Highs And Lows For Orrcon Racing At Clipsal 500 The Orrcon Racing team experienced the highs and lows of V8 Supercar Racing in the opening round of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship at the Clipsal 500 around the streets of Adelaide ...
Highs And Lows For Orrcon Racing At Clipsal 500
The Orrcon Racing team experienced the highs and lows of V8 Supercar Racing in the opening round of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship at the Clipsal 500 around the streets of Adelaide today.
Larkham Motor Sport driver Bargwanna carried over his consistent form from last year's Championship to record another fifth place finish in the second leg of the 500 kilometre event.
Prior to the weekend Bargwanna set himself the aim of making the podium meaning he would have to pass 18 cars if he was to achieve his aim in today's 78-lap race.
When Bargwanna pitted under the first safety car period caused by an incident involving Warren Luff he was placed just outside the top ten and returned to the circuit in 20th spot.
Also showing tremendous speed was reigning Konica V8 Champion Mark Winterbottom who had set the fastest time in the morning warm-up and was running as high as sixth during the early running of the race.
At half race distance the pair of Orrcon Racing Falcon's were inside the top 15. Winterbottom was a serious contender for a top 10 finish during race until he was an innocent victim in a major incident on lap 66 exiting the high speed turn eight.
The incident was triggered when Paul Dumbrell attempted a pass on Cameron McConville at over 200 kmh spearing McConville into the path of Winterbottom, Brad Jones and Stephen Johnson.
McConville and the trio that followed were all eliminated with severe damage. Winterbottom's Orrcon Racing Falcon suffered heavy cosmetic damage to the front end, including some engine damage. An initial estimate by the team to repair the car has been placed at $100,000.
"The car had good pace and it was all looking good for a great finish but I simply got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Winterbottom.
"I saw Cameron (McConnville) coming across towards me and I braked and got off the gas only to be tagged by (Brad) Jones sending me into the wall.
"Although I haven't seen the data yet I would guess I was doing just under 200kmph when I went into the wall almost head on."
Despite the huge impact Winterbottom escaped with only a pulled muscle in his back.
Following the five-lap safety car period Bargwanna was in fifth position with a seven laps remaining.
Enduring some heavy pressure from Rick Kelly over the final few laps Bargwanna held to record his fourth fifth place finish in a row.
"All weekend we simply kept working away at the set up on our Orrcon Falcon and I think by today's race it shows that if we can be consistent it will be a good year for us," said Bargwanna.
"In one of my stops I had to wait to be serviced that may have cost me a bit of track position but the team done a great job all weekend to again put me in a position to be a serious contender.
"We now look forward to Eastern Creek with the aim of continuing our consistency and stepping up a couple of spots onto the podium."
Marcos Ambrose won today's race ahead of Steven Richards and Paul Weel.
Following the opening round of the 2004 Championship Bargwanna is 11th on 120 points and Winterbottom 22nd on 54 points. Marcos Ambrose leads the Championship on 192 points ahead of Steven Richards (186) and Paul Weel (171).
The next round of the Championship will be held at Sydney's Eastern Creek on April 2-4.