EASTERN CREEK ROLLERCOASTER FOR TEAM VIP PETFOODS' KEMAL Team VIP Petfoods' defending Aussie Racing Car champion Paul Kemal has ridden a wave of emotions at Eastern Creek this weekend, from hope to despair to elation and back to disappointment...
EASTERN CREEK ROLLERCOASTER FOR TEAM VIP PETFOODS' KEMAL
Team VIP Petfoods' defending Aussie Racing Car champion Paul Kemal has ridden a wave of emotions at Eastern Creek this weekend, from hope to despair to elation and back to disappointment all in four short races.
Whilst his amazing charge from 34th to seventh in yesterday's closing race heralded a change in fortunes for the Sydney-sider, fortune only briefly played into Kemal's favour, with mechanical issues again haunting his hunt for a second consecutive championship.
"First up this morning, we went to start the car and it just would not turn over, forcing us to jump start the engine," said Kemal.
"That seemed to work fine and it ran with no problems through race three, in which I was able to recover from an average start to place second behind David Sieders after seeing both Paul Morris and James Ward run off the track in a big way in separate incidents.
"The car was running perfect and I had the pace of Sieders, unfortunately he was holding such a large gap over the rest of the field that it was hard to pull him in before the chequered flag fell."
With the first of the day's final two races run, Kemal was set for a final race showdown following the previous run's success; however it was not to be, with what has turned out to be an alternator problem ending his Eastern Creek campaign prematurely.
"We had to jump the car again before the final race, and it got out onto the grid ok but then at the start it had a bit of a miss," said Kemal.
"By turn one it was failing and by turn two we were out, forced to simply roll the car into the pits and out of the race, which was disappointing for everyone involved.
"But you know these things happen, we will fix the car which is no big drama and do some testing ahead of our next round at Oran Park.
"I consider the Oran Park circuit to be my home track, and we have been pretty strong there in the past so will be looking to better our game there in August."
This weekend's misfortunes have seen Kemal slip to third in the series' standings, behind Brad and James Ward who are placed first and second respectively, so thrilling race action is guaranteed come Oran Park as one of the most successful competitors in the history of the ARC series looks to reclaim his series lead.
Whilst Kemal was flying the Team VIP Petfoods' flag here in Australia, his teammates Tony and Klark Quinn and Craig Baird, along with Kevin Bell, were competing in Germany for the prestigious Nurburgring 24 hour.
Plagued by bad weather conditions which saw the race delayed and then suspended for five hours just ahead of the half-way mark, the Team VIP Petfoods line-up was like Kemal plagued by mechanical issues -- with the #27 Porsche 996 entry falling victim to fatal clutch failure only 30 minutes from the finish line in a tragic end to a great run for Shaun Juniper, Max Twigg, Paul Kelly and John Teulan.
Aboard the #26 Porsche RSR of the Quinns, Baird and Bell lady luck was kinder, with the quartet overcoming the treacherous conditions and a race collision overnight to place in the top twelve.
-credit: team vip