Safety Decision Cancels Saturday's first race of V8 Supercar Championship Series at Pukekohe; moved to Sunday. May 1 2004 -- The first of three races in the third round of the 2004 V8 Supercars Championship Series was washed out in New Zealand...
Safety Decision Cancels Saturday's first race of V8 Supercar Championship Series at Pukekohe; moved to Sunday.
May 1 2004 -- The first of three races in the third round of the 2004 V8 Supercars Championship Series was washed out in New Zealand today, leaving Mark Skaife on pole for a rescheduled three races tomorrow.
The first race of three was due to be held this afternoon but continual rain left several areas of the track awash with water with officials deciding it was too unsafe for drivers to risk their safety by racing.
Skaife was part of a three driver delegation which discussed the racing conditions with race officials immediately prior to the start of the race which resulted in the decision to stop the race. This is the first race cancellation in the series since Calder Park in 1998.
Three 36 lap races have now been scheduled for tomorrow.
Skaife said the decision was the right one to make, and praised race officials for taking the brave step of cancelling that race with another huge Kiwi crowd in attendance.
"We went to talk to the guys before the start - Greg, Jason, Kim Jones and I," Skaife said of the process. "After some discussion, driving standards observer Colin Bond took us on a lap and the conditions were worse than they had been all day.
"We are not averse to driving in the rain, but when the conditions are that dangerous - when they are over the odds - then we need to look at it.
"We didn't call it off, we recommended they call it off. We do not have the power to stop a race."
Kiwi hero Greg Murphy said the conditions were shocking, and felt for the crowd which will now file back into the track for the revised first of three races at 10am for three 36-lap races and a warm-up at 9am.
"None of us are very happy to not go racing because that is what we do," Murphy said.
"But it is realty the fans that have missed out today, they have sat out there in the rain all day for nothing, I feel sorry for them today, but if we had raced there wouldn't have been too many cars ready to race tomorrow."
Earlier in the day, Mark Skaife won a saturated Top 10 Shootout from Marcos Ambrose to score the 32nd pole of his career. Greg Murphy and Jason Bright will start from the second row.
<pre> Top 10 Shootout Results 1. Mark Skaife HRT Commodore 2. Marcos Ambrose Pirtek Falcon 3. Greg Murphy Kmart Commodore 4. Jason Bright PWR Commodore 5. Steven Richards Castrol Perkins Commodore 6. Paul Radisich Betta Electrical Triple 8 Falcon 7. John Bowe OzEmail Falcon 8. Max Wilson Betta Electrical Triple 8 Falcon 9. Todd Kelly HRT Commodore 10. Jason Bargwanna Orrcon Steel Falcon