DAVID RUSSELL ELEVATED TO SECOND IN FUJITSU V8 SUPERCAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER NAILBITING SANDOWN RACE THREE VICTORY November 21, 2010 - Team Jayco Falcon V8 Supercar driver David Russell has muscled his way into second in the 2010 Fujitsu V8...
DAVID RUSSELL ELEVATED TO SECOND IN FUJITSU V8 SUPERCAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER NAILBITING SANDOWN RACE THREE VICTORY
November 21, 2010 - Team Jayco Falcon V8 Supercar driver David Russell has muscled his way into second in the 2010 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship standings after an excitement filled second last round at Melbourne's Sandown International Raceway.
After experiencing some understeer problems during Friday's practice David Russell recovered strongly in qualifying on Saturday, setting the second fastest lap time of 1:10.51s which was just 2/10ths of a second behind Championship leader Steve Owen. This earned Russell a second consecutive front row start following his Pole position at Bathurst.
Saturday's 15 lap race was held in warm and sunny conditions with Russell powering away to a strong start to take the early race lead into the first corner. A spin from Team Jayco owner and team mate Matthew White saw the Safety Car called out early and the field gathered for a re-start on lap 3. It wasn't long after the start that Russell realised he had major corner exit rear traction issues. Owen launched an attack on Russell and made his way past on lap 5, and on the 7th lap Jack Perkins launched a move and made contact with Russell at Bigpond Corner that saw both him and James Moffat get past, relegating the Team Jayco BF Falcon driver to 4th. A second caution period took place on the 10th lap caused by Nick Percat's Commodore stopping on the track, bunching the field once again for a four lap sprint to the finish. The top four drivers were nose to tail in the closing stages and they finished in the same order, with Owen winning from Perkins, Moffat and Russell with Tim Blanchard 5th.
Sunday's race saw the reverse-grid top ten, which saw Russell start from 7th on the grid. Russell was in the wars from the opening lap with some rough and tumble racing through corners two and three causing some bodywork and tyre damage, the latter plaguing his ability to progress through the field during the race. He finished the race in 7th place.
A blitzing start to race three saw Russell fight hard from 5th on the grid in the usual opening lap melee to slot into second place behind James Moffat, with a mistake by Moffat later in the lap elevating Russell to the race lead. Russell powered away strongly to a one second lead over Championship rival Steve Owen, the gap fluctuating between 7 to 4/10ths of a second by the mid stages, Russell setting the fastest laps of the race at this time. He held off Owen by 6/10ths of a second by lap 8. The gap increased to 1.2 seconds as Russell powered away from the battling Moffat and Owen, Moffat moving into second by lap 12 of 15. Moffatt mounted a major attack on Russell in the closing laps but the Team Jayco Falcon driver took the victory in one of the closest finishes in the history of the Fujitsu Series - taking the win by just over 4/100ths of a second (0.046s).
"A character building weekend at Sandown with highs and lows in qualifying and during the three races, but it was very satisfying to win the final race and hold off a strong field for the entire distance. The team did a fantastic job to repair the Team Jayco Falcon after our race two incidents and they gave me a fantastic car for the final race. As a result we have extended the gap to Tim Blanchard in the Championship and it is awesome to be heading to the final round in Sydney keeping the title fight alive in second place," David Russell said.
"I'd like to thank Essendon Ford for joining us this weekend, along with season sponsors Jayco, Tex On Site, Palm Trans and Pulford Gas - bring on the Sydney 500!" He added.
David Russell Sandown Results Summary:
P1 - 4th 1:12.2801s
P2 - 7th 1:12.5513s
Qual - 2nd 1:10.5188s
Race 1 - 4th
Race 2 - 7th
Race 3 - 1st
Overall Result - 3rd
Championship Standing - 2nd with one round remaining.