Practice for Round 7 of the V8 Supercar Series experienced very wet conditions this morning in the lead up to today's qualifying and top ten shoot out. Rain fell overnight and for most of the morning then into the ...
Practice for Round 7 of the V8 Supercar Series experienced very wet conditions this morning in the lead up to today's qualifying and top ten shoot out.
Rain fell overnight and for most of the morning then into the afternoon, making conditions treacherous for all drivers battling to set up their cars and post reasonable times pre qualifying.
The Team Betta Electrical Fords of Radisich and Wilson also experienced problems with grip on the rain soaked circuit.
Wet tyres were the order of the day, however the entire field were battling to post-competitive times under such difficult conditions.
The second practice session saw no less than four red flag situations many where cars were aquaplaning off the circuit onto the in field.
"The conditions are anything but ideal, you just can't get the power down anywhere around the circuit" - said Radisich.
"I guess everyone's times reflect that, we are all experiencing the same difficulties".
"We have spent these first two practice sessions setting the car up, not only for the circuit, but further changes were required for the extreme weather conditions also".
"Our practice times certainly weren't on the pace, so we do have the job ahead of us for tomorrows 100 km race" - commented Radisich.
Wilson driving the second Team Betta Electrical Ford car #888 reiterated Radisich's comments, adding "I had a slight electrical problem during the 3rd. practice session which hampered me a little in posting a good time".
"I think I left the circuit on three occasions and finally broke a part on the front suspension whilst travelling down the main straight only to find I could not steer the car around turn one so I had to limp back to the pits and by that time they had red flagged the qualifying session and my chance to improve my position was gone" - said Wilson.
The third and final practice saw Mark Skaife post the fastest time of 1:38.4420 for the session, with Radisich placed back in 16th. position with a lap time of 1:40.3294 and Wilson following up further back in 24th position posting his fastest lap time of 1:40.9595.
Qualifying time came around and still the rain was falling, all 35 entries took to the circuit for the one off qualifying session.
Drivers showed caution in the worsening conditions, with the lead changing frequently in the 20 - minute session.
Many of the drivers finding themselves off the circuit on numerous occasions during the dash to position themselves in a front running spot on the grid for tomorrows 100 km race.
Team Betta Electrical drivers Radisich and Wilson battled with their cars for the entire session, unable to transfer the power to the ground in order to gain those few extra tenths of a second to position themselves into the top ten placing's.
"It was very demanding out there, I take my hat off to all the drivers it wasn't easy controlling the cars in such conditions" - said Radisich.
"I know I was on the limit for much of the session however I just couldn't control the car above certain speeds, I had absolutely no grip at all from the tyres and decided to pit and get another set of tyres fitted which made a huge difference to the cars handling and grip".
"Unfortunately within one lap the qualifying session was red flagged and that put paid to any chance I may have had to improve on my lap time, in retrospect now, I considered to start the race tomorrow was more important than the prospects of damaging the car in an attempt to improve our starting position on the grid".
"I have shown in the past that I can reel in the field when need be and that may now be the order of the day for tomorrows race" - concluded Radisich.
Wilson driving car #888 had several excursions off the circuit with the final one damaging the front splitter and suspension just seven minutes from the end of the session, again cruelling his chances to improve on his recorded best lap time of 1:40.5923, placing him in 24th position on the grid for tomorrows race.
Radisich finished with a best lap time of 1:41.5136, effectively positioning him in 32nd position on the grid for the 100 - lap race.
Holden's Mark Skaife posted the fastest lap with a time of 1:38.1434 followed by Jason Bargwanna second, Marcos Ambrose third, Craig Lowndes fourth & Craig Baird in fifth position.