Cat Racing V8 Supercar Shell Championship Series Race One Â Round Twelve Â New Zealand Weather Gamble Falls Short After Stunning Wills Drive Cat Racing's gamble with the New Zealand weather came up one lap short in an amazing opening race of...
V8 Supercar Shell Championship Series
Race One Round Twelve New Zealand
Weather Gamble Falls Short After Stunning Wills Drive
Cat Racing's gamble with the New Zealand weather came up one lap short in an amazing opening race of round twelve of Shell Championship Series at Auckland's Pukekohe Park Raceway.
An opening lap clash at the hairpin between Jason Bright and Craig Lowndes forced Cat Racing debutante Simon Wills wide to the grass to avoid the carnage.
Having started 13th, Wills was forced back to 24th after the opening lap.
The team then decided to delay their compulsory pit stop to the last possible moment.
As a result of the rest of the field pitting, Wills made it through to the race lead on lap 11 and actually held a 17 second lead when he was forced to pit on the final lap of the pit-stop window for slicks tyres.
At this stage the track remained dry, despite gloomy skies above.
However, one lap later, the heavens opened - forcing drivers to re-pit for wet tyres as the track quickly became flooded.
"If the rain had arrived one lap earlier, we could have actually won the race," Wills said.
"We took a big gamble and it nearly paid off. The team had nothing to lose at that stage.
"The skies had looked grey for a while, but nobody had any idea it would rain so suddenly.
"If we had of put wets on, things would have been perfect, but there was also every chance the track would stay dry and then we would be nowhere."
In a bizzare race finish, the event was red-flagged after 30 laps with Mark Larkham originally declared as the race winner.
Larkham had yet to pit for wets and actually spun off the circuit - causing the red flag. The decision was later changed with Greg Murphy taking the win ahead of Ford driver Marcos Ambrose.
"The car ran really strongly and I am glad we were able to finish without any dramas," Wills said.
"I've now got my first solo start under my belt and can't wait for tomorrow's two races." <pre>
RACE ONE 1. - Murphy (Holden) - 32.40.806 2. - Ambrose (Ford) - 32:50.471 3. - Skaife (Holden) - 32:51.731 4. - Richards (Holden) - 32:53.309 5. - Ingall (Holden) - 32:53.898 6. - Longhurst (Holden) - 33:03.298 7. - Tander (Holden) - 33:05.074 8. - Kelly (Holden) - 32:05.253 9. - Johnson (Ford) - 33:15.606 10. - Bargwanna (Holden) - 33:16.518 11. - WILLS (CAT FORD) - 33:26.551 12. - Mezera (Holden) - 33:28.780 13. - Weel (Ford) - 33:29.060 14. - Forbes (Ford) - 33:29.408 15. - Tratt (Ford) - 34:55.938
PROGRAM SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 11.00am: V8 Warmup 12.45pm: V8 Race Two 4.50pm: V8 Race Three