TOPSY TURVY WEEKEND FOR WPS RACING IN TASMANIA WPS Racing's Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna had an eventful time in the Ferodo Tasmania Challenge, Round 11 of the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship, at Symmons Plains this weekend. Following ...
TOPSY TURVY WEEKEND FOR WPS RACING IN TASMANIA
WPS Racing's Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna had an eventful time in the Ferodo Tasmania Challenge, Round 11 of the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship, at Symmons Plains this weekend.
Following yesterday's opening race Bargwanna started this morning's 58-lap race, which began in wet conditions, from 15th position with his WPS Racing team-mate one row further back in 18th.
The former Bathurst Champion made some good inroads during the opening few laps to be 12th at the end of lap seven. Unfortunately Wilson wasn't so fortunate and dropped to the back of the pack after being spun by Steve Owen while negotiating the hairpin on the opening lap. Owen received a drive-through penalty for his part in the incident.
As Wilson was on the charge from the back of the field Bargwanna was showing his wet weather prowess on the greasy circuit and was placed inside the top ten just after mid-race.
During the compulsory pit stops all drivers had their crews change the wet weather tyres to slicks due to the circuit drying significantly.
The final half of journey was slowed by two safety car periods for a total of seven laps.
Following an intense battle with defending Champion Russell Ingall and Craig Lowndes late in the race Bargwanna crossed the line in eighth with Wilson 15th.
There was drama for Wilson even before the start of the final 58-lap feature when the right rear axle broke on the #8 WPS Racing Falcon. Only some speedy work by the WPS crew ensured he made it to the start of the race, albeit from pit lane and the extreme back of the field.
An opening lap incident with Ingall marred Bargwanna's start to the final race. Depsite damage to the left-rear of his WPS Racing Falcon Bargwanna pushed on, only to have the guard cut the tyre on lap 10 and force him to the pit area for an unscheduled stop. As a result of this stop he dropped a lap to the leaders which ended his chances of a top ten result for the round.
Wilson continued to show tremendous determination in the final race to move into tenth position with a dozen laps remaining. However, his good work was undone by an incident involving Will Davison which Wilson received a drive-through penalty for.
After serving his penalty Wilson returned to the circuit in 15th, a position he maintained until the end and earn 13th place overall for the round. Bargwanna was classified 22nd to secure 15th for the round.
Garth Tander won the Tasmanian round for the second consecutive year. Jason Bright finished second ahead of team-mate Mark Winterbottom.
Rick Kelly leads in the chase for the championship on 2861 points. He is 73 points clear of Craig Lowndes with Winterbottom in third. Bargwanna remains in 13th with 1812 points and Wilson 15th on 1721.
The next round of the championship will be contested in Bahrain on November 23-25.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY----
Max Wilson - #8 WPS Racing Falcon "Overall I think we showed some good speed during today's two races," said Wilson.
"After the axle broke on the warm up lap for the final race it was a fantastic effort by the guys in the crew to complete the repairs in the limited time before the start.
"I was up to tenth spot when I got caught out entering the hairpin on lap 45. Will Davison braked harder than normal to avoid Paul Morris who was on his way to spinning and I locked the brakes trying to miss them both. I made contact with Will which caused him to spin. As a result I received a drive through penalty which dropped me to 15th."
Jason Bargwanna - #10 WPS Racing Falcon
"Despite all of the drama in race three I think we finished up with a reasonable result," said Bargwanna.
"Clearly we had had a package which was capable of finishing inside the top ten for the round but the lap one incident in the final race put an end to that.
"While it was disappointing to be taken out, it was encouraging to know that we had some competitive speed on board during both of today's races."
Mark Larkham -- Team Principal
"It was pleasing to see the speed shown by both drivers during today's wet and dry races," said Larkham.
"However, for Bargs his good work in this morning's race was undone by Russell Ingall in the opening lap of the final race and for Max a broken axle meant he had to start from pit lane.
"Outside of these incidents, the team and drivers did another fantastic job but unfortunately we didn't yield the results that were deserved.
"While I'm pleased with the speed shown by both drivers during the races we still need to do a bit more work on our qualifying speed."