WPS Racing's David Besnard put the disappointment of two missed sessions behind him to get within seven-tenths of a second of the fastest qualifier in the sixth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Ipswich today. Besnard completed...
WPS Racing's David Besnard put the disappointment of two missed sessions behind him to get within seven-tenths of a second of the fastest qualifier in the sixth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Ipswich today.
Besnard completed just one lap in each of the two practice sessions before being forced into the pits with engine problems.
He then returned to the track for qualifying with an old and under-strength engine but still managed to finish just four-tenths outside the third fastest qualifier and seven-tenths from the top-placed driver.
Team owner Craig Gore praised Besnard's tenacity and skill and sent a warning to other teams that the young charger will be a serious race contender as soon as the engine issues are sorted out.
"The guy was a superstar to get out there without any practice or warm up and post the time he did," said Gore.
"He has had two bad engines this weekend and that has made it pretty hard on the kid.
"But I am full of admiration for the way he has handled himself and look out for him when we get our engines sorted out."
Despite Gore's positive comments Besnard remained more subdued about his performance.
"I've only done about 14 laps the whole weekend so it is very frustrating," said Besnard.
"To go out and have to get used to the track during qualifying is difficult as there is a lot more rubber out there after all the racing this weekend.
"Anyway, we are learning and we are working our arses off to get on top of everything."
Besnard's time puts him in 21st position on the grid going into tomorrow's race.
One place ahead of him in qualifying is WPS Racing's Mark Noske, also within seven-tenths of the fastest qualifier.
Gore said he felt Noske could have climbed well into the top half of the field given his earlier practice session efforts and strong mid-lap times.
"I felt Mark could have done better because he had it together for most of the lap but kept losing it big time in the last corner.
"I'll be looking for Mark to take advantage of his opportunities when we go racing.
"That said, this was our best qualifying for the year and it's nice not to be 26th again."
Noske said he was happy with his overall performance.
"I've missed a few races so this is my best qualifying performance for the year," said Noske.
"Unfortunately I didn't get the best out of the tyres. There was probably another two to three tenths in it, which would have put us inside the top 10.
"One the positive side, it is nice to record the team's best qualifying effort for the season."
Noske went into qualifying in the top 50 per cent of the field after finishing the Saturday morning practice session in sixth position.
He posted the morning's fastest time and was immediately called into the pits by team manager Keith Evers.
Five drivers managed to beat his time before Noske was sent back on to the track for another four laps, in which he was just outside his best time.
Noske, driving Car 48, said his car was getting better with every start and he felt there were further improvements still to come.
"It felt good in the morning practice but I know there is still some improvement in it," said Noske.