FORD Falcon driver Warren Luff blasted out of the darkness to wrap up his second straight Poolrite V8 BRutes Series championship at the Gold Coast Indy today. Luff finished second in a seven-lap race run with headlights on as dusk and heavy...
FORD Falcon driver Warren Luff blasted out of the darkness to wrap up his second straight Poolrite V8 BRutes Series championship at the Gold Coast Indy today.
Luff finished second in a seven-lap race run with headlights on as dusk and heavy storm clouds ensured one of the most unusual V8 BRute events in memory.
While Luff, 24, confirmed his title with one leg of the final round still to go, race winner Gary MacDonald put second place in the series beyond question.
Sunday's final race of the season will focus on the battle for third overall between Holden drivers James Brock and Charlie Kovacs.
"At the start of the year I joined a new team with a new sponsor and they've been great all year. This is the ultimate - to repay them with a championship win is just unbelievable," Luff said.
MacDonald said he was happy with the championship outcome.
"To come second to a driver of his (Luff's) calibre is no mean feat. I rate him as the best driver I've ever raced against.
"It was a really tough race in the dark - and even tougher once I got into the lead and realised just how little visibility there was.
"Luff must eat all his carrots to be able to see that well.
"Now we'll try to win the round for all our sponsors that have made the trip here to support us."
Luff reset the lap record to 2 minutes 18.65 seconds on lap six, 0.3 sec. faster than the mark set by fellow Ford driver Grant Denyer last year.
The V8 BRutes race, the last on the Indy program today, was a spectacular viewing experience for fans. By the time cars started at 5.45 pm, the sun had set and lightning flashed across the sky.
Roy Leaver brought out the safety car at the end of the first lap when his car went nose-first into the wall.
The race was restarted on lap five, with Luff leading MacDonald. There were a few minor incidents at the back of the field as they wound their way blindly through the concrete canyon of the unlit Gold Coast street circuit.
MacDonald was putting a lot of pressure on Luff for the lead, with both of them breaking the lap record on lap six.
On the final lap, Luff ran out of brakes at the first chicane, going straight over the kerbs and allowing MacDonald past to take the race win.
RESULTS (Race 2, Round 8)
1. Gary MacDonald (NSW) Holden SS
2. Warren Luff (NSW) Ford Falcon XR8
3. Charlie Kovacs (SA) Holden
4. Ross Almond (SA) Ford
5. Jack Elsegood (NSW) Ford
6. James Brock (Vic.) Holden
* Championship points: 363 Luff, 326.5 MacDonald, 246.5.5 Brock, 240 Kovacs, 220.5 White, 218 Baxter.
* Timetable: Saturday, not on track; Sunday, 7.30 race 3 (6 laps).
* Last year: Qualifying, Luff (2;19.15); race 1 Brock; race 2 Luff; race 3 Elsegood.
* Lap record: Luff 2:18.65 (24/10/03).