LUFF TAKES SECOND IN RACE ONE AT BATHURST Decina Racing's Warren Luff has finished a strong second in the first race of the HPDC V8 Supercar championship at Bathurst after surviving a closely contested first three laps where plenty of paint was...
LUFF TAKES SECOND IN RACE ONE AT BATHURST
Decina Racing's Warren Luff has finished a strong second in the first race of the HPDC V8 Supercar championship at Bathurst after surviving a closely contested first three laps where plenty of paint was swapped across the field.
The race was reduced to 13 laps after Lee Holdsworth stalled on the start line. As drivers waited for the restart of the race, a light shower covered Mount Panorama leaving drivers unsure of what conditions to expect as they attacked the first lap.
As Luff expected, the extra 100 kilos on the car and a taller diff ratio saw a lot of the field get off the line slower than usual and as a result the Decina Falcon was hit from behind by Tony D'Alberto who was also punted from behind.
This allowed Gary MacDonald to move around Luff into third position and from there it was very close racing where a number overtaking maneuvers had teams and fans alike gasping and the field sorted it self out.
A bold move by Luff on the outside at McPhillamy saw him move into second place and from there he was never headed as he set about chasing Championship leader Dean Canto.
It was to remain that way as Luff and Canto traded times within tenths of seconds of each other but eventually Canto managed to pull away and consolidate his lead taking the win and extending his lead in the championship over Luff to 20 points.
"The race wasn't too bad for us," said Luff.
"We got an average start as we were boxed in by Macrow and Canto and coming into the first corner I got an almighty hit from behind by D'Alberto. Someone had got into the back of him which created a concertina effect pushing me into Adam Macrow.
"It was pretty greasy at the start but I still managed to get back up to Macrow and Canto and I was able to put a pass on Macrow across the top.
"Once I did that I set out after Dean, but as the track started to dry out I think we were lacking a bit of speed, however we were able to build a comfortable buffer over third. In doing that we though we weren't quite able to match it with Dean."
Luff will now spend the evening going over the data of the race and seeing how best to pickup time across the 6.2 km Mount Panorama track and also to get a better start in race two.
"Hopefully tonight we can make some changes and find some speed that will see us a bit more competitive tomorrow," Luff said.
"In terms of the start it is one of those things that we will look at the data and see what we can do to improve. I don't think anyone made a really good start today as it was surprising how much the diff ration and the weight actually does affect them on the start here.
"But it is one of those catch twenty two's in that you want to make sure you get a good start, but you have got to be so careful on the clutch because it is putting a lot of load on the entire drive train.
"But I am confident we can get a better start tomorrow and it will see us hopefully beat Dean into the first corner.
Decina Racing team owner Jim Morton was happy with the outcome and particularly enjoyed the close racing that made the early laps so exciting at the front of the field.
"The first half of the race was fantastic, it was V8 racing at its best I think," Morton said.
"There were a lot of cars attacking hard and the track was a little bit wet which really brought the cars together and made for some great racing.
"Finishing a strong second and with having no major damage to the car means we can now go out and see what happens tomorrow.
"Warren has had pretty good starts throughout the season and hopefully we can get a clean one tomorrow and pass Canto going into the first corner and make a good race with him.
Race two of the HPDC V8 Supercar Series at Bathurst will begin at 1.35pm on Saturday and will be 14 laps.