Symmons Plains: WPS Racing Sunday report

WPS Racing Awaits Word on Race Win WPS Racing was tonight awaiting word on whether it had registered its maiden win in the V8 Supercar Championship Series. David Besnard, driving in WPS Racing's Car 23, was officially listed as 18th place in...

WPS Racing Awaits Word on Race Win

WPS Racing was tonight awaiting word on whether it had registered its maiden win in the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

David Besnard, driving in WPS Racing's Car 23, was officially listed as 18th place in the third and final race in the Tasmania Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains.

However, official track timing had Besnard as the leader for much of the race but an adjustment to the timing in the closing stages of the 42-lap dash saw him drop to mid-field.

His team immediately appealed the race result, as did Jason Bright and Mark Skaife who were also relegated to mid-field positions.

If Besnard is recognized as the winner it will be his first victory since his maiden win in the Queensland 500 in 2002.

It will also be the first race win for the Wright Patton Shakespeare-supported WPS Racing, which only joined the series this year.

Besnard started the race from 19th position and his team decided to play for luck by adopting a pit stop strategy framed around a possible safety car period.

The strategy played into his hands when an incident on lap 11 of the 42-lap dash saw the field file in behind the WPS Safety Car.

Besnard, along with Jason Bright and Mark Skaife, shot into the pits for their mandatory tyre change and on-track electronic timing confirmed that they rejoined the race at the front of the field.

When the track was cleared and racing resumed on lap 20 Besnard held off Bright and Skaife until another incident saw the return of the safety car.

Confusion then swept the track when race officials were unsure whether Besnard, Bright and Skaife should have been leading the field.

They sent orders to the Safety Car to relegate the three to the back of the field.

However, even after returning to the tail of the field the on-track timing still showed them as the three race leaders.

It was only in the closing laps that timings were adjusted and Besnard was punted to 18th in the field, with Bright and Skaife falling in behind him.

Besnard then completed the race in 18th position.

"The race played into our hands and the strategy worked perfectly," said Besnard.

"It was unfortunate that everyone else went into the pits earlier but we played for that and it paid off.

"Regardless of the final race result I had a great race with Bright and Skaife and I pulled away from both of them."

The drama on Sunday afternoon capped a fine weekend of racing for Besnard, who was eighth in the first race on Saturday and was heading for a similar finish in race two on Sunday until Jason Bright nudged him from behind and spun Besnard on the entry to the hairpin.

The incident led to Besnard going off track and he needed assistance to resume racing. The safety car was called to the field and he went four laps down on the field. Bright was also black-flagged for the incident and lost his track position.

Meanwhile, team mate Owen Kelly had a strong weekend in his first start for WPS Racing.

He showed solid improvement across the weekend to finish the third race in 15th place. He was later relegated to 18th after the stewards reinstated Besnard to the front of the field.

"We were getting the car better each time we went back on track," said Kelly.

"It was a little frustrating having never driven the car before. We spent three-quarters of our time getting the car how I like it before we could go on with the job of racing.

"We were going forward the whole weekend but it was best right at the end.

"Now that the weekend is over we will be a lot better off with this car come the final round at Eastern Creek."

-wps-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Jason Bright , Mark Skaife , Owen Kelly