Top 10 Finish for Drew Russell in Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series Return Novocastrian Drew Russell has had a successful return to the Fujitsu V8 Supercar series this weekend at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, coming home in 10th place in the second ...
Top 10 Finish for Drew Russell in Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series Return
Novocastrian Drew Russell has had a successful return to the Fujitsu V8 Supercar series this weekend at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, coming home in 10th place in the second race and taking out 11th place overall for the round.
Qualifying for the Fujitsu V8 Supercar series was a hectic affair that was interrupted in the closing stages by a red flag, ruining a number of drivers flying laps.
Drew was unfortunately one of those drivers caught out by Taz Douglas' accident. With just 8 minutes to go in the session Drew was on a flyer, but was forced to abort the lap when the red flag was shown.
Drew was still able to qualify his #53 ESET Ford BF strongly in 9th position and was optimistic in the lead up to the first race on Friday afternoon.
In the first race Drew got a clean start and held his position on the opening lap. Unfortunately, he hit trouble between the Dipper and Forest Elbow when his car jammed in gear.
He was able to pit and the team worked on the car, getting Drew back out on track, unfortunately by that stage he was two laps down.
Drew did not give up though and was setting lap times on par with the guys running in the top 6 towards the end of the race.
"The problem we had with the gears meant our first race was ruined, but we used the remainder of the race it as an extended test session to get some useful miles under our belt," said Drew after the race.
"We have had only limited running in our new car so the opportunity to get an extended run in the car was useful. We are still learning how to get the most out of this car."
The second race of the round, run on Saturday afternoon, was a very different race with dark grey clouds closing in on the Bathurst circuit as the drivers lined up on the dummy grid; all eyes were on the weather for the race.
Light rain began falling as the cars worked their way around the track on the warm up lap and Drew radioed back to the team to let them know that the rain was falling fairly heavy on the top of the mountain.
The race started with everyone on dry tyres and Drew had an excellent start, jumping up from second last to be in 15th place after the first corner. His charge was cut short however when the officials brought out the safety car as the rain, and even hail, was falling much harder making the track unsafe.
The safety car was out for two laps before the red flag was shown allowing the field to return to the pits to fit wet tyres.
On the restart, Drew jumped up another position to be in 14th place before he passed Geoff Emery and began chasing Jay Verdnick in 12th.
Ahead of him, Verdnick and Rodney Jane were locked in a close battle trading places regularly before Drew was able to get through on Jane and to sit in 11th position.
With Grant Denyer hitting the wall on the final lap, Drew was elevated into 10th place, securing a top ten finish in his return to the series and an 11th place for the round.
"It has been fantastic to get out on the track again with our ESET Ford, even if it has not gone exactly to plan," said Drew after the second weekend.
"It has taken a lot of work to get us here and I want to thank ESET for all their support -- they have helped us get to where we are this weekend!
"We have fought hard to get back on track with our new Ford from Brad Jones Racing Ford and I must also thank them for their support, they have gone out of their way to help us this weekend.
"I am really looking forward to returning for the brand new round at Homebush in December and hopefully racing in the top ten."
Utes: Series Bathurst Thursday notes
Utes: Series Bathurst Friday notes