SWEET AND SOUR INDY FOR WPS RACING The WPS Racing V8 Supercar team performed to expectation today, yet was left to ponder what may have been after a pair of top ten finishes slipped from their grasp during the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on...
SWEET AND SOUR INDY FOR WPS RACING
The WPS Racing V8 Supercar team performed to expectation today, yet was left to ponder what may have been after a pair of top ten finishes slipped from their grasp during the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the Gold Coast.
New Zealand driver Craig Baird was forced to settle for 13th overall in a very patient and cool handed display that was pulled short by an annoying oil line problem during the third of three races.
But perhaps the cruelest blow for the team and Team Australia driver David Besnard to comprehend, was a shunt from behind from Steven Richards in race two that all but ended any chance he had of securing another positive result for WPS Racing.
"For a driver who's been around in the sport for so long it was nothing but rank stupidity," said a furious WPS Racing team owner Craig Gore.
"I once rated him quite highly but after that I don't have any respect for him whatsoever.
"The guy had been following us for not even one completed lap so for him to suggest we had braked earlier than normal is preposterous."
Besnard had been hovering around the top ten until the incident that occurred just two laps shy of the finish.
But reconfirming his industrious approach to the entire weekend he was able to leapfrog the back-markers in the final race and collect valuable championship points.
"He totaled a really good race car that the crew put together and it's a shame for everyone because we were shaping up well for the run home," said a bemused Besnard on his return to the pits.
"After he calms down he'll realise he's made a mistake and given that moment again I'm sure he'd do things differently,"
"You wouldn't usually expect that from a driver of his calibre.
"But in the end we re-evaluated things and just went out with the goal of not sacrificing championship points or the car in the final race."
For Baird a season best individual performance following hot on the heels of his eighth at Bathurst has piloted him into the top 20 of the Championship for the first time this year.
Unfortunately that effort was somewhat soured by the rightful belief that the New Zealander could have finished much higher.
"What can I say we were placed tenth after race two and staring down the barrel of a genuine result," said Baird.
"I knew there was something wrong with the car, I just kept sliding around and losing power.
"I tried to put up with it but it was hopeless.
"It's disappointing to undo all the good work from the first two races but that's racing.
"We've got two events to go and if the points are on offer we'll just pluck away and try and secure the best result possible for the year."
Craig Lowndes secured victories in both races today to claim top spot in the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge followed by Greg Murphy and Mark Skaife.
WPS Racing now shape up to compete at Tasmania's Symmons Plains circuit in three weeks time.