White rectifies Bathurst 1000 disaster with Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Challenge victory Konica Minolta V8 Supercar seasoned performer Matthew White has taken out the 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Challenge in an action packed race that has...
White rectifies Bathurst 1000 disaster with Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Challenge victory
Konica Minolta V8 Supercar seasoned performer Matthew White has taken out the 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Challenge in an action packed race that has set a benchmark for the main Bathurst 1000 race tomorrow.
2004 series Champion Andrew Jones started the non-championship event on pole position and lead the field for 19 of the 25 laps and held a healthy lead of six seconds before he brushed the wall at Forests Elbow which resulted in a deflated front right tyre and ended any chances he had of winning the race.
Greg Ritter and Matthew White battled it out for the lead after Jones' misfortune, while Team Fujitsu's David Brabham looked to be getting comfortable with his new appointment in the number 71 Falcon as he sat hot on the heels of the two Falcon's.
Brabham's Konica Minolta campaign ended one lap after Jones' disappointment as his Dick Johnson Racing prepared Falcon stopped in pit lane on lap 18 with engine trouble.
Ritter took the lead from White and with both Jones and Brabham out of contention, looked to have the race in the bag until an altercation on the final lap of the race ended his chances of making it two wins in succession after his debut round win at the final round of the series in Mallala in August.
Ritter's Falcon AU suffered a flat front right tyre with one lap remaining and retired from the race leaving White, Alan Gurr and V8 Supercar youngster Tony D'Alberto to occupy the top three positions.
It was a case of last man standing for White as his consistency paid off with the race win and resurrected the misfortune that he encountered in the Bathurst 1000 practice session yesterday in the PWR Racing Commodore when the car hit the wall and had to be withdrawn from tomorrow's 161-lap race.
"I made a mistake once and there was no way that I was going to make it twice," White said about the disappointment of not being able to compete in the Great Race.
"I didn't grab a gear and paid the price when the car slammed into the wall and it's very disappointing that the team had to pull out the car out of the race tomorrow, especially for my co-driver Marcus (Marshall) and PWR."
"The Konica Minolta car was really good this weekend. We have come here with the same car that we used in the race last year and showed that we were able to get a bit more speed out of it, which is a positive sign.
"We were up against some tough competition this weekend with teams who have put together a great operation, so obviously winning here today has put a bit of a smile back on my face."
Gurr finished the race in second position and clocked up some valuable track time in preparation for the Bathurst 1000 race tomorrow where he will be partnering Paul Morris in the Sirromet Wines Commodore.
D'Alberto's move into a Howard Racing prepared Falcon for the Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Challenge from the Commodore that he has driven in the series all year looked to have paid dividends for the 18-year-old as he rounded out the top three.
The youngster recorded his first ever podium position after the car was nearly unable to compete after a huge crash in the first practice session of the meeting on Thursday.
"There was a lot of damage to the car after that first practice session and the team worked late in to the night to make sure it was ready for the race today," D'Alberto said.
"I lost confidence in the track after the hit and so it is great to have finished on the podium this afternoon."
<pre> Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Challenge 1. #28 Matthew White Gulf Western Oil/Jayco 25 laps 2. #72 Alan Gurr Smiths Trucks 3. #83 Tony D'Alberto Howard Racing 4. #81 Jose Fernandez Team Fujitsu 5. #300 Tony Evangelou Dexion Racing 6. #66 Adam Wallis Rod Lynch Motorsport 7. #76 Neil McFadyen WPS Racing 8. #32 Jay Verdnik Hi Trans 9. #27 Aaron McGill Howard Racing 10. #37 Mark Howard Howard Racing