D'ALBERTO BIGGEST MOVER IN HAMILTON RACE 1 Tony D'Alberto made up a massive 16 positions in Race 1 at New Zealand's Hamilton Street Race today on his way to a series-best 13th place in the grueling 36 lap race. After qualifying 29th, the Rod...
D'ALBERTO BIGGEST MOVER IN HAMILTON RACE 1
Tony D'Alberto made up a massive 16 positions in Race 1 at New Zealand's Hamilton Street Race today on his way to a series-best 13th place in the grueling 36 lap race.
After qualifying 29th, the Rod Nash Racing team decided to start the race from pit lane in an attempt to avoid any first-lap carnage.
The move paid off as there was a multi-car pile-up in turn 2 which Tony was able to avoid, and as a result, made his way into the top-20.
A swift pit stop under the safety car saw him move up to 15th place well ahead of many experienced rivals.
"We really made some good choices early in the race," Tony said.
"Starting from pit lane was a great move as it saved us from getting caught up in the mess at turn 2.
"The pit strategy and the speed of the guys changing tyres really gave me a boost that made a huge difference to our result today."
With the compulsory pit stop out of the way early Tony drove a strong race and gained a few more places over its course to end up 13th at the chequered flag.
"We are stoked to get this result after yesterday's dramas but we still have to find some more speed in the car before tomorrow's races," he said.
The lead-up to Race 1 could not have been worse for D'Alberto. After completing just 11 laps yesterday a head gasket leak was discovered and an engine change was needed. The team set about changing the engine but did not get the car ready before the end of the session.
"It was really frustrating," Tony said.
"Being a new track for everyone it was so important to get as many laps as possible before qualifying."
With changing weather conditions in today's qualifying session and a lack of laps on the track Tony qualified in 29th position for Race 1.
"We missed a small window to put in a fast time when the track was driest and when it started to rain again it pretty much ended any chance of a good qualifying position," he said.
Meeting Schedule (NZ time -- 2 hours ahead of Melbourne time): Sunday race 2 at 11.15am -- 36 laps, race 3 at 3.10pm -- 36 laps TV Schedule (Melbourne time) Sunday Channel 7 -- 12.00pm -- 3.00pm