FUEL FIRE BURNS A WEEKEND WITH POTENTIAL FOR CHRIS ALAJAJIAN A Fuel fire before the start of the second race of this weekends Fujitsu V8 Supercar round in Queensland has prematurely ended a tough weekend for Chris Alajajian. Sydneysider ...
FUEL FIRE BURNS A WEEKEND WITH POTENTIAL FOR CHRIS ALAJAJIAN
A Fuel fire before the start of the second race of this weekends Fujitsu V8 Supercar round in Queensland has prematurely ended a tough weekend for Chris Alajajian.
Sydneysider Alajajian was on circuit forming up for the start of this mornings race at Queensland Raceway when a suspected broken fuel line began a fire in the engine bay of his #43 Protecnica Racing / Elf VZ Holden Commodore.
The car was returned to the team in pit lane where the fire was extinguished, however the damage was too comprehensive to continue therefore ending the teams weekend earlier than hoped.
With a non-finish in race one and a no-start to the third race it meant the North Shore resident was unable to improve on the 20th position in the championship he held coming into the round.
Earlier in the weekend Alajajian had qualified a promising 14th, less than eight tenths of a second from pole position in a competitive field.
In race one he made a strong start and had made up several positions before an off-song engine halted proceedings after just a few laps.
"We think that contact between our exhaust pipe and another car cracked the exhaust headers," Alajajian explained.
"The engine didn't sound right and we found the cracked headers when we pulled in. The team replaced both of them as well as the fuel pumps overnight and did a great job but then things went badly as we formed up for the second race.
"As we went around I think that the fuel got into the engine bay and one of the hot components in there started the fire.
"The car stopped and it was when the tow truck was bringing me back to the pits that I noticed the smoke in the cabin, and the crew saw fire coming from the car." He said.
Quick work from the fire marshals quickly doused the flame before more significant damage could be caused however the incident ended Alajajian's weekend before it had a chance to really get going.
Alajajian said that it was a frustrating way to end a weekend that had looked promising in the early stages of the weekend.
"We made ground every time we stopped and made changes in practice," the 20-year-old said.
"We would make a change to the car and every time it would be positive and we took a step forward. Qualifying was also good and I'm sure I could have been even a bit closer to the front.
"I think I had made up a handful of positions early in the first race before the problems started so things were going quite well up to that point."
The next round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar series will be held at Oran Park Raceway in Sydney between August 17 -- 19.