DIFFICULT CHAMPIONSHIP FINALE FOR HENDERSON Wellington BNT V8s Championship driver Darryn Henderson experienced his toughest weekend of the season at the final round of the series at Taupo Motorsport Park last weekend but still managed to ...
DIFFICULT CHAMPIONSHIP FINALE FOR HENDERSON
Wellington BNT V8s Championship driver Darryn Henderson experienced his toughest weekend of the season at the final round of the series at Taupo Motorsport Park last weekend but still managed to retain his spot in the top fifteen of the highly competitive championship.
The Taupo circuit has been a happy hunting ground for Henderson in the past but two DNFs (non finishes) and a nineteenth placing gave the Wellingtonian just 14 points for the weekend, his lowest tally this season by far.
"I was looking forward to the round as we have always gone well at Taupo," said Darryn during the week as he talked of a very difficult outing in the Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon. "We struggled all weekend."
Henderson struggled with set-up in the first test session of the weekend but a change back to the set-up used at the second round of the championship at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway at Ruapuna in Christchurch was "way better." The Ruapuna set-up proved successful for the team at the Christchurch track where Darryn gained his best qualifying position of the season with 6th place.
Problems struck again during the second test session. Smoke was coming from the Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon and a power steering line was changed, losing the whole session. Darryn's luck did not improve in qualifying. After one lap the smoke returned, the problem eventually being traced to loose bolts in the gearbox bellhousing which had just come back from being checked.
With just one lap under his belt Darryn was destined to start the first race from 23rd on the grid.
Darryns description of the first race was succinct. "We really didn't go anywhere. The set-up was wrong. I saw Eddie Bell and Angus Fogg coming and let them go so I didn't hold them up." Nineteenth place was the result and it was to be the last time Henderson would see the chequered flag in this seasons championship.
The second race promised much more. The Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon was better and Henderson was carving through the field. However early in the race someone hit the car from behind and left Henderson sideways and stalled across the track. As he resumed he received further damage, eventually retiring from the race.
The final race was more of the same. From the reverse grid start Darryn was patient, allowing many of the other drivers to "deal to themselves" which happened with plenty of incidents around the track. Darryn got the car up to second place but again he received a couple of whacks from behind before another hit damaged the front of the car, his race and championship over.
"The team worked hard and I felt sorry for them after everything that happened to us," said Darryn.
Two non finishes and a 14 point haul, while disappointing, at least meant Darryn did not lose a championship position ending the championship 15th equal. While it was a disappointing conclusion to the championship Darryn and the Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon have still demonstrated their potential throughout a season that marked the Wellington drivers return to the class after one and a half seasons racing in the Porsche GT3 Cup.
Darryn and the Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon will be on track at the non-championship Trophy Race at the Hamilton 400 from 16-18 April.
-source: darryn henderson