Baptism of fire for Brede's V8 Supercar debut

25 year old Canberra driver Dale Brede endured a weekend of highs and lows at his debut V8 Supercar race, the 2001 Konica Series opening round at Goulburn's Wakefield Park circuit. After setting the fastest practice session time on Saturday and...

25 year old Canberra driver Dale Brede endured a weekend of highs and lows at his debut V8 Supercar race, the 2001 Konica Series opening round at Goulburn's Wakefield Park circuit.

After setting the fastest practice session time on Saturday and qualifying second for the first of the three Konica Series races, Brede endured a rough ride after leading and finishing 4th in the first race, 10th in the second and 16th in the third after being caught up in a series of incidents.

Brede is placed 7th in the Konica Series standings after the first of six rounds to be contested this season in his NRC Racing VT Commodore V8 Supercar.

DALE BREDE - "Overall the weekend has been good and bad. To be one tenth from pole and to have been the fastest in the second practice session, we knew the potential was there for a strong result, but in the races it turned out to be a bit of a crash-fest," Dale said.

"In the second and third races I was caught up in a number of incidents that ruined any chance of a podium finish. There are many positives that came out of this weekend and we need to understand more about V8 Supercar racing strategies - this will come with more racing experience, " He added.

RACE ONE (11:30am / 17 Laps - Cool / cloudy) - A brilliant start from the second spot on the grid saw Brede power ahead of pole setter Simon Wills into the first corner, taking the early race lead with Owen Kelly and Michael Simpson slotting into third and fourth. Wills raced through the inside of the NRC Racing driver on the second last corner of the first lap, taking the lead that he held all the way to the chequered flag. Kelly and Simpson made their moves past Brede by the third lap, the NRC Racing VT Commodore driver clearly suffering from a handling problem during the early stages. Brede held 4th position for the remainder of the race, fending off advances from a freight train of V8 Supercar drivers led by Paul Dumbrell. The Safety Car appeared on lap 8 of 17, bunching up the top four for the sprint to the finish. The top five held position to the chequered flag making the finishers Wills, Simpson, Kelly, Brede, Parsons, Holt, Harris and Ferrier.

RACE TWO - 10th (1:30pm / Humid / Top Ten Reverse Grid) - Dale Brede powered away to another strong start from 7th on the grid, gaining a spot past Michael Simpson's Falcon to 6th by the first corner. Pole position starter Paul Dumbrell led Mal Rose, Leane Ferrier, David Parsons and Garry Holt were ahead of Brede and Simpson, who traded places by lap two, relegating Brede back to 7th. The Canberra driver held on to the tightly grouped top seven drivers for the next six laps, battling to pass Garry Holt for five laps. The Safety Car appeared on lap 9 ( for the retrieval of Simpson's sand trap-stranded Falcon) for two laps. Shortly after the re-start Holt and Brede contacted at turn two, resulting in a spin for Holt's Falcon and a bent steering arm for Brede. This incident promoted the NRC Racing driver to 6th, but with the serious steering damage, the driver was forced to allow room for fast approaching Falcon driver Craig Harris to pass, but contact from the Castrol driver sent Brede off the circuit. He lost positions to Ric Shaw, Terry Wyhoon and Adam Wallis before rejoining the race. Brede then defended his position from 10th place starter Simon Wills who powered past on lap 14. Brede struggled with his damaged Commodore to hold 10th position against the advances of Phonsy Mullen, the NRC Racing V8 Supercar driver holding on to round off the top ten at the most welcome chequered flag. At the end of the race it was discovered that Brede's left front wheel's bead-lock had been severly damaged in his incident with Holt, the tyre staying on the rim by a matter of millimetres, somehow avoiding a high speed blow out.

RACE THREE - 15TH - A stong start once again from 10th on the grid saw Brede within the top ten driver into turn one. Mid corner through turn one, Brede was hit on the RHS rear in an incident with Mullen, causing the NRC Racing driver to spin and drop back to the end of the field. On re-joining the race, Brede suspected a rear tyre problem after another off circuit moment and pitted to replace the rear tyres. By this stage Brede had lost a lap on the field and re-joined the race to finish 15th, far lower than the potential displayed by his outstanding V8 Supercar debut qualifying and practice form. The race was won by Simon Wills who also won the round, from Leanne Ferrier and Michael Simpson.

-NRC Racing

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Simon Wills , Dale Brede , Paul Dumbrell , Owen Kelly , Garry Holt , Mal Rose , Adam Wallis , Terry Wyhoon , Mike Simpson