PROTECNICA'S PROMISING FIRST DAY CUT SHORT Things don't always go to plan in motorsport, and a damaged car and shortened track time as the result of being caught up in someone else's incident wasn't quite what Protecnica Racing had in mind for...
PROTECNICA'S PROMISING FIRST DAY CUT SHORT
Things don't always go to plan in motorsport, and a damaged car and shortened track time as the result of being caught up in someone else's incident wasn't quite what Protecnica Racing had in mind for their first day in the Fujistu V8 Supercar Series.
The incident occurred in the second of two practice sessions today at Queensland Raceway, when team driver Chris Alajajian caught a slower car on the run between Turn 3 and Turn 4.
"I was trying to overtake the car, and about three-quarters of my car was down the inside of his car," Alajajian explained. "When he hit the brakes, his front-left just locked and it made him come straight across the front of me.
"It was either go onto the grass to try and avoid him or go straight into him, so I went off onto the grass on the inside of the track, and as I went off, he must have saved it and continued going along.
"When I was about to re-enter the track, I could see him beside me, about to drive through the corner. I was on the grass and couldn't stop but he just kept on driving and I had nowhere to go, I clipped his rear end and damaged the car. It's really frustrating. We just didn't need that."
It ended what had been a productive day until that point. In the opening session, Alajajian completed 25 laps in the Jack Hillermans / Elf Lubricants Commodore, improving his laptimes consistently, ending with a fastest lap of 1:13.7456.
The time saw him end the session in a promising 18th position in the 41 car field, less than half a second outside the top ten which was dominated by Queensland-based teams. In his considerably shortened Practice 2, Alajajian recorded eight laps, with a best time of 1:13.8371. While the time was just 1.67 seconds behind the fastest time of the session, he was 23rd fastest in the competitive field.
"It was going well up until the incident," said the 19 year-old. "The first session was very productive. We didn't have any problems, we just got stuck into doing clean laps, learning, improving the car and lowering our times, which we were able to achieve.
"The car was getting better with each run we did. We made some changes between sessions which had a positive impact and we were about to come in and make another little change which I feel would've made a big difference, but it didn't happen in the end.
"Despite the problem today, it's all coming together. The hard work the guys have done was paying off. Unfortunately the incident cost us most of the session and put us behind on our program a little bit, but we were on a competitive pace straight away which is a credit to them."