Besnard Turns in A Flying Session WPS Racing's David Besnard put in a flying performance just two hours after a 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to finish third in the first practice session for the ninth round of the V8 Supercar Championship ...
Besnard Turns in A Flying Session
WPS Racing's David Besnard put in a flying performance just two hours after a 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to finish third in the first practice session for the ninth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Sandown today.
Besnard, who this week has been in the US testing for a one-off Champ Car drive at this year's Lexmark 300 Indy event on the Gold Coast, touched down at Melbourne Airport at 7.35am.
After clearing customs half an hour later he was ferried to a waiting helicopter, owned by WPS Racing team owner Craig Gore, and arrived at Sandown just 75 minutes before the practice session.
He then turned in a stirring drive to finish just behind fellow Ford drivers Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall.
"We got the timing right both on the track and with our flights," said Besnard.
"I only managed about four or five hours sleep on the flight home because I was excited about our prospects in this race.
"By the time I arrived on track I was tired but once I got into the car the adrenalin kicked in and everything came together.
"The car felt the best it has all year. It came out of the trailer just right and we are now getting it close to where we want it to be."
Besnard's performance today was excellent given the context of the drive.
On Tuesday (US time) he was in scorching heat in Phoenix, Arizona, test driving a Champ Car in a bid to qualify for a one-off drive in next month's Indy 300 on Queensland's Gold Coast.
He turned in a highly impressive performance in the open wheeler and is now awaiting final approval to compete at Indy in a Wright Patton Shakespeare-supported car.
He completed the US test session at mid morning Wednesday, Australian time, and then stayed overnight in Arizona.
Besnard then flew to Los Angeles the following morning and waited two and a half hours for a connecting flight to Australia.
"I'll certainly sleep well once I get through Sandown," said Besnard.
Team mate Alex Yoong, the ex-Formula One driver making his V8 Supercar Championship Series debut, also put in a strong first up drive.
He finished the first practice session in 19th position and showed steady improvement throughout the 60-minute session.
"It was a pleasing performance and it was great to get the first drive under my belt," said Yoong.
"I can now build on that first performance and I'll just be looking for continual improvement across the weekend."
WPS Racing is supported by businessman Craig Gore's Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group.
The 2004 season is the team's first in the series.