Adam Sharpe Down Under
Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series – R2 Wakefield Park
reports on the second round of the Fujitsu Series, held on the last
weekend of May.
out testing during the week commencing Monday May 15, before the
race over the weekend of May 27-28, in line with the Fujitsu V8
Supercar Series regulations. This was my first time at Wakefield
Park, and I used the track time to learn the circuit and to identify
the racing line. During the test, the team worked mostly towards
a setup for the race weekend, as the car was running soundly. I
was battling a little with understeer, but with some careful minor
adjustments the team managed to dial some out by the end of the
day. There were four other Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series cars running
that day and I was running fastest on year old rubber - by half
a second. The team was very happy with the way the day’s testing
The car was
taken back to Richmond (NW of Sydney) where the team planned a full
check on the car prior to the race weekend - and sorted out some
changes to the seating position, as it was incorrectly placed for
my complete driving comfort.
I spent some time relaxing and following up on some business in
Queensland’s Gold Coast, before returning to Goulburn on Wednesday
May 24, prior to preparations for the race weekend ahead.
The race weekend started on Thursday, with the team arriving in
Goulborn very early, in order to have the car on show on the main
street in the city. This saw many school kids and the general public
looking around the cars and talking to the teams. I was then invited
to give a TV interview for Canberra News, to promote the weekend’s
racing event. The Mayor of Goulburn came to meet the teams and talk
about the race meeting, one of the biggest events to hit Goulburn
The car was
then taken to the circuit to undergo setup for the weekend. I was
then invited to give my second interview of the weekend, for Eagle
FM radio this time, with another Fujitsu driver, Tim Monte. The
radio DJ ran through a road licence quiz, which saw me win with
0 points, with Tim on -1 points (negative marking): all in good
spirits - a bit of a comedy act.
On Friday, the team went to the circuit to check the car’s
setup following the work done on Thursday and, after final adjustments,
the car and team were ready and raring to go.
the first test session went very well and the new setup worked to
great effect. I was putting in times that were assuring me of a
spot in the top 20. The second test session went even better still,
with my car sitting 11th out of a total of 37 cars on the time sheets.
I was in the third best placed Ford Falcon AU on the grid, with
the drivers of the two more advanced AUs having at least two years
more experience in V8 Supercars. I had made it into the top 50%
of the field and had given myself a very good position ahead of
the qualifying session. Qualifying went well with an initial position
in the top 15 on the grid. The team then pitted the car to check
tyre pressures. Unfortunately, the decision taken on tyre pressures
did not produce a quicker time. We were all frustrated, but I did
claim 19th position on the grid.
Race 1 – Having started 19th, I made inroads into
the field and forced my way up to 15th within the first lap. I then
picked off two more cars, reaching 13th, a position, which I held
to the chequered flag. A couple of safety car laps followed a number
of cars spinning off and various teams experiencing mechanical problems.
2 (reverse grid) – With the 13th place finish in
Race 1, I started 22nd on the grid and made light work of moving
five places through the field to 17th - until a huge hit from behind
sent my ASM Falcon into a spin, and put me to the rear of the pack.
A quick pit stop to remove the bumper followed. However, too much
time was wasted and I finished last runner, but still putting in
times to compete with the leaders.
3 – With the grid decided on total points scored
across Races 1 and 2, I was 18th on the grid. Again I made immediate
and fast progress through the field to 13th, in just a few laps,
with eyes on picking off more cars and gaining more places. The
car had good pace, but an unfortunate breakage in one of the bonnet
pins saw the bonnet start to rise up in high speed areas. Since
a loose bonnet was dangerous both for myself and other competitors,
we were forced to pit the Falcon to repair the problem. This resulted
in the loss of many places and it was unfortunate because the pace
we were setting would have seen a first top ten finish for sure.
ASM was very
proud to be sponsored by newly launched VelocityPay.com.au, Australian
subsidiary of ASM’s major UK/European partner, Internet Payment
Finally, many thanks must go to the TAFE (Technical and Further
Education) crash repair team for fixing the car after the collision
in Race 2, and for all the sign writing, following the damage to