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RESULTS: Wednesday Night V8 League: Round 1 @ Adelaide Clipsal 500

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adelaide Clipsal 500

The reign of perpetual, mundane traffic ended as the racers from New South Wales and Gold Coast descended on the Adelaide circuit for the first round of the V8 Championship. The off season had witnessed many of the drivers advance their set up knowledge and hone their driving skills – this was going to be one exciting event. The racers would have to deal with the hard braking zone in turn nine after flying through the extremely fast right-hander out of Brock straight onto Brabham straight. The Senna Chicane would undoubtedly test the cars suspension as hang-time was inevitable for the pace setters.

Race One

Iain Salteri was very quick off the line and led the field through the Senna Chicane for the first time as he flew underneath the Clipsal Overpass into turn four. He was trailed by Michael Palladino who also got off the line quickly, and hot on his rear bumper was current Bathurst Hot Lap holder, David Lord, who shot into third. The Tran brothers were aggressive off the line and Jimmy got quite loose whilst Benny spun. Michael Gray and Jarryd had a solid start with Michael moving into fifth place and Jarryd pursuing seventh. The opening lap battle for second was immense and the intensity was bound to cause some mistakes. David Lord moved up to second whilst Michael Palladino slipped to fourth. Eventually, Enda Murphy would take second from David with a definite move up the inside. David then fell into the clutches of Michael Palladino who had qualified first and instantly applied pressure. Nigel Faull moved his way into fifth place before the close of the first lap and ran a hot pace, chasing the top. The second lap saw some fierce battles; Michael Gray chased Rob Copper in the mid field whilst David Lord was tapped by Michael Palladino and spun from third, after a quick burst of gas and a kick of the clutch he re-emerged in fifth. However, his drive to return to the front of the field led him to spin again as he pushed hard. Benny Tran recovered from his spirited start and fought his way back to tenth after slipping back to fourteenth. At this stage of the race Paul Robinson was impressing as he held fourth by replicating a strong pace lap after lap. Iain Salteri proved that consistency is what counts as he extended his lead over the battling field; his ability to drive so close to the limit faultlessly is truly admirable. Sadly, Paul Robinson fell from fourth and into the hands of David Lord who was gallantly fighting his way back through the field. Lap four saw Tim Hamilton spin and lose positions who, up until that time, had been running a quick pace. Jamie Young and Michael Gray were having a great battle in the middle of the pack but as Jamie applied pressure Michael spun and forfeited his advantage which enabled Jamie to zip by. Jarryd was running consistently and his pace quickened as he chased the scent of burnt rubber in the braking zones ahead. The battle for first heated up on lap eight: Michael Palladino disposed of Enda Murphy as he charged to second whilst setting the quickest lap of the race, a 1:27.777. Palladino was definitely in a battling mood as he rubbed side and rear panels with Iain Salteri as his quest for first intensified. Iain Salteri didn’t crumble under pressure and altered his lines to deny Michael the lead. One big touch on lap nine saw Michael Palladino attain first, his mission complete. However, Iain Salteri wasn’t willing to give up a win he’d held for most of the race, and after two turns he plunged down the inside and reclaimed the lead. This led to Michael pushing too hard into the next braking zone and running deep, his mistake produced a spin and in one corner he fell to sixth which left Iain Salteri to take a well deserved first win. Michael Gray finished second followed by Enda Murphy in third.

Race Two

The second race of the round saw the grid reversed. The start was relatively clean and everyone got off well except for Benny Tran and Nigel Faull who lingered off the line. Jarryd showed great pace and held fifth place through the first lap whilst being bombarded by the drivers behind. David Lord shot to third from his grid position of twelve with a flying start, he was keen to make up for his mistakes in race one. The middle pack racing was close with the cars following each other bumper to nose. Amongst the midfield battle between fifth and eleventh were Michael Palladino, Iain Salteri, Paul Robinson, Jamie Young, Rob Copper and Michael Gray. Tim Hamilton led into lap two and was running a strong pace at the front. David Lord moved into second throughout the second lap as he overtook Troy Czislowski and then began to pursue first. Benny Tran recovered from his start and chased down the middle pack – getting through them didn’t prove easy as the racing was heated and fierce. As the middle pack became two Michael Palladino, Enda Murphy and Iain Salteri emerged as the leaders who would try to chase the racers up front. Further back in the field Jimmy Tran and Rob Copper were engaged in a good, clean battle. Nigel Faull was chasing David Lord for second and banking some quick lap times whilst Tim Hamilton continued charging in an attempt to develop his lead. Michael Gray, once again caught in the heat of battle, spun on lap five and booted it back into action quickly to ensure he didn’t lose too many positions in the tight pack. Iain Salteri continued his form from race one and ran quick, consistent times and claimed David Lord’s place due to a spin. Benny Tran had now moved his way into the middle order and was pursued quickly by Paul Robinson who intensively chased him. Troy Czislowski and Paul Robinson were pressuring Enda Murphy whilst Jimmy Tran was having a race to forget as he spun twice in two corners which indicated the tyres were wearing quickly and had dropped off the perilous cliff of performance. The drivers pitted around lap nine and most of their tyres lasted for the remainder of the fifteen lap race. Michael Palladino took control of the red-hot trio which were blasting their way to the front and took the lead on lap nine, disposing of Tim Hamilton. David Lord recovered from his spin and was in the toe of the trio, making his way back to the pointy end of the field once more. Meanwhile Jarryd had a strong race holding tenth place and driving consistently. Benny Tran was now hot on the rear bumper of Iain Salteri and they rejoined David Lord as he recovered from another spin; this lead to a great battle for third, fourth and fifth for a couple of laps. Iain Salteri proved that he is not just a leader and is more than capable of toe to toe racing as he battled out in the upper middle order for the majority of the race. Whilst leading Michael Palladino spun and rejoined in fifth. His mistakes relinquished the lead to Tim Hamilton who was showing serious pace and grit as he stayed ahead of the hot running trio tracking him whilst pressuring Michael Palladino into a mistake. David Lord flew back into second and remained there until the conclusion of the race as he could not catch the winner Tim Hamilton. Michael Palladino’s surreal pace was on display again as he battled back to third. He missed out on second by two hundreds of a second.

Race Three

The grid was determined by the overall points attained for the round thus far. Iain Salteri was on pole and Michael Gray aside him. Tim Hamilton and Michael Palladino made up the second row with David Lord starting from sixth. The start was intense and Michael Gray plummeted into the wall which may have attributed to Michael Palladino’s spin. David Lord shot off the line and was instantly battling Tim Hamilton for second as Iain Salteri sprinted away. Jimmy Tran got off to a flyer and was battling Jamie Young for seventh place. Paul Robinson ran into trouble on the first lap and decided to pit early, hoping that a long stint on his tyres could propel him upwards a few positions. Akin to the second race the midfield battle was close. Comprising the battle was the Tran brothers and Jamie Young. The beginning of lap two saw Michael Palladino return to tenth and begin pressuring the middle order. Jamie Young bowed out of the middle order with a spin which relegated him to the back of the field. At the front David Lord was applying pressure to Iain Salteri as he closed in on him. Michael Palladino continued his charge back to the front by passing the heated mid-pack battle consisting of the Tran brothers and Michael Gray who has driving well after nudging the wall earlier. Jarryd pitted early on lap six hoping to make up a few places. Lap seven witnessed a rise in the intensity of the battles up the front as David Lord made a mistake which allowed the charging, Michael Palladino, to gain on him and apply more pressure. White smoke was bellowing from David’s front tyres as he tried to stay ahead of Michael Palladino under brakes. Tim Hamilton was then joined by the two speedsters and the battle for second was fought between three. Benny Tran was having a better race and was lapping comfortably in seventh place. Michael Gray was battling Enda Murphy and finally got fourth position on lap twelve as other racers pitted. Nigel Faull and Jimmy Tran were engaged in an enthralling battle for eighth but when Jimmy went for an inside dive under brakes he ran deep and lost drive which allowed Nigel Faull to pull a little gap. With four laps remaining Iain Salteri was still leading and knocking in one fast lap after another. Tim Hamilton showed great pace and consistency also to keep Iain Salteri honest, Michael Palladino pursued them both from third. Unfortunately, Paul Robinson had to nurse his car back to the pits for more tyres, today wasn’t his day. Michael Gray swooped into the last lap and was hot on Enda Murphy’s tail. Michael Gray tackled the Senna Chicane perfectly and got a good run. However, when he planted his car on the inside of the next turn Enda proceeded to follow the racing line and tapped Michael which sent him into the wall. The most consistent driver all night, Iain Salteri, took the overall win with Tim Hamilton a deserved second and Michael Palladino earning third the hard way.

David Lord set the fastest lap of the weekend; a blistering 1:27.564.

Missing last night was Matt Refalo who is currently recovering in Hospital. Get well soon Matt and we will see you soon mate. 


    2013 V8 league
Drivers Rd  1  Rd  2  Rd
Rd 10 Rd 11 Rd 12 Rd 13 Rd 14 Rd 15 Rd 16 Total Points Current Place
David Lord 12                               12 5th
Michael Palladino 15                               15 3rd
Michael Gray 13                               13 4th
Iain Salteri 20                               20 1st
Benny Tran 9                               9 8th
Jimmy Tran 4                               4 13th
Paul Robinson 8                               8 9th
Jarryd Busuttil 5                               5 12th
Matthew Refalo 0                               0 15th
Enda Murphy 11                               11 6th
Jamie Young 3                               3 14th
Nigel Faul 10                               10 7th
Tim Hamilton 17                               17 2nd
Troy Czislowski 7                               7 10th
Rob Cooper 6                               6 11th

By Scott McDonald.


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