Racing - V8 Supercars – Donington Park, August 5
After a long gap, the V8 Supercars series reconvened
at Donington Park, and Steve Wood and Stuart Scott took advantage
of the pre-race test day on the Thursday, to develop the set-up
on the Jaguar V8Star. “We had a troublesome day, really,”
admitted Steve, “because, apart from too many red flags, we
also had a broken wire in the fuel pump, which we had to get fixed,
so, we never got much running at all.”
That lack of
running was to prove crucial to the weekend’s events. Having
qualified third on the grid for the first of the two 25-minute,
this became second as the prior Britcar qualifying session had tied-up
Phil Bennett’s Opel V8 Star. So, with only Kelvin Burt’s
debuting Peugeot XRV8 in front of him, and the British GT Rollcentre
Mosler of Kevin Riley the greatest threat from behind, Steve set
out on a reportedly oily track.
to the Peugeot in the early part of the race, Steve held off the
charging Mosler, but eventually had to give best at the chicane
on lap eight.
struggling,” said Steve, “the tyres went off so quickly.
We tested on Thursday on old rubber, and today we’ve put new
tyres on, but we’ve had so little real running, and no real
chance to get the right set-up.” With a fairly large comfort-zone
back to Andy Holden’s TVR Tuscan in fourth, Steve settled
to ride the race out in third, and another podium finish - a clean
sweep in the series, after a second and third at Snetterton –
for Steve, Stuart, and the BS Motorsport team.
The second 25-minute
race saw Steve line up third, and maintain that position behind
Burt and Riley, but the ever-more oily track exacerbated the inherent
handling problems on the Jaguar, Steve’s slides at Redgate
getting ever-more lairy, eventually resulting in a spin, “the
first one I’ve had for a long time,” he confessed.
some places, he had to contend with Phil Bennett, charging through
from the very back, and on his way to an eventual win. “Phil
came down the inside at Coppice, after I’d already turned
in. I t was a typical touring car lunge, but he caught my front
wheel, and bent the steering. The car was never the same after that,
and I was really struggling.
Further problems were in store, though, for on the
penultimate lap, the Jaguar slowed dramatically, and coasted into
the pit entrance, with a recurrence of the broken fuel pump wire
that blighted Thursday’s test session. “I thought I
could coast to the line,” rued Steve, but then I realised
I wasn’t going to make it.”
Sadly, the Jaguar was classified as a non-finisher,
though Steve had completed 20 of the 21 laps, and been in seventh
place when the problems occurred.
“The car was so loose in the second race.
There is so much more to come from this car, but we never get the
testing opportunities to develop it,” summarised Steve.
“It’s so long to the next race, in November,
so we’ve booked a track day on the Silverstone GP circuit
next month to get some track time in between,” added Stuart
(the other) Steve Wood