DREW Russell has scored Novocastrian Motorsport’s first Top 10 finish of the 2012 Dunlop V8 Supercar Series, with ninth for the round at Barbagallo Raceway.
In a wet and dry Western Australian weekend, Drew Russell led the way for the Carrington Equipment Group and CEG Rentals-backed Falcons, with younger brother Aaren Russell 14th for the weekend and Michael Hector 23rd after an over ambitious move from a fellow competitor in Race 2.
Only 1.1173 seconds shy of the pole position time, Drew Russell qualified 17th in the competitive field. But from there, he made ground in each race. In the wet opener on Saturday, Russell finished 15th, followed by 12th in Race 2 and ninth in Sunday’s third and final race. As a result, he finished ninth for the weekend, and moves up to equal 10th in the series standings.
Aaren Russell also kept out of trouble and made progress throughout the three races. After qualifying 19th, he recorded finishes of 16th, 14th and 13th. Having finished 14th for the round, he remains 16th in the standings.
Series rookie Michael Hector qualified and finished the opening race in 24th position, but failed to finish Race 2 after contact from Matt Hansen sent him to the Turn 1 sand-trap. He rejoined the field in the final, finishing 20th. Hector leaves the weekend 20th in the points.
The Dunlop Series continues with Round 3 in Townsville, Queensland, on July 6-8.
“It’s good to end the weekend with a Top 10 result.
“We didn’t really have the ultimate pace, but we managed to make the car better as the weekend went on, stayed out of trouble and snuck up on it.
“The races themselves were pretty uneventful; it was really about staying out of trouble and making no mistakes. In each race, we had the pace to stay where we were, but probably not the pace to attack the cars in front. Looking at the cars around us and how competitive the field is, I don’t think we’re doing too badly.”
“The two dry races were among the toughest dry races I’ve ever driven in, with the pressure I was getting.
“In the last race, I got punted coming out of the last corner with about five laps to go. That cost me a position and brought another group of cars towards me. On the second last lap, I made a little mistake entering Turn 6 and lost another spot. I’m a bit dirty on myself about it, but there’s not much you can do.
“The end result, from where we qualified, was good, I think we raced well. We’d like to improve our base set-ups, but we’ll keep working at it and see what we can come up with.”
“I enjoyed the weekend, other than a few incidents, but that’s motor racing. I’m here to enjoy it and get experience in my first season in the series. “In the first race, I felt really comfortable in the wet, but I got punted off in Race 2, which is a bit sad, and that hurt our weekend. “I managed to jump about five cars off the start in the last race, but I only went down one gear instead of two going into Turn 6 early on, and lost three spots coming out of there in fourth instead of third. The next lap, trying to hunt them back in, I got a bit excited and had a spin. But that’s all part of getting used to it. “All in all, it was a good weekend. We’ll go back to Newcastle and start to get ready for Townsville.” Novocastrian Motorsport is proudly supported by Go Karts Go, Carrington Equipment Group, CEG Rentals, Century Batteries, Promac Gearbox and Diff, Steve Koulis Smash Repairs, Koala Glass, Valvoline, Duncan Excavations, Hunter Kitchen King, Mocomm, McCluskey Insurance Brokers, Wurth, Griffiths Transport Newcastle, Burton Visual Signs and Environmental Land Contracting.