V8SDS: Decina Racing Phillip Island Sunday notes

V8 SUPERCAR PRIVATEERS CUP FOR DECINA RACING An accumulation of valuable points throughout the 2006 Fujitsu V8 Supercar series has ensured Speed FX/Decina Racing the prestigious Privateers Cup, following the completion of today's seventh and ...

V8 SUPERCAR PRIVATEERS CUP FOR DECINA RACING

An accumulation of valuable points throughout the 2006 Fujitsu V8 Supercar series has ensured Speed FX/Decina Racing the prestigious Privateers Cup, following the completion of today's seventh and final round of the series at Victoria's Phillip Island circuit.

The award, which will be officially presented during tomorrow night's V8 Supercar gala dinner at Melbourne's Crown Casino, is in recognition of the best performed individual team that boasts no technical links to a level one organisation.

With Collaroy based driver Michael Caruso steering the team's fortunes, the Speed FX/Decina Racing outfit finished with a pole position, four second placings and a third across the seven rounds of racing in the National series.

"It's nice to win the Privateer's Cup and our fourth placing overall for the series is particularly rewarding because we are a new team in V8 Supercars competing against teams with backing from the main series guys," said Morton.

"I suppose it's just very disappointing to finish like we did this weekend in seventh position where we weren't really able to provide Michael with the car he deserved.

"We went from one extreme to another with the balance of the car and never got things where they should have been. But I suppose we'll be better equipped for Phillip Island next year."

Caruso has well and truly excelled in his debut season of V8 Supercars and was again at his attacking best despite still searching for a balance in the Decina Falcon.

In oppressive heat, which generated 50-degree plus temperatures inside the cabin of the car, Caruso showed consistent pace throughout the 19-lap journey to finish seventh for the round.

But at the conclusion of the final hit-out of the year, it was more about reflecting on what has been a massive learning curve for the 23 year-old, who has had his hunger for top level competition enhanced by the experience.

"The Speed FX/Decina Racing team has been great to work with this season and through the knowledge of team manager Jim Morton I've been able to take plenty on board," said Caruso.

"There's no doubt all the experiences will assist me to one day make my way into the main series which has always been my ambition.

"We started off great with a second placing in Adelaide and enjoyed numerous successes throughout the year which has been extremely rewarding for me and the entire team.

"2007 will bring with it a new set of challenges and with a full season of V8 Supercars under my belt I'm sure we'll be an even better proposition.

The final wash up from the 2006 Fujitsu V8 Supercar season saw Adam Macrow take the title from Shane Price and Jack Perkins, while the Phillip Island weekend had Andrew Thompson taking honours ahead of Price and Mathew White.

For Speed FX/Decina Racing the countless hours spent fine tuning and preparing the team Falcon for competition this year has been fully complemented by a thorough and professional approach by Caruso.

As a 23 year-old V8 Supercar rookie, Caruso has stood tall in more experienced company throughout 2006 and even managed an endurance drive at Bathurst's coveted Supercheap Auto 1000.

Just as it has previously in elite karting, the Jim Morton-Michael Caruso driver/manager combination has proven itself a lethal formula out on the race track.

"We've got some big things in the pipeline and are hopeful of expanding the team, but we won't be able to officially confirm anything just yet," added Morton.

"As part of this extension we've also been talking to an engineer with extensive knowledge in the main game.

"We'll definitely be shaping up to a big 2007 season!"

Morton has been extremely grateful for the support of flagship sponsor Decina Bathroomware during the past three years and has enjoyed entertaining all associated trade and retail customers of the business.

He trusts through the efforts of the Speed FX/Decina Racing V8 Supercar program, brand awareness of Australia's largest specialist bath/spa bath manufacturer has been enhanced.

-credit: www.decina.com.au

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Series CAMS
Drivers Andrew Thompson , Michael Caruso , Adam Macrow , Shane Price , Phillip Island