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RESULTS: Tuesday Night Mixed League: V8 Supercars International, Round 7 @ Le Mans

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Le Mans – Generally it’s not a circuit you associate with V8 Supercars! However, that’s what the V8SC International League is all about! Putting these cars on tracks they don’t usually race on is a very challenging experience and puts most of the drivers on a level playing field. Car setup, driving style and driver adaption are all crucial factors in this championship. Home of the legendary 24 hour race, the number of great names and marques that have graced its tarmac are endless. With its notoriously long Mulsanne straight(s) and tight corners, a low down-force setup would be key. Mechanical grip and throttle modulation would also be crucial as it would prove to be the difference to gaining an extra 5-10km per hour by the end of the straight.

RACE ONE (3 LAPS):

The races at Le Mans would be the same amount of time as every other round, however due to being on average around four minutes per lap, less laps in total. Jeremy Pernesz, determined to start on a high, took pole for the first race, proving he was adapting to the circuit quite well. Most drivers had a clean start, barr Sam Owen, who unfortunately spun which resulted in a DNF. Jeremy and championship leader, Michael Gray lead from the start and built up a lead from the peloton of cars behind. Amazingly, Jeremy and Michael were basically side-by-side for most of the first lap; proving that Le Mans was an excellent circuit for close racing. However, Jeremy made a mistake and let Michael through. However, it wasn’t long until Jeremy gained back the top spot as Michael makes a mistake at the first chicane and retires. Matt Refalo was promoted to second and catching the leader, however by race end it was not enough and only fell shy by just over two seconds. Scott Durham rounded out the podium by finishing third only a further three seconds behind Matt.

RACE TWO (5 LAPS):

Seething from his misfortune in the first race, Michael drew first blood and qualified on pole for the second. Another clean start saw the usual suspects of Jeremy and Michael breakaway from the field. The remaining five drivers all diced with each other in spectacular, almost choreographed-like form down the Mulsanne straight for the first two laps. However, Scott and Sam were unlucky enough to spin and drop to the back of the field. Matt meanwhile breaks from the pack and begins to hunt the leaders for the second race in a row. Most of the runners pit on lap three, whilst Michael stays out on his original, yet worn tyres. Jeremy adopted the same strategy as Michael, however could not hold out and yielded the lead by pitting on the last lap. Michael crossed the line first with his tyres running on the canvas!

RACE THREE (8 LAPS):

Series contenders, Matt and Michael went into the final race equal on round points. Whoever would place higher in this race would be ahead at the end of the weekend. Matt took first blood by placing his Ford on pole. A slightly chaotic start saw Dan Maher run wide coming onto the Mulsanne straight. Sam narrowly missed him and with a piece of masterful driving, held onto the tank-slapping Holden at 250+kph to regain and continue on. Jeremy and Matt swapped places before Matt made a mistake and slipped down to fourth. The top four pitted at the same time, with Scott passing Matt in the pits. After the dust settled, Jeremy was still in the lead from Scott, Matt and Michael. The order stayed like this until the end.

The final round at Bathurst brings the championship right down to the wire! With only four points separating Michael and Matt, it will certainly be a nail biting finish! We can hardly wait! 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:


 

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 V8SC  Championship League
Round Winners Round 1  Round 2  Round 3  Round 4  Round 5         Round  6      Round 7  Round 8 
Scott Durham 7 5 0 8 5 5 8  
Poland Lau 3 0 4 4 3 4 4  
Dan Maher 4.5 6 0 5 0 2 3  
Michael Gray 10 10 6 6 8 8 5  
James Kyte 4.5 8 0 0 0 0 0  
Sam Owen 0 2 5 3 2 3 2  
Jeremy Pernesz 0 4 8 10 4 6 10  
Mark Kearon 0 0 0 3 6 0 0  
Matthew Refalo 7 6 10 0 10 10 6  
             
Overall Leaderboard Total
Michael Gray 53
Matthew Refalo 49
Jeremy Pernesz 43
Scott Durham 39
Poland Lau 22
Dan Maher 20.5
Sam Owen 17
James Kyte 12.5
Mark Kearon 9

By Ryan Bestilc.

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