Oran Park: WPS race report

Harsh Call Ends Besnard's Day A harsh call by race officials pushed WPS Racing's David Besnard to the back end of the field for the second of the two-race round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Oran Park Raceway today. Besnard, who...

Harsh Call Ends Besnard's Day

A harsh call by race officials pushed WPS Racing's David Besnard to the back end of the field for the second of the two-race round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Oran Park Raceway today.

Besnard, who brought his battered Ford Falcon back to the pits in 15th position in the first race of the day, was relegated to 26th on the grid for race two after officials imposed a 25-second penalty for his failure to come in under a black flag.

After sustaining extensive damage to the front and rear of the car on the first lap and then further damage during the race, a rear panel threatened to pull of Besnard's car.

Officials responded by calling Besnard into the pits to detach the panel.

Besnard was preparing to adhere to the demand after seeing the black flag one lap after the official's decision was communicated to him by radio.

But before he arrived at pit lane the panel broke away from the car. An official in pit lane, when told the panel had broken away, indicated to WPS team management that he was clear to continue.

WPS Racing was then called to a stewards' inquiry after the race and was struck with a 25-second penalty for failure to immediately return to the pits.

Team owner Craig Gore instructed his team to appeal the penalty, given the fact the team was under the impression it was cleared to remain on track.

Stewards would not hear the appeal and Besnard was forced to start from position 26.

Just ahead of the start of the race WPS Racing paid the $10,000 fee to lodge a further appeal. It will be heard on Thursday August 19.

When race two finally started Besnard quickly made up some of the places he was forced to forego. He piloted his car to 17th position shortly after the start before another driver ran into his rear and damaged Besnard's back right tyre.

He had to bring the car to the pits and immediately slipped back to 32nd position and was more than a lap down on the leaders.

His problems were compounded on lap 38 when he was forced to return to the pits with a tyre problem.

"Our problems this weekend started with qualifying when I wrecked a few tyres by over-driving," said Besnard.

"That put us in the back half of the field and then with the penalty I was a long way back.

"In the second race I had a pearl of a start but when you are coming from that position on the grid there's a pretty good chance you will run into some trouble.

"That's exactly what happened. It teaches us the lesson again that you have to qualify at the front end of the field.

"On the positive side we have found more pace and on the Saturday we were the third fastest Ford out there. That's something to be proud of.

"We now just have to make sure we get things right across the whole weekend and that starts with qualifying."

Besnard ended up finishing the second race in 30th position.

Team mate Mark Noske, who started one place behind Besnard for the second race, struggled during the second race to finish in 27th position.

-wps-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Noske