Michael Simpson's dream of winning this year's Konica V8 Supercar Series went up in a puff of smoke along with his engine in the second of three races during round four at Phillip Island today. Simpson ran the meeting in a Castrol-backed AU Falcon...
Michael Simpson's dream of winning this year's Konica V8 Supercar Series went up in a puff of smoke along with his engine in the second of three races during round four at Phillip Island today. Simpson ran the meeting in a Castrol-backed AU Falcon borrowed from Brisbane businessman Craig Harris and was set for a round win when things went wrong two laps from home in race two.
The 26 year-old Queenslander qualified his car in sixth position for the opening race and he worked his way through the field to finish third. With a reverse grid for the top 10 cars in race two, Simpson started from eighth, but had raced his way to second position behind Simon Wills with less than two laps remaining when his engine expired.
With no spare, and no time to out one in the car anyway, Simpson had to sit on the sidelines for the third and final race.
"The disappointing thing is that we were on target to win the round," said Simpson.
"We were getting quicker every time we went out in the car and things we working in our favour.
"I have to thank Craig (Harris) for the use of his car this weekend and for giving us a shot at keeping our title hopes alive. "We have to re-group with our own car for the next round in Queensland in a
few weeks time. The next round will be in front of a home crowd and it's
always great to have a big result in that situation." Simpson's own EL Falcon was badly damaged in an opening-corner accident at round three in Winton on May 6, but Harris came to his rescue a couple of days later by offering him his car for this today's races. Harris has international business commitments this weekend and needs his
Falcon to run competitively to gain maximum exposure for his sponsors. Today's round was won by David Parsons from Simon Wills and Leanne Ferrier. Simpson is still chasing a major sponsor for the season, but 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.
<pre> RACE RESULTS Race 1 1: David Parsons 2: Leanne Ferrier 3: Michael Simpson 4: Owen Kelly 5: Dale Brede
Race 2 1: Simon Wills 2: David Parsons 3: Paul Dumbrell 4: Leanne Ferrier 5: Dale Brede
Race 3 1: Simon Wills 2: Paul Dumbrell 3: David Parsons 4: Leanne Ferrier 5: Dale Brede
KONICA V8 SUPERCAR CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (After 4 rounds): 1: David Parsons 858 2: Paul Dumbrell 788 3: Simon Wills 784 4: Owen Kelly 736 5: Leanne Ferrier 702 6: Dale Brede 692 7: Terry Whyhoon 606 8: Michael Simpson 516 9: Garry Holt 512 10: Tim Rowse 470