D'ALBERTO ALMOST MAKES IT AT CLIPSAL 500 Tony D'Alberto's Clipsal 500 campaign came to an end just seven laps from the finish line after front wheel failure caused his retirement after making his way up to 11th place on the track in one of the...
D'ALBERTO ALMOST MAKES IT AT CLIPSAL 500
Tony D'Alberto's Clipsal 500 campaign came to an end just seven laps from the finish line after front wheel failure caused his retirement after making his way up to 11th place on the track in one of the most grueling races of the year.
While the end result was disappointing, the performance of Tony and the Rod Nash Racing team over the weekend was impressive.
After qualifying 24th for the first of two 78-lap races, Tony drove a solid race on Saturday, his longest ever, to finish 17th in his first 'solo' round of the V8 Supercar Championship.
"I had a solid run in the first race," Tony said.
"Everything went to plan, except for going down a lap just prior to the safety car coming out late in the race.
"This took away any chance I had of un-lapping myself and making up places in the latter stages of the race."
After around 3000 gear changes on Saturday Tony appreciated a solid massage that evening which focused on getting his body ready for the second leg of the meeting on Sunday.
Everything was going to plan on Sunday until a slow fuel stop, caused by slow delivery from the fuel rig, dropped Tony down the order.
Consistent lap times and a fast tyre stop gave Tony the opportunity to advance up the field as the race wore on and other drivers and cars succumbed to the torture of the concrete-lined circuit.
With seven remaining Tony reported that there was a problem with the front end of the car and it soon became apparent that the front wheel locking nut had failed.
After replacing the wheel and sending Tony back onto the track the problem recurred within two laps and it was decided not to risk continuing in the race.
"It is disappointing that we couldn't finish the race, especially after everything going so well this weekend." Tony said.
"Now that I have my first round under my belt I have more confidence to push harder at Eastern Creek in two weeks."
Tony finished 25th for the weekend with 54 championship points.
Round 2 of the V8 Supercar Championship is at Sydney's Eastern Creek on 7-9 March.