Shredded Tyre Halts Charging Besnard WPS Racing has served notice that it has arrived as a competitive force just two races after its entry into the V8 Supercar Championship Series. The team finished the second round of the series at ...
Shredded Tyre Halts Charging Besnard
WPS Racing has served notice that it has arrived as a competitive force just two races after its entry into the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The team finished the second round of the series at Eastern Creek today in 17th position , after starting from 26th place on the grid.
But the result could have been so much sweeter save for a shredded tyre 20 laps from the finish when driver David Besnard was on the charge and in 5th position.
The tyre failed after being damaged a lap earlier when Besnard attempted to pass a lapped driver, Tony Longhurst.
"He gave me no racing room. I clipped him and damaged my tyre and that basically was the end of it for me," said a disappointed Besnard.
"I passed a lot of cars today and everything was going really well. I got past Craig Lowndes a couple of times and I felt I had his measure, although he is a fighter.
"Craig ended up on the podium so this was very close to being the perfect weekend for us."
Besnard was forced to make an unscheduled pitstop to replace the damaged tyre, but the visit to the garage came at a cost.
He resumed the race in 19th position. The weather than closed in shortly after he returned to the track and the race finished under the control of the WPS Safety Car.
Besnard was in 17th position at the time.
The strong showing today coincided with the arrival of new engineer Ian Walburn, who joined WPS Racing just last week.
"This team is coming along in leaps and bounds and there is great chemistry with myself and Ian," said Besnard.
"We proved today that we will be a force in the future."
Besnard started the race in blistering form, powering his Ford Falcon from 26th to 18th after just seven laps. His charge was temporarily halted when the WPS Safety Car was brought on track while officials cleared some wreckage.
When the race resumed Besnard continued his charge and powered into the top 10 on lap 27.
He slipped to 13th after the two mandatory pit stops but again climbed back into the top 10.
He then fought a running battle with Lowndes until the incident with Longhurst's car.
Team owner Craig Gore said today's result signaled the team was on track for a memorable debut year.
"We obviously had a very fast car out there today and that should be a wake up call to other teams that we have arrived," said Gore.