Wakefield Park unhappy stomping ground for Howard Racing Team Reigning Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series champions Howard Racing Team have endured a horrid second round of the 2007 series at Goulburn's Wakefield Park today with on-track incidents and...
Wakefield Park unhappy stomping ground for Howard Racing Team
Reigning Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series champions Howard Racing Team have endured a horrid second round of the 2007 series at Goulburn's Wakefield Park today with on-track incidents and mechanical issues impeding the teams hopes of a substantial points haul.
After qualifying third, young-gun Andrew Thompson got a great start in the opening 17-lap race and was soon up in second place challenging for the lead. A failing oil pump saw the team receive a mechanical black flag and Thompson forced into the pits for repairs.
Team Principal Mark Howard started who started from grid position 22 held station throughout the race, but after destroying a set of tyres in qualifying had to be conservative and preserve his remaining sets to ensure they saw out all three races.
Teammate Adam Sharpe made great progress climbing from 19th to 13th by the end of the opening race. In Race 2 the Brit got a good start quickly moved through into the top ten until he was rear ended by another competitor and the crash box on his Falcon dislodged. A mechanical black flag and a trip to the pits for repairs robbed Sharpe of valuable points.
Mark Howard made good progress in the early laps of the second race but he too fell victim to some careless driving when competitor Neil McFadyen blatantly turned him around. The contact spun Howard into the path of another competitor and the Howard Racing Ford Falcon BA received substantial damage from the rear windscreen back.
While Howard limped back to the pits Andrew Thompson continued his charge through the field and by the time the chequered flag fell he had passed 21 cars to finish 13th .
The hard working Howard Racing crew performed a minor miracle in between races to ensure Mark Howard's Falcon made the start grid. With less than perfect tyres Howard struggled with grip over the longer race distance but still managed to progress and finish 20th. Adam Sharpe's woes continued when he was turned around on the opening lap and after falling to the back of the field he drove a very solid race to climb back to 15th and into the points.
Consistent, clean laps saw Andrew Thompson break into the top five, the teenager finished 14th for the round with 18 points.
"It was very disappointing to go out of the first race with an oil leak," Thompson said. "The car was really good and I knew it was better than our qualifying result."
"I came through from 34th to finish in the points in races two and three which was quite an achievement as this track is traditionally not easy to pass on."
"We will now look to turning things around at Winton," Thompson added.
Despite his misfortunes Adam Sharpe still managed to come away with 6 points and 17th for the round and sits 17th in the championship with 19 points.
"I struggled a bit through qualifying but had a really good first race," Sharpe explained.
"It is a little frustrating that both incidents in Races 2 & 3 resulted from the actions of other competitors."
Mark Howard who finished the round out of the points in 22nd is also now sitting 22nd in the Championship standings.
"It was very disappointing round for all of us," Howard said. "It was especially frustrating as the cars had good speed and it was shaping up to be quite a promising weekend."
"Both myself and Adam were handicapped by other driver's actions today but we can't dwell on what happened we must look to the next round at Winton."
"I am very happy with the way Team is working, they really did pull a rabbit out of a hat to get me back on track for the final race," Howard added.
Howard Racing Team Manager Warren Davis also expressed his concerns at some of the driving standards of other competitors.
"The outcome of the day is disappointing especially as most of our dramas were the results of poor driving standards by other competitors," Davis outlined.
"I think we really need to look at making the penalties harsher so there is an impact on drivers for their conduct."