Besnard and Wills combine for inaugural Caltex Havoline win. Caltex Havoline scored its first victory in V8 Supercar Championship history when David Besnard and Simon Wills combined for a drama-filled last-gasp win in the VIP Petfoods Queensland...
Besnard and Wills combine for inaugural Caltex Havoline win.
Caltex Havoline scored its first victory in V8 Supercar Championship history when David Besnard and Simon Wills combined for a drama-filled last-gasp win in the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 at Queensland Raceway near Ipswich today.
The result gave Ford its first win since the same race last year and Stone Brothers Racing its first round victory since Darwin last year.
Besnard, who lives on the Gold Coast, caught the Kmart Racing Commodore of Greg Murphy in the second last lap after Murphy ran out of fuel in miscalculated a risky dash for the chequered flag.
The drama-packed finish started when the yellow flag came out on lap 154 closing a six second gap between Murphy and Besnard to two seconds. When the green flag emerged on lap 159, Besnard made his move as the Kmart Commodore ran out of fuel.
The 25-year-old, in his second full year of V8 Supercar racing held on to take the chequered flag from Russell Ingall and Steven Richards and Garth Tander and Jason Bargwanna in their Commodore.
The Pirtek Racing team of Marcos Ambrose and Paul Weel added to the successful day for Stone Brothers Racing with a solid fifth place.
But the day belonged to Besnard and Wills as the duo combined for the first time to notch their first wins in the V8 Supercar Series.
"This is just a great day," said Besnard.
"I have been working hard towards this for the last 18 months and it is nice to finally get the monkey off my back.
"They say success breads success and hopefully we can go on and win a lot more of these.
"It is a great reward for Ross and Jim Stone and all the boys who have worked so hard to make this happen. It is especially pleasing for all the people at Caltex Havoline who have provided the support to keep us racing competitively.
"Simon did a fantastic job in the middle stint, especially in the wet and difficult conditions.
"I guess it is ironic that we are both notching out first win today."
Wills, who walked out on Briggs Motorsport last month, was offered the drive with Stone Brothers Racing after Wayne Gardner was a late withdrawal due to commitments in Japan.
"I have had a pretty difficult year for a number of reasons, but this makes up for it," said Wills.
"The environment I have been in this week has been fantastic and I have to thank Ross and Jim Stone for the opportunity.
"David (Besnard) did the job early and got the car in the lead and I just had the job of keeping it there."
Besnard started from fourth on the grid in the Caltex Havoline Ford and had moved the Falcon into third place and within striking distance of the lead when he pitted for the first time on lap 47.
At this time, the dominant driver of 2002, Mark Skaife (Holden Racing Team) held the lead from Ambrose and Besnard.
A quick driver change had Wills in the lead after all teams had their first compulsory pit stop. Caltex Havoline Racing had their chances improved with the retirement of the number one HRT car of Skaife and Jason Bright through engine failure on lap 64.
A rain shower swept over the circuit approximately half way through the race when Wills held the lead over the Falcon of Will Power and the OzEmail Racing Falcon of Brad Jones.
The excitement gathered momentum after the second and final round of pit stops for the teams when Murphy emerged in front by nearly eight seconds from Richards with Besnard close behind in third.
With 30 laps to go, Besnard moved into second and began the pursuit on Murphy. As the lead narrowed to six seconds, the yellow flag came out but Murphy's race was run with the car's fuel problem.
The win moves Besnard up to seventh in the series standings while Ambrose has edged up to fourth place and within 67 points of second-placed Jason Bright.
"It was nice to get some points today and make up some ground on the guys in front of me in the championship," said Ambrose.
"I think we had the speed for a better result today, but a few things did not go our way.
"We now have to put our heads down and get on with the job at Bathurst."
Besnard's previous best result was a second at Oran Park last year, while Wills' best previous result was ninth in the 1999 Queensland 500.
* The next round of the championship will be Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at Bathurst's Mt Panorama on October 10-13.
RESULTS OF THE VIP PETFOODS QUEENSLAND 500
Round 9 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series
1: David Besnard/Simon Wills (Falcon/161 laps)
2: Steven Richards/Russell Ingall (Commodore/161 laps)
3: Garth Tander/Jason Bargwanna (Commodore/161 laps)
4: Tomas Mezera/Jim Richards (Commodore/161 laps)
5: Marcos Ambrose/Paul Weel (Falcon/161 laps)
6: Craig Lowndes/Neil Crompton (Falcon/161 laps)
7: Larry Perkins/Paul Dumbrell (Commodore/161 laps)
8: Greg Ritter/Alan Jones (Falcon/161 laps)
9: John Bowe/Brad Jones (Falcon/161 laps)
10: Greg Murphy/Todd Kelly (Commodore/ 161)
CHAMPIONSHIPN POINTS AFTER 9 ROUNDS
1: Mark Skaife 1775
2: Jason Bright 1096
3: Greg Murphy 1058
4: Marcos Ambrose 1029
5: Todd Kelly 1002
6: Steven Richards 951
7: David Besnard 819
8: Craig Lowndes 802
9: Garth Tander 771
10: Russell Ingall 716