LATE Sunday morning Michael Simpson's dream of winning this year's Konica V8 Supercar Series looked dead and buried after his EL Falcon was taken out in a first-corner pile-up during round three at Winton in north-east Victoria. A simple lack of...
LATE Sunday morning Michael Simpson's dream of winning this year's Konica V8 Supercar Series looked dead and buried after his EL Falcon was taken out in a first-corner pile-up during round three at Winton in north-east Victoria.
A simple lack of budget meant that the Queenslander's chances of getting his car back in shape for the next event of the six-round championship at Phillip Island on May 27 were virtually non-existent. Today the news got a lot better for the young Gold Coaster when Brisbane racer Craig Harris offered Simpson his own AU Falcon for the Phillip Island race.
The AU Castrol Falcon of Craig Harris which will be "loaned" to fellow Queenslander Michael Simpson for the fourth round of the Konica V8 Supercar Series at Phillip Island on May 27. Photo: BAM Media
Simpson slipped from third to eighth in the championship race after failing to score a point at Winton, but the use of Harris' car will allow him the chance to keep his title hopes alive. "This is a very generous offer from Craig (Harris) and we cannot thank him enough," said Simpson.
"We will do everything we can to put the Castrol Ford towards the front of the pack.
"I would love to have a trophy to give to Craig at the end of the weekend." Harris, who owns the City Automotive Group in Brisbane, said he was delighted to help a young driver literally trying to keep his career on track. "This will be a win-win for everyone involved and I am pleased we could help Michael stay in the championship hunt," said Harris. "Michael is a good young steerer and I am confident he will bring the car back in one piece and pick up the points needed to keep himself in contention for the title.
"We have a major investment in this racing program with Castrol and it is important that we maintain our profile in the championship. "You can be sure I will be on the phone more than once over the Phillip Island weekend to see how things have progressed."
In the meantime Simpson's team is still looking for a major sponsor in an effort to get his own car back on track for round five at Lakeside on July 8. "We have been surviving from race to race and we always knew a major accident would hurt us, but that's the risk you take," said Simpson.
"It hurts a little more when the result comes from being tied-up in someone else's drama, but that is the nature of the sport and we have to wear it. "We have so many good people working hard to help us make this whole operation a success and I believe we have the assets to provide great value for a naming-rights partner."
While Simpson is still chasing a major sponsor for the season he has had great local support from Queensland Vehicle Warranty Network, MA Howard Constructions, Nerang Diffs and Wade-Parker Consulting.
One of Simpson's major supporters has been the Bruce Lynton Group, which has supplied the team with a workshop and team transporter. The group is also Simpson's employer and allowances have been made so he can compete in the entire season.
The Konica V8 Supercar Series consists of six rounds in the Eastern states of Australia and has been designed as a breeding ground for the Shell Championship Series.