OPTIMA READY TO TURN SPEED INTO RESULTS Since making its debut in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship at the opening round of 2006 Optima Sport has rapidly developed into one of the fastest teams on the circuit. Given that Optima Sport's ...
OPTIMA READY TO TURN SPEED INTO RESULTS
Since making its debut in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship at the opening round of 2006 Optima Sport has rapidly developed into one of the fastest teams on the circuit.
Given that Optima Sport's driver David Clark, a four-time national karting champion, had never driven a 600-plus horsepowered V8 Supercar prior to March, and only one member of the team had previous experience working on a V8 Supercar, the team could have easily settled for being mid-field runners in 2006.
However, after qualifying tenth in the opening round, finishing seventh at Wakefield Park and qualifying third at the last round at Queensland Raceway, Clark and the Optima Sport outfit have begun to serve notice on the front runners in the championship.
While the previous round in Queensland may not have yielded the results desired by the team due to a variety of reasons, team owner David Macdougall believes that it was the type of round which will only make Optima Sport a stronger force in the future.
"There is no doubt we had the pace in Queensland to be on the podium but things didn't go our way, not once, not twice, but three times," said Macdougall.
"It's great to see how far we've all come as a group since the start of the year, David has improved his driving a lot and the team is continually working to improve the car which has been highlighted by the pace the team has shown over the last two rounds.
"Our aim now is to build on that pace and translate it into a good result inside the top five. At the first round our aim was to be competitive inside the top half of the field, we achieved that. For the second round we moved our goal towards the top ten, we achieved that. During the last round our aim was to be competitive inside the top five, once again we had the pace to be amongst the action at the front. Now it's time to continue this momentum and get a good result."
Clark has never competed aboard a V8 Supercar at the 2.7km Oran Park circuit, however, he has previously contested a round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship there in 2001 and also completed thousands of laps on the adjoining go-kart track.
"I know half of the circuit very well, the part they use for karting, but it's going to be a whole new ball game in a 1355 kilogram V8 Supercar compared to a 130 kilogram go-kart," said Clark.
"Realistically though it's another completely new circuit for me, but I'm really looking forward to the challenge. As a team we've improved and shown that we're contenders to be inside the top five, now it's all about getting it together to produce a solid result."
Practice for round four of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship begins on Friday with qualifying and the opening 16-lap race on Saturday. Sunday will include a 16-lap reverse-grid followed by a 26-lap feature in the afternoon.
Fellow Ford driver Adam Macrow continues to lead the championship on 920 points ahead of Price on 796 and Mark Porter (780), Clark is 16th.
-credit: optima sport