THE BOTTLE-O RACING AWESOME IN ADELAIDE The Bottle-O Racing's Paul Dumbrell has kicked off the Australian leg of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in style at the Clipsal 500 over the weekend, with strong qualifying pace backed up by a pair of...
THE BOTTLE-O RACING AWESOME IN ADELAIDE
The Bottle-O Racing's Paul Dumbrell has kicked off the Australian leg of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in style at the Clipsal 500 over the weekend, with strong qualifying pace backed up by a pair of flying fifth place finishes. The results have seen the team vault back into the top-ten on the championship ladder, showing that the team's early season form was no fluke, and that the outfit will be a serious threat for the remainder of the season.
"To finish the weekend with the third highest point score behind Garth Tander and James Courtney is a massive reward for everyone in the team," said Paul, pleased with his quiet achiever status for the weekend.
"Right from the start of practice the pace was there, and importantly we managed to steer clear of everyone's dramas.
"I'm really looking forward to the support races at the Grand Prix in a couple of weeks, I think we can kick on from our results here and get the Bottle-O Falcon up onto the podium."
Coming into the weekend 11th in the points standings meant the Bottle-O Racing machine had to watch the opening practice session on the demanding street circuit from the sidelines. The 18th quickest time in the first all-in practice session soon became third fastest overall for the day, with a quick time late in the second session set on new tyres.
"We really just wanted to see how the car reacted to the new tyre grip," said Paul. "Mark Winterbottom in our sister FPR prepared car has had great pace so far this season, so we know we have a good package to work with."
Qualifying -- Race 1
Paul proved to be a real surprise packet in qualifying, provisionally being placed in second position from the 20 minute all-in session. The Bottle-O Falcon was actually topping the time sheets when the chequered flag fell, however a last second charge from Garth Tander saw him take the top spot on the charts. As the penultimate starter in the top-ten shootout, Paul's single-lap time was good enough for fourth on the grid, the team's best starting position for the season.
After surviving the opening lap skirmishes on the concrete lined circuit, The Bottle-O Falcon held on strongly in fourth place, before jumping into the lead of the race on lap 14 as other cars took on early fuel stops. In a stop-start race that featured four safety car interventions, the final results were largely dictated by fuel and tyre conservation. Paul ran strongly within the top seven all day long, before an ace pit strategy saw the green machine run in third place within ten laps of the finish. After Jamie Whincup and Lee Holdsworth slipped by on lap 69 of 78, Paul shadowed the pair to the finish, with the fifth placing the team's strongest showing of the season to date.
"Everything came together really well, the performance of the car was fantastic and the team made all of the right calls," said Paul. "The result really backs up our qualifying speed, and I think people will start to sit up and take notice."
Qualifying -- Race 2
A small technical issue with the throttle on the Bottle-O Falcon left the crew with a busy period between qualifying and the race. Frustrated, Paul qualified in 18th position, less than one second off the quickest time in a very competitive field.
In a thrilling race that included a late race rain shower, the number 55 machine one by one picked off the competition, repeating the leg one result with a strong fifth placing after a tough 78 laps. While other drivers fell by the wayside in the concrete canyon, Paul steered clear of the carnage, setting the third quickest lap of the race on lap 74, being one of six cars under the existing lap record.
"After Saturday we knew we had strong race pace, but to fight back like we did after qualifying was very pleasing," said Paul. "We have been quick at the first three events this year, and there's no reason why we can't build on that momentum going forward."
-source: the bottle-o