SOMETIMES YOU JUST CAN NOT TAKE A TRICK Some days you just simply can't take a trick. Optima Sport endured one of those days at round three of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series in Queensland today. After qualifying third and crossing the line ...
SOMETIMES YOU JUST CAN NOT TAKE A TRICK
Some days you just simply can't take a trick. Optima Sport endured one of those days at round three of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series in Queensland today.
After qualifying third and crossing the line fourth in the opening race yesterday, before having a time penalty of 27 seconds imposed for a driving infringement, David Clark was determined to claw his way back to the front during today's two races.
The four-time Australian karting champion started this morning's reverse grid race from ninth position and was on the charge from the outset to be in third spot at the end of the opening lap.
As he raced along the main straight on the second lap Clark pulled alongside Mark Howard to move into second place. As the pair entered turn one they made contact which resulted in Howard running off the circuit.
When early race leader Jay Verdnik had incurred a drive-through penalty for creeping on the start line Clark led a V8 Supercar race for the first time.
With a handful of laps remaining Clark was issued with a dubious drive-through penalty for the earlier contact with Howard. When the safety car was deployed with four laps remaining Clark was forced to complete the drive-through penalty on the final lap which resulted in him recording a non-finish for the race.
"After the disappointment of yesterday I was determined to make this morning's reverse grid race a successful one and was on track to achieve this goal before being given the drive through penalty," said Clark.
"I'm very disappointed with the penalty I was given because I was alongside Howard for most of the main straight and on the inside entering the turn when he came down on me. I jumped on the brakes as hard as I could to avoid contact but I was that far in, I couldn't avoid the contact."
Despite his non-finish Clark was extremely upbeat about his chances for the final race of the round. The 27-year-old began the 28-lap journey from 34th position and once again his determination to get to the front shone through by passing 15 cars in the opening 10 laps.
After making his way into 14th just after half race distance, Clark became the innocent victim of the two cars in front of him colliding in the final turn. As a result of the impact from Marcus LaDelle, the Optima Sport Falcon was sent spearing into the sand trap bringing about a safety car period and dropping Clark one lap behind the leaders.
Despite encountering damage to the rear end Clark soldiered on for the remaining 11 laps and crossed the line 27th.
"I was taking my opportunities as they came without making contact with anyone and then I was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. From there it was just a case of getting to the end and trying to show some good pace," said Clark
"While the overall result didn't justify the effort put in by everyone in the team, I think we showed some very encouraging speed this weekend to prove we deserve a spot alongside the front runners in the championship."
Team owner David Macdougall was pleased with the team's progress throughout the weekend and is genuinely excited about the prospects for the remainder of the championship.
"Overall it was an encouraging weekend for the team but we started off pretty hot and ended up in deep water. We were pretty good 95% of the time and once we get that other 5% right we'll be pretty dangerous out there," said Macdougall.
"We're achieving our goal, which is to be competitive in the second half of the season. We've got a lot of respect for the guys we are racing with. There is a lot of experience there and these guys have done it well year after year.
"The real challenge for us is to fast track our experience so that we're strong in the second half of the year. While we didn't consolidate a solid seventh placing at Wakefield Park, what we have done is remain more than competitive on-track. If we can keep our competitiveness up and get some consistency in our results I think we'll be a regular front runner."
Adam Macrow won the round from Shane Price and Jack Perkins. Clark was classified in 34th position for the round. Macrow continues to lead the championship on 920 points ahead of Price on 796 and Mark Porter (780), Clark is 16th.
The fourth round of the championship will be contested at Syndey's Oran Park Raceway on August 11-13.