TOUGH DAY FOR WASHINGTON AT CLIPSAL 500 AFTER RACE 1 CRUNCH Bryce Washington's 2006 WPS Australian Carrera Cup Championship campaign lasted just 500 meters in the opening race at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide this morning. After posting a ...
TOUGH DAY FOR WASHINGTON AT CLIPSAL 500 AFTER RACE 1 CRUNCH
Bryce Washington's 2006 WPS Australian Carrera Cup Championship campaign lasted just 500 meters in the opening race at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide this morning.
After posting a promising qualifying performance in qualifying yesterday, Washington lined up 10th for this morning's first of three races only to be eliminated just seconds after the start of the race.
The ADRAD Racing Porsche GT3 Cup Car made a strong getaway, only to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when Aaron Caratti spun at speed exiting turn three as the field filed through the start of the first lap.
The 22-year-old South Australian had nowhere to go and collected both Caratti's similar Porsche and the hard concrete wall of the Adelaide street circuit, ending his day before it had really begun.
The impact was significant -- causing major damage to the front bodywork and essentially destroying the right hand side front suspension of the $280,000 Porsche.
The hit was also big enough to sheer the lower suspension arm off the cross member, destroy the shock absorber and also split the brake disk clean in two.
The damage bill included the front spoiler, most of the major plastic support bodywork and also to three of the car's wheel rims, amongst other components.
In a Herculean effort, the Adelaide-based Buik Motorsport outfit that prepares the ADRAD Racing Car cannibalized the Carrera Cup Australia GT3 show car for parts and was able to piece the #54 entry back together in time for the second race later this afternoon.
The rebuild saw close to 80% of the car forward of the front doors either removed or replaced entirely, a massive job given that the team had just three hours to complete the task between races.
The second race didn't go much better than the first, however, contact with Paul Freestone on the second lap -- as Washington tried to work his way through the field -- sending him to the pits before eventually being classified 19th, two laps behind.
It was a disappointed driver that emerged after a tough day at the office.
"(The opening race) was just a case of me being in the wrong place at the wrong time," he explained.
"Caratti spun in front of me and I just had no where to go and ended up collecting both him and the wall, and it caused huge damage to both sides of the car.
"It was a real shame because we through we had a real chance of scoring a top five position in the race. Unfortunately it was just one of those situations where there was nothing that I could do." He said.
"Full credit has to go to the crew -- they did an awesome job to get the car back together in the three hours between races, it was an incredible effort considering that everything on the front of the car was off it two hours before the second race," he added.
"The wheel alignment was out by a long way and every time I braked the car went hard right, but at least we got it back out there.
"It's just a huge shame that our second race was ruined by another car.
"It's the second time that he has punted me off in a race and it's just so disappointing. I had made up four positions in half a lap and just wanted to get through the field into a reasonable position. I was right alongside him and he just turned in on me.
"I was trying so hard and it's horrible not to even have had a chance." He said.
The third and final race of the meeting will be held tomorrow morning; the ADRAD Racing Porsche set to start 19th en-route to salvaging some pride at the team's home event.