PROTECNICA'S PACE FOILED BY OIL SLICK Protecnica Racing and Chris Alajajian starred today in Round 4 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, with oil on the circuit costing Alajajian a podium finish in the final race. Races 2 and 3 of their second...
PROTECNICA'S PACE FOILED BY OIL SLICK
Protecnica Racing and Chris Alajajian starred today in Round 4 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, with oil on the circuit costing Alajajian a podium finish in the final race.
Races 2 and 3 of their second weekend of V8 Supercar competition again saw a strong performance from the Sydneysiders. During each race, Alajajian showed plenty of racecraft and pace to move up the order in the Jack Hillermans / Elf Lubricants Commodore.
Starting from 24th place in the reverse-grid Race 2, the 19 year-old carved his way up to 15th on the opening lap. Further gains saw Alajajian move up to 10th place by half-race distance, before a spin at Turn 1. It dropped 'The Chris' well down the order, eventually recovering to 24th place.
"I learnt from yesterday, when I lost places on Lap 1 by getting caught on the outside," said Alajajian. "This time I chose to stay on the inside and it worked for me.
"As the fuel load was going down through the race, I started losing rear end grip. We had the brake bias more towards the rear early in the race, but as I was concentrating on catching the car infront, I wasn't paying enough attention to the brake bias.
"Going into Turn 1, the car got taily in the rear end, and when I got on the brakes, the rears locked. I tried to catch it but it went around."
Alajajian lined up for the third and final race of the weekend from 14th place. With a combination of bold overtaking moves and speed which included the fourth fastest lap of the race, Alajajian charged through the field to sit in third place on Lap 17 of 26.
Three laps later, as he was closing on second-placed Nathan Pretty, the teams hopes were dealt a cruel blow. Oil had been dropped on the circuit by a competitors ailing car through Turn 7, which caught a number of drivers including Alajajian out.
"I was behind Pretty, and I take a different line to him through Turn 7, which turned out to be the line with the oil on it," lamented Alajajian. "When I got there and realised I was on the oil it was too late and I spun."
Alajajian regrouped to finish in seventh place. While it was a far cry from the potential result, he was pleased with what had been achieved.
"It was a good feeling in that last race," he said. "We were up there amongst the front of the field and holding our own. We got past a few of them and our pace was definitely there."
"This weekend has shown that we can be very competitive. Our first two rounds have been very eventful and very experimental for us, but I've learnt a lot about driving these cars, and there is more to come."
Also able to take positives from the weekend was Protecnica Racing team owner Scott Anderson, who is proud of the teams performance since moving into the competitive V8 Supercar feeder class.
"We still don't really have the results to show, but I'm really pleased with our efforts and how we've come to grips with it all," said Anderson.
"In Race 3, we were lapping as fast as the leaders. As the race was going on others were struggling on tyres, but our car was staying consistent. We were looking at a podium finish, but unfortunately it didn't work out.
"There are a lot more races this year and a lot more to learn, so hopefully we can have some more strong weekends."
The next round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series will be at South Australia's Mallala Motorsport Park on September 15-17.