TEAM VIP PETFOODS DEFIANT IN THE FACE OF SANDOWN ADVERSITY Team VIP Petfoods' Klark Quinn, Craig Baird and Tony Quinn have driven through adversity for today's first two races of round six of the Carrera Cup championship at Sandown...
TEAM VIP PETFOODS DEFIANT IN THE FACE OF SANDOWN ADVERSITY
Team VIP Petfoods' Klark Quinn, Craig Baird and Tony Quinn have driven through adversity for today's first two races of round six of the Carrera Cup championship at Sandown International Raceway.
Defending champion Baird started from the fourth row on the grid after a lacklustre qualifying run yesterday where the 37 year old failed to find a clean lap.
From there, he powered through the field to place third, a position he maintained from start to finish in the second race while working away at the gap to Alex Davison and David Reynolds.
"I was there just chipping away in the second race, but it didn't come to be and I ran out of laps," said Baird.
"To come from eighth to third in the first race though was great and we had great car speed today, so hopefully we can carry that on for tomorrow's final race and push on up there."
While Baird was the highest placed Team VIP Petfoods pilot, 25 year old Klark Quinn provided plenty for the spectators, with an unfortunate race incident bringing to a close a fantastic run in race one.
Starting from 12th on the grid Klark moved his way through the field to be poised for sixth - his best race result since the Lexmark Indy 300 of 2005 - when disaster struck on the race's last corner.
A race incident between Bryce Washington and Klark saw the Gold Coaster moved off the usual race line, from where Aaron Carratti then touched with the #28 Team VIP Petfoods entry when he tried to pass on the inside, sending Klark spinning backwards into the barrier.
From there, Klark bravely reversed up the straight to cross the line and finish the race, eventually recorded as 18th.
"It was a bit heartbreaking to be honest, the car was great and to be making such progress through the field was a great feeling," said Klark.
"To be looking at the finish line and then to have your back in the wall is not what you want, but I guess these things happen and luckily I was able to officially finish the race.
"The car was not too damaged and fixed in time for this afternoon's second race."
Starting 18th Klark showed he had lost none of the spunk from race one, carving through the field to finish in 9th position.
"The car performance was not affected by the race one incident so I was pleased with that, hopefully I can keep on going like this and look for some good, incident-free, results tomorrow!" said Klark.
While Klark and Baird were moving up the field so was Team VIP Petfoods boss Tony Quinn, finishing the first race 10th after lining up 20th on the grid.
Ironically, Tony's top ten result -- his equal best race result since Bathurst of 2006 -- was brought about by the incident which saw his son lose his impressive sixth by elevating him from 11th in the final seconds.
Starting 10th for the second race, Tony maintained that position for the majority of the race before slipping to twelfth behind his son and also Paul Stokell.
"The car was better today and I felt good through the races," said Tony.
"I was especially happy to see Klark get up and make a go of it in the second race to finish in the top nine -- even if that meant he passed me on the way!"
While the Team VIP Petfoods Carrera Cup entries were showing plenty of speed, Paul Kemal and his Team VIP Petfoods 'BA Falcon' spent the races dicing for the lead.
For race one it was a case of what could have been for Kemal, who after some constant dicing with Nick Lowe, Ben McCashney and James Ward for the lead, was brought to grief on the final lap.
Heading under the bridge three wide, Kemal was touched by a late-breaking Lowe who was on Kemal's inside, spearing Kemal off the circuit and onto the grass to rejoin further back.
Lowe was penalised post-race for that incident with a 26 second penalty seeing him drop down the starting order for race two to 13th, while Kemal prepared to start from the second row.
From there, Kemal took a early lead before again being drawn into a battle for the lead with Ben McCashney, and in the closing laps Nick Lowe. Kemal eventually placed third after a pass on McCashney under brakes in the closing stages went wrong and caused Kemal to go wide with both McCashney and Lowe jumping at their chance to overtake the defending champion.
Tomorrow's final day of the Just Car Insurance 500 action at Sandown International Raceway will see the final race of the Carrera Cup hit the track at 10.55am and the Aussie Racing Cars heading out at 11.30am for their final tilt.