium, it was all HSV. Peter Floyd (BP Ultimate HSV GTS) led the race after making a move by King on the opening lap, however yielded the lead to the Alajajian on lap four and settled for a comfortable second place finish.
"We got a good start, the track was a bit greasy with some moisture, but the car was really good in the early stages. We just couldn't hold out Alajajian in the end," said Floyd.
Making it two HSV's on the podium, Barry Sternbeck finished 3rd, continuing his impressive debut weekend in the category aboard the Wake-Up! HSV GTS.
"I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, the car is going really well," said Sternbeck. "We were able to keep pace with the top two guys but then the front tyres went off a little bit. From here, the main priority is to finish in the top three for the weekend."
Garry Holt (Century 21 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII) finished 4th, ahead of Barrie Nesbitt (Donut King HSV GTS) and Ric Shaw (Sennheiser Mazda RX7). Mitsubishi Lancer duo Gary Young (Readymix) and Anton Mechtler (Mek-Tek Motorsport) rounded out the top eight.
Local drivers Craig Dontas (CSA Wheels HSV GTS) and Steve Cramp (CVW Engineering HSV GTS) bounced back after a mechanical gremlins made their Friday one to forget.
Dontas, who lost third gear on Friday, finished 9th, while Cramp was 13th after a new engine was installed overnight. Of the other local drivers, Andrew Taplin (Taplin Real Estate Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII) suffered a broken clutch slave which ended his race while Michael Brock (Coopers Pale Ale Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII) also retired with turbo problems.
The race was largely incident free, with Anthony Alford the only driver to come to grief. The Donut King Nissan 200ZX made contact with the outside wall on the exit of the final corner, a result of brake and electrical problems which have plagued the car this weekend. He was able to limp across the finish line in 18th place, but the damage has ended his weekend.
The third and final race of the opening round of the 2005 Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship will take place on Sunday afternoon at 12:20.
For more information on the Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship, visit www.performanceracing.net.au