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RESULTS: Wednesday Night V8 League: Round 1(a) @ Melbourne GP - Albert Park

Friday, March 15, 2013

Melbourne GP - Albert Park

Round Two of Racecentre’s V8 Supercar Championship, and we’re getting in the spirit of the Melbourne Grand Prix at Albert Park. A flat racing surface made it challenging for drivers to learn the circuit requiring plenty of practice. The usual suspects, Michael Palladino and David Lord lined up the front row of the grid after 20 minutes of qualifying.


Race One

Lights out! The first race – a 10 lap sprint. There are a few early casualties, but Palladino holds onto the lead after the first lap. At lap 3 Iain Salteri and Palladino are swapping the lead and paint, putting on a great show for Matt Refalo (fresh from surgery) in 3rd. A battle heated up between Enda Murphy, Paul Robinson and Michael Gray. Unfortunately, Gray spins leaving Robinson with nowhere to go. The slow final complex showed plenty of action, with Palladino struggling and relinquishing his lead. David Lord charged to through the pack, making an assertive move by pinning Refalo against the wall. By Lap 7 most rear tyres were looking rather unhealthy, the leaders squirming about. Salteri dropped off to promote Lord to the lead. Final lap, final corner, Lord spins … Nigel Faull takes the win! a frustrated Lord crosses 2nd followed by a great drive from Ben Tran in 3rd!


Race Two

The dreaded reverse grid saw 15 laps this time, almost guaranteeing one pit stop this time. Salteri forces himself into the turn one bottleneck, but Michael Goode wants none of it and fights back! His defensive efforts don’t last long though - Goode loops it. Meanwhile Robinson and Refalo make find the wall early. There’s action all-around, as Jarryd and Faull become the first casualties to require the pits for damage. The 3 cars of Murphy, Cooper and Lord (the worst-off) come together.
By Lap 4, Refalo’s retires early due to the wrong setup selection. Salteri pits at the end of lap 7, followed by Gray. Next to pit is the new leader – Palladino, he returns back on track … just behind Salteri. Lord, Tran and Robinson all slapped on the wrist with stop’n’go penalties during their respective stops, not happy Jan!
With only 2 laps to go Salteri loses control of his car on the back stretch. Palladino is more than happy to take that win. Salteri just manages to remain in front of a smart-driving Gray.


Race Three

20 laps to find out who would take home the round win. Once again, another very tight squeeze into the turn one/two complex but remarkably, all through unscathed! Tim Hamilton would be the unlucky spinner on the first lap, whilst Faull and Salteri have a huge incident on the backstretch. Palladino leads the race from Lord on lap one. A cheeky Goode finds an opportunity to knock Murphy off the track. Refalo showed his class as he carved his way through the field as a result of a poor grid position. After a strong showing, Tran makes a mistake to Hamilton’s advantage. On lap 7 Lord decides to take control of the lead, but pits by the end of the lap along with Gray. Palladino remains on track. Salteri remains the dark horse in this race, by posting the fastest time by over 1 second over his rivals and fighting hard with Gray. Palladino comes in at lap 10 … he’s going to stretch this stint to the end! Soon after, Gray had enough of Salteri and fancies a go at Lord. Lord pits, Salteri pits and then Gray – who gets past the both of them. Palladino accepts the lead back, with a sneaky one-stop Hamilton only 2 seconds behind! Last lap, Hamilton is sticking to Palladino’s bumper, both nursing the tyres. Salteri dug hard to get past Gray trading paint along the way. Onto the final straight, and they’re 3 wide alongside Hamilton who’d spun! Meanwhile Lord had found himself catching but not passing our winner – Michael Palladino! Less than a second difference after choosing different strategies! Tim Hamilton managed to keep his podium spot over Salteri and then Gray. What an amazing finish!

Race Results:

      2013 V8 League
Drivers Race 1  Race 2  Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8 Race 9 Race 10 Race 11 Race 12 Race 13 Race 14 Race 15 Race 16 Total Points Current Place
David Lord 12 17                             29 3rd
Michael Palladino 15 20                             35 1st
Michael Gray 13 13                             26 5th
Iain Salteri 20 15                             35 2nd
Benny Tran 9 10                             19 8th
Jimmy Tran 4 0                             4 16th
Paul Robinson 8 8                             16 9th
Jarryd Busuttil 5 5                             10 11th
Matthew Refalo 0 6                             6 13th
Enda Murphy 11 9                             20 7th
Jamie Hemi 3 0                             3 15th
Nigel Faull 10 11                             21 6th
Tim Hamilton 17 12                             29 4th
Troy Tzislowski 7 0                             7 12th
Rob Cooper 6 7                             13 10th
Michael Goode 0 4                             4 14th

By Matthew Anderson

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