Bell and Pedersen OK after first corner accident; Richards claims race one Kiwi duo Kevin Bell and Paul Pedersen have emerged uninjured from an opening corner incident in round eight of the Carrera Cup at the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold ...
Bell and Pedersen OK after first corner accident; Richards claims race one
Kiwi duo Kevin Bell and Paul Pedersen have emerged uninjured from an opening corner incident in round eight of the Carrera Cup at the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast.
Bell and Pedersen were involved in an incident with New South Welshman Jonathon Webb on the run into the first corner, which fired both of their cars into the concrete walls. The damage to both International Motorsport NZ machines is too great for them to take any further part in the weekend's racing.
"I got tagged on the left rear by a red car (Webb) after I'd made a great start and got spun to the right," said Bell.
"That hit me into Paul and my car went back across the road into the concrete wall on the outside of the track. I'm just really angry, it's a bloody joke."
Pedersen sprained his left hand in the accident, which severely damaged both of the team cars, worth $250,000 each.
"I got squeezed by both of them and they spun across the front of my car," reported Webb.
"I backed out of it but each of them caught a corner of the front of my car and spun into one another."
While the Kiwis hit the concrete, Jim Richards took another chequered flag as his continues to romp towards taking the inaugural Carrera Cup championship.
ENJO driver Peter Fitzgerald took the lead from the beginning of the seven-lapper and led until just after the Safety Car period when Richards managed to pass him on the exit of the VB Chicane.
"Fitzy clipped the tyre wall at the chicane and that slowed his exit," said Richards.
"I slotted inside to the left hand side so he couldn't move across and got by at the left hander."
Fitzgerald faded back to fourth, passed by the flying Charlie O'Brien, who finished second in his best-ever race result since joining the Carrera Cup in round five at Queensland Raceway.
He managed to hold off Marcus Marshall, the VIP Petfoods driver taking third.
Rodney Jane drove a superb race to take fifth place, the Victorian latching onto the dicing pack of O'Brien, Marshall and Fitzgerald in the race's closing stages.
Behind him came Klark Quinn and Matt Coleman in sixth and seventh, the duo making up for poor qualifying performances. Quinn started in 17th and made up 11 positions, even despite his gear shift becoming loose as he fought for positions around the 4.5-kilometre street course.
"I thought the race would be red-flagged with the Pedersen car left on the side of the track after the first corner crash," said Quinn.
"The biggest issue for me was staying out of trouble and that's what we did."
Coleman started 15th in his Lexmark-backed Porsche, the car he debuted at the last round at Bathurst after a massive roll-over all but destroyed his former chassis in round six at Sandown in September.
Greg Murphy Racing were hard-pressed for time to repair Tim Leahey's #55 Braun car in time to make the race, but a delay with the preceding race enabled them to fix the damage suffered in a qualifying crash in time to make the race.
The Orange-based racer drove brilliantly, carving his way through the field from 26th on the grid to finish eighth, finishing ahead of Greg Keene (a stunning drive after returning from a major accident at Bathurst) and Victorian James Dutton.
Becks-backed driver Dean Grant was another in line for a strong result, running off the road at turn seven under brakes into a tyre wall and retirement on the final lap. The Victorian publican had been holding sixth place when he crashed.
Andrew Taplin also was on line for a strong result in the top 10 but was hit by Russell Wright, which forced a tyre to rub on Taplin's guard and prompted him to retire.
Tomorrow's race will be held early on the Gold Coast, the cars due to leave the grid to race at 8.20am.
Carrera Cup, Round 8, Race 1 Results (7 laps):
1. Jim Richards, 2. Charlie O'Brien, 3. Marcus Marshall, 4. Peter Fitzgerald, 5. Rodney Jane, 6. Klark Quinn, 7. Matt Coleman, 8. Tim Leahey, 9. Greg Keene, 10. James Dutton, 11. Dean Cook, 12. Jack Crocker, 13. John Teulan, 14. Scott Shearman, 15. Chris Seidler, 16. Tony Quinn, 17. Roger Oakeshott, 18. Marc Cini, 19. Stephen Borness, 20. Jonathon Webb, DNF. Dean Grant, DNF. Russell Wright, DNF. Andrew Taplin, DNF. Paul Pedersen, DNF. Peter Hill, DNF. Kevin Bell.