Persistent Rain Forces Saturday Race Cancellation May 1, 2004 - Persistent heavy rain in Auckland has forced the cancellation of today's 36 lap V8 Supercar race at Pukekohe Raceway. Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn...
Persistent Rain Forces Saturday Race Cancellation
May 1, 2004 - Persistent heavy rain in Auckland has forced the cancellation of today's 36 lap V8 Supercar race at Pukekohe Raceway.
Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton were strapped into their FPR Falcons awaiting the opening of the pit lane exit when this announcement was made by race officials, following the intervention of a number of drivers.
After the wet morning warm up session, heavy rain continued until the scheduled start time of Saturday's race, which was 2:35pm (local time).
V8 Supercar organisers Avesco have stated their intention to run three 36 lap races tomorrow, (Sunday May 2) instead of the previously scheduled two 56 lap races.
The opinion of Team FPR management and drivers was unanimous in relation to the cancellation of Saturday's race.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "This was the right decision given the conditions and despite predictions of worse weather tomorrow, we hope that we can complete three races here and give the spectators the show that they deserve, as this is what we are here for. I feel for the fans and our sponsors today as we would have loved to be out there racing, but safety must always come first."
#5 Glenn Seton - "I agree with this decision based on the water that I saw on the circuit earlier in the day during heavy rain. I didn't get a chance to see the circuit but after some of the drivers did, it was obvious that they did not base their opinions lightly. It should be a big day tomorrow, with similar weather forecast - and if that is the case its going to be a very long day."
FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "This was definitely the right decision. I told both drivers that it was impossible for me to make a judgement as I couldn't drive on the circuit, but from what I could see it looked unsafe to race. There was absolutely no expectation from the team that they had to race in these conditions and I also told them that if they thought it was unsafe on the track, to just drive their cars into the pit garage. Personally, I believe that the possibility of a serious accident was very high along with major car damage. Hopefully the conditions will improve for tomorrow."
The last time a V8 Supercar race was cancelled at an event was at Melbourne's Calder Park Raceway in 1998, when torrential rain forced the cancellation of that round's third heat.
In 1996 a complete V8 Supercar round was postponed by one week due to major flooding (Lakeside, Queensland) one day before the event was scheduled to start.