FRUSTRATION FOR BRIGHT IN THE TOP-END Fujitsu Racing's Jason Bright has endured a challenging weekend at the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway, round ...
FRUSTRATION FOR BRIGHT IN THE TOP-END
Fujitsu Racing's Jason Bright has endured a challenging weekend at the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway, round #6 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The round was won by fellow Ford driver Steven Richards, with his teammate Mark Winterbottom in second. It was Ford's fifth round win of the year.
Bright's weekend started on a positive note with 12th fastest time in practice, but he was caught out by traffic in qualifying and was forced to start 17th.
He improved to 14th before a collision with Paul Morris brought a drive-through penalty. He was then forced to retire 5 laps from the end with a broken gearbox cooler.
The second race of the weekend was a marked improvement, finishing 19th after starting 27th. The Fujitsu Falcon set times comparable with the leading teams, but buried in the field he could not show true form.
In the final race of the weekend Bright was bumped wide by Shane Van Gisbergen on just lap #3, before being sent off the track one lap later by Steven Johnson. Both incidents caused minor suspension damage. It was enough to derange the wheel alignment and destroy the tyres. He parked the Fujitsu Falcon on lap #14.
"It was frustrating, because we did have a good car this weekend," said Bright.
"I had a very good car in qualifying, but didn't get a clean lap when I needed it. I feel that we could have been in the top-10 and for sure a good result was on the cards.
"We are struggling in straight-line speed and having to start back in the pack just makes it tougher.
"The team does have a plan to move ahead over the next few races, but it's not something that's going to happen straight away. It's important that we look at the continued improvement in the car and the team, not get distracted by fighting for every little point in the championship right now.
"I look back at this event last year and both my car and the IRWIN Racing car suffered massive damage. We only have a few days turn-around before Queensland Raceway. The important thing is that the guys can go about a programme of improving the car and not repairing for that event."
Fujitsu Racing Chief Engineer Geoff Slater summed up a tough weekend.
"The car was not too bad," said Slater.
"We had a few issues getting on top of the new tyre, but 17th was not a true reflection of our qualifying performance.
"It was one of the tightest qualifying sessions we have ever had. If Jason could have grabbed another couple of tenths of a second, we would have been in the top-10.
"The car only has minor damage. We will take it back to the shop -- set it up and send it on its way to Queensland."
The seventh round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be the City of Ipswich 400 at Queensland Raceway on 18-20 July.