Pukekohe: Orrcon Racing Sunday report

BITTER BLOW FOR ORRCON AT PUKEKOHE For the second round in a row Larkham -- Orrcon Racing were dealt a bitter blow when Jason Bargwanna was involved in a high speed incident during today's final race at Pukekohe Raceway, New...

BITTER BLOW FOR ORRCON AT PUKEKOHE

For the second round in a row Larkham -- Orrcon Racing were dealt a bitter blow when Jason Bargwanna was involved in a high speed incident during today's final race at Pukekohe Raceway, New Zealand.

Following an incident that put a premature end to his opening race yesterday Bargwanna started today's first 50-lap journey from the back of the 32-car grid. His team-mate Mark Winterbottom faired better during the opening race to start from position 22 in the number 20 Orrcon Racing Falcon.

Both drivers rapidly moved up the order during the race with Bargwanna passing 18 cars during the event, in the process collecting his first points in the Championship standings. Winterbottom ran as high inside the top ten before being involved in an incident with David Besnard to cross the line 22nd.

In the final event of the round, and possibly the final V8 Supercar race at the Pukekohe circuit, Bargwanna was aiming to add to his charge from the previous while Winterbottom focused on gaining further points towards the Championship.

Entering the pits to complete their compulsory pit stops for a change of tyres Bargwanna had held his 14th starting spot while Winterbottom sat just outside the top 20.

Disaster struck for the second time in as many days, and rounds for that fact, when Jason Richards made an attempted passing move on the inside of Bargwanna entering turn three. After contact between the pair Bargwanna was left with severe damage to the front end of the number 10 Orrcon Racing Falcon.

Entering the kink in the back straight at 220kmph Bargwanna turned the steering wheel, however the car failed to respond and he spearing into the trackside barrier causing severe damage to the car.

"Jason Richards slide up the inside of me in turn three and made contact with the front end of my car which made some pretty heavy damage," said Bargwanna.

"After exiting the turn I headed down the back straight and as I entered the fast kink the car simply didn't turn. No matter how hard I turned the wheel the car just went straight on, it seems as though something was broken in the steering.

"It was a very hard hit. Unfortunately the guys in the crew have got another very busy week ahead of them before the ship returns to Australia to repair the damage."

Following a safety car period to retrieve Bargwanna's car Winterbottom was placed just outside the top 15 before a high speed incident on the main straight involving Paul Dumbrell, Craig Baird and Cameron McConville brought about the red flag on lap 33.

During the red flag period rain began to fall and the majority of the field had wet weather tyres fitted for the 16-lap journey to the shortened finish.

Winterbottom held his position to finish 17th as Kiwi Greg Murphy took the race and round victory.

The team will spend until Thursday in New Zealand repairing and preparing the cars before they will be shipped back to Australia.

"We have enough parts to repair Bargs' car but it will have to wait until the shipment arrives back home in a couple of weeks before the panel work will be finished," said engineer Steve Jenkinson.

The shipment will arrive in Brisbane next Friday (April 29) before the transporter will depart the following day for the next round of the Championship in Perth to be held on May 6-8.

Defending Champion Marcos Ambrose still leads the Championship followed by Russell Ingall and Paul Weel. Winterbottom is 20th with Bargwanna 33rd.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Marcos Ambrose , Cameron McConville , Russell Ingall , Craig Baird , Paul Weel , Jason Bargwanna , Jason Richards , Paul Dumbrell , Steve Jenkins