Tasmania Race Report

It is great news that the Symmons Plain round of the V8 championship has been secured for a further three years, and to see such a large crowd cheer on the transporter parade really showed that there is a huge amount of support for the event from the local community.

Friday, we hit the track for practice. 

Robbo ran all four practice sessions and had a strong day. He finished all runs inside the top 10, and was 9th overall for the day.

Lee ran sessions 3 and 4, and wasn’t quite able to get the best out of his car and finished 18th quickest.

His car did seem to be struggling for power, so the crew completed an engine change on the Friday night which saw him set for Saturdays qualifying.

Robbo got to geek up on the Friday afternoon and took Jimmy from Beauty & the Geek for a hot lap in his car.  Jimmy thought it was “awesome”

Saturday’s 20 minute qualifying saw Robbo qualify 12th and Lee 13th but they did start the race in 11th and 12th after a penalty was applied to another driver.

The 2.4 km circuit produces a very quick lap and the times were very close for qualifying. Robbo was .2717 seconds off the pole time, back in 12th and the whole field was only separated by .7174 seconds.

With Saturday’s race being only 50 laps and lap times around 51 - 52 seconds, it was going to be a quick race.

Both cars got off the line well, but Lee was shuffled back a couple of positions to 14th. Robbo dropped back 1 position to 12th, but made this back up by passing Coulthard on lap 5.

During Lee’s first pit stop the crew had an issue with the left rear wheel nut seizing, which caused him to drop a number of positions. Robbo had a good stop jumping one position. 

After the first stops were completed Lee was in 16th and Robbo in 10th.

Lee wasn’t able to make up any further positions but drove very well to hold on, struggling with a brake issue, to finish 16th.

Robbo drove a good race, conserving his tyres. This enabled him to have a real crack in the final 5 laps, and was able to pass Dumbrell and come home in 9th position.

Sunday’s format was similar, but with a longer race, of 84 laps.

Lee’s qualifying was much stronger than Saturday’s, and he qualified 8th and Robbo 19th. Again the field was only separated by .715 seconds.

Lee had a good start and maintained 8th until he pitted on lap 18.

Robbo had a good start and was able to pass a number of cars in the early stages of the race, he pitted for his first stop on lap 22.

After the first round of stops was completed Lee was 9th and Robbo 14th.

Passing Todd Kelly on lap 36, Lee moved up to 8th. He pitted on lap 51 for his second and final stop. 

Lee drove very well across the afternoon but during his final stop, he would lose track position due to a longer stop than usual. The crew encountered a problem but then, overcame quickly to see Leethal back on his way.

Robbo pitted the following lap. Lee and Robbo were now running 12th and 13th.

On lap 77 Robbo was turned around at the hairpin, dropping back to 16th, he gained one position back to finish 15th.

Lee passed Rick Kelly for 11th with a few laps to go, only to run out of fuel crossing the line to drop two positions to finish 13th.

Our championship position remains unchanged with Lee sitting 8th and Robbo 16th in the driver’s championship and the team are 5th in the team’s championship.

The cars will arrive back at our workshop after the overnight boat trip across the Tasman, Tuesday morning and the crew will only have a few days, but are more than up for the challenge, to turn the cars around before heading to Sandown for this weekends round.

Once again I would like to thank everyone for their continued support and friendship and I look forward to seeing many of you out at Sandown this weekend.

Regards

Garry