Clipsal: Orrcon Racing race one report

Bargs Battles As Winterbottom Charges For Orrcon Racing Orrcon Racing drivers Jason Bargwanna and Mark Winterbottom battled against the odds in the opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship at the Adelaide street circuit in South Australia...

Bargs Battles As Winterbottom Charges For Orrcon Racing

Orrcon Racing drivers Jason Bargwanna and Mark Winterbottom battled against the odds in the opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship at the Adelaide street circuit in South Australia today.

Bargwanna was running as high as second before differential problems forced him into the garage for the replacement of a differential as Winterbottom moved up 16 positions to finish inside the top 15.

Winterbottom started his first Championship race for the team from the 31st and final grid position while Bargwanna started from 14th.

During the early laps of the 78-lap race Bargwanna elevated himself up the order to be battling in a group of four just outside the top 10 that included Steve Ellery, Simon Wills, Craig Lowndes.

When Dale Brede hit the wall exiting turn two on lap 20 the safety car was deployed for the first time in the race.

Focusing on track position and car set up late in the race the Larkham Motor Sport team elected to stay out during the 3-lap safety car period.

At the race resumption on Bargwanna was fifth and Winterbottom had improved his track position to be in 15th.

Bargwanna was showing consistent speed and was running as high as second before pitting on lap 30 rejoining in 14th. Winterbottom pitted a lap earlier and was 23rd when he rejoined.

The pivotal point in the race for the team came on lap 33 when Anthony Tratt made heavy contact with the wall and the team pitted both cars for the second of their compulsory stops while Tratt limped backed to the pits before the safety car was deployed eliminating any potential advantage to the team.

After both Orrcon Racing drivers had completed their pit stops Bargwanna was 16th with Winterbottom 18th.

On lap 50 disaster struck for Bargwanna when a differential problem forced him into the garage and if it wasn't for some superb work by the team he would have certainly be forced out of the event.

The Larkham Motor Sport team worked tirelessly to replace the damaged differential and ensure that Bargwanna gained valuable points towards the Championship.

In a matter of 20 minutes the team completed the necessary repairs and Bargwanna was back on track and setting times faster than the race leaders. These repairs ensured that Bargwanna gained the valuable Championship points to start the season.

"The Orrcon Racing Falcon felt good and very consistent during the early running and I was simply waiting for the right opportunities to come my way," said Bargwanna.

"It was extremely disappointing to finish up the way we did after showing so much pace but I guess you could simply put it down as the good result that got away.

"When the diff let go I thought my day was done but this Larkham Motor Sport team worked their butts off to ensure we got points towards the Championship."

Despite going a lap down on the leaders due the earlier pit stop Winterbottom was proving he also had the pace to match it with the front runners late in the race and crossed the line 15th.

"I had good car speed and it was very consistent as well, it was simply a strategy error and call when it looked like a safety car was going to come out but I will learn from those," said Winterbottom.

"Late in the race I was able to see how my pace compared to the leaders and it was a very promising sign to see how much pace I had.

"My aim for the day was simply to move forward and it is certainly very pleasing to move so far forward."

Defending Series Champion Marcos Ambrose won the race ahead of Steven Richards and Russell Ingall.

The Orrcon Racing team will compete in the second 78-lap leg of the Clipsal 500 around the 3.22km circuit tomorrow beginning at 2:00pm tomorrow.

<pre> Clipsal 500 -- Race One results 1. Marcos Ambrose 2. Steven Richards 3. Russell Ingall 4. Greg Murphy 5. Paul Weel 6. Paul Morris 7. Mark Skaife 8. Paul Dumbrell 9. John Bowe 10. Glenn Seton 11. Warren Luff 12. Rick Kelly 13. Brad Jones 14. Jason Bright 15. Mark Winterbottom 21. Jason Bargwanna

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Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Brad Jones , Mark Skaife , Paul Weel , Craig Lowndes , Jason Bargwanna , Paul Morris , John Bowe , Glenn Seton , Simon Wills , Dale Brede , Mark Winterbottom , Paul Dumbrell , Warren Luff , Steven Richards