Shanghai: Team Betta Sunday report

Highs & Lows For Team Betta Electrical In the space of just two weeks Brisbane's Team Betta Electrical have experienced the highs and lows of V8 Supercar racing, from their sensational victory at Eastern Creek Raceway to today's disappointing...

Highs & Lows For Team Betta Electrical

In the space of just two weeks Brisbane's Team Betta Electrical have experienced the highs and lows of V8 Supercar racing, from their sensational victory at Eastern Creek Raceway to today's disappointing finish at the inaugural Asian round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Shanghai International Circuit.

After a great finish in race one yesterday Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes started the first of two thirty lap races today confident of a good result. The three-time touring car champion made a great start in the opening race but soon struck trouble coming into the notorious Shanghai hairpin when his clutch began to slip.

The Ford driver nursed his Triple Eight Race Engineering prepared Falcon back to the pits but was forced to retire as his team went to work changing the clutch.

Lowndes team mate Steve Ellery got a great start off grid position fifteen and showed tremendous speed working his way into ninth place before taking his compulsory pitstop on lap six.

The Falcon's air jacks failed to retract as Ellery started to exit his pit bay and members of Team Betta Electrical had to retrieve the car from the Ford Performance Racing pit area.

The Team worked frantically to get Ellery back out on the track and he rejoined the race in twenty fifth position but nearly two laps down on the rest of the field. Ellery finished twenty third in the race that was eventually won by Mark Skaife from Steven Richards and Todd Kelly.

Both drivers started from the rear of the grid for the third and final race and got off the start without any drama. Lowndes went into turn one with a reasonable gap but fell victim to the concertina of cars that banked up in front of him and was unable to avoid collision with the rear of David Besnards Falcon.

With temperature problems and front end damage Lowndes limped back to his pit bay and out of the race while Ellery charged through the field to be in eight position by halfway through the race.

"It was a very disappointing day," Lowndes said.

"In the second race we went into turn one with a reasonable gap but there was concertina and I couldn't avoid running into the back of Besnard.

"We found some good data and now need to set our heads to Darwin.

"This is a really tough Championship and we can't afford another round like this," Lowndes added.

Disaster struck Ellery on lap sixteen when a bolt broke in the Falcon's front left suspension ending his and Team Betta Electrical's hopes of a top five finish.

"That was shattering not just for me but for everyone on the team," Ellery said.

"On a confident note our car speed was good and I proved to myself I can be up there.

"I am really looking forward to the next round in Darwin and with the way our cars look after their tyres, the Hidden Valley circuit will suit us to a tee," he added.

The race and round was won by Todd Kelly ahead of Steven Richards and Paul Radisich.

Team Principal of Team Betta Electrical, Roland Dane said despite all the disappointment of the weekend the team could be buoyed by the knowledge they clearly had the quickest race cars this weekend.

"We feel rather unlucky not to get the results given we had the quickest cars this weekend," Dane said.

"On a positive note we know we have the race speed we need to win races.

Todd Kelly won race three and the round ahead of Steven Richards and Paul Radisich.

-tbe-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Paul Radisich , Todd Kelly , Roland Dane , Steven Richards
Teams Triple Eight Race Engineering