Simpson Ford Racing Mallala report

Queensland racer Michael Simpson finished the Konica V8 Supercar Series as the highest-placed Ford runner after three top-eight finishes in the final round of the series at Mallala in South Australia today. Simpson recorded a pair of sixths and...

Queensland racer Michael Simpson finished the Konica V8 Supercar Series as the highest-placed Ford runner after three top-eight finishes in the final round of the series at Mallala in South Australia today.

Simpson recorded a pair of sixths and an eighth to push his final points tally to 840 98 clear of nearest Ford rival Craig Harris, who will now share his Falcon with Simpson in the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 at Queensland Raceway on August 26.

Simpson qualified third for the round, but slipped back to sixth in the opening race after getting caught in some traffic. He then fell to second-last in race two after a coming together with Owen Kelly, but fought his way back to sixth.

The team misjudged the tyre pressures for the start of race three and Simpson slipped back to 11th before fighting his way back to eighth. "It was a pretty tough day, but we continued to learn a lot and score points both those things were what this season was all about," said Simpson, who ran in today's races with support from the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500. "It's nice to finish as the highest-placed Ford in our first season and now I am just looking forward to heading to the endurance races with Craig (Harris) and the Castrol Falcon.

"We are hoping to pick up a major sponsor for next season, but I have to thank everyone who provided what they could to us this year." Simpson has received support during the year from the Queensland Vehicle Warranty Network, Brannigan's Budget Tyres, Eddie's Auto Painters, MA Howard Constructions, Nerang Diffs, the Lynton Group, Chef Talk, Queensland Raceway and Wade-Parker Consulting.

Kiwi Simon Wills pulled out a barnstorming performance to clinch the 2001 Konica title with three victories today. Wills headed championship rival Paul Dumbrell in the opening race and repeated the dose in race two as Dumbrell headed to the pits with a broken steering rack after a turn one clash.

Dumbrell's retirement made life easier for Wills in the final race, but the two-time Formula Holden Australian Driver's Champion wanted to go out on a winning note. Owen Kelly finished second on the day ahead of fellow Holden driver, Dale Brede.

The Konica V8 Supercar Series consists of six rounds in the Eastern states of Australia and has been designed as a breeding ground for the Shell Championship Series.

-BMM

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Series Supercars
Drivers Simon Wills , Paul Dumbrell , Owen Kelly , Mike Simpson