Queensland Raceway – Race Report

After a five week break we were back in sunny Queensland for Round 8 of the championship.

Greg Ritter and Marcus Marshall joined the team for Friday’s practice sessions.

Running around on older soft tyres during their earlier sessions, the boys put together some very consistent laps. The aim was not to set the world on fire but to give Greg and Marcus some very valuable seat time and laps before heading into the enduro’s, which we achieved.

Lee and Robbo ran the later sessions.

Lee started on older tyres while the crew were tuning his car. After making a number of changes, the crew were happy with the progress
they had made. They fitted a set of greens and Lee bolted straight to the top of the timesheets on his first flying lap.

Lee, with the crew continued to tune the # 33 car and decided to go for another green tyre run, but weather hampered this. As he started his final flying lap it began to rain, had to back off, and was not able to gain any further advantage.

Robbo had a good practice and was quite happy with changes that had been made to the # 34 car after a good test at Winton last week.

At the end of the practice sessions, Robbo and the crew were happy with the pace of the # 34 car, but felt that more work was still needed on their qualifying pace.

Lee finished 10th overall and Robbo, 21st for the day.

Saturdays 20 minute qualifying had Lee continuing to show strong pace from practice and qualified 6th.

The # 34 car, still struggling a little, qualified 19th.

Saturday’s races would be raced over a new format.

There were 2 x 22 km races, no pit stops, and only a 15 minute service period between them.

Lee got off to a great start in the first race, making up 3 places to 3rd in the first lap, but as his tyres went off he was unable to maintain this position and dropped back to finish 7th.

In a pretty uneventful afternoon Robbo finished 19th.

The crew were well drilled and everyone knew what needed to be done during the 15 minute service period. Fuel, tryes, suspension adjustments a quick wipe over and the cars were set to go again.

The teams started the second race in their finishing positions from the first race.

The second race again was fairly uneventful other than some damage to the Lee’s front end and bonnet, which seemed to slow him up a bit. He finished 11th.

Robbo, Mr Consistent started and finished in 19th.

The experimental format benefited good qualifying, but took away any opportunity to use strategy to gain track position for mid fielders.

I don’t think we really need to see this again!!

Sunday morning, and the weather took a turn, as it started raining heavily and would continue for most the morning. The rain had stopped by the time the race started, but it did leave the engineers and mechanics scrambling and having to make some late changes to car.

We reverted back to our normal race format on Sunday, with a 20 minute qualifying session and 200 km race that required two pit stops.
Sunday’s qualifying was disappointing with Robbo qualifying 15th and Lee 24th.

Not our best effort!!

The day would get tougher for Lee, being turned around on the first corner of the race. He was able to rejoin the race but was at the rear of field.

Lee would slowly start to move through the field and was able to jump a number of cars during his pit stop on lap 19.

Robbo stopped one lap earlier on lap 18 and also made a number of positions due to his good stop.

After the first round of stops had been completed Robbo was in 13th and Lee had worked his way back to 19th. Both maintained these positions until the second round of stops, on lap 41 for Robbo and lap 43 for Lee.

Robbo finished in 14th and Lee 18th.

Lee has now moved up to 10th in drivers championship and Robbo has maintained 14th.

The weekend was disappointing for the team because we know we are way better than this result. We will regroup and come out swinging at Phillip Island.

With Greg and Marcus joining the team for Phillip Island and Bathurst we are in with a great chance to do well.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Island.