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RESULTS: Tuesday Night Mixed League: V8 Supercars International, Round 6 @ Suzuka

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Round six of the V8 Supercar International Championship took place at Japan’s most famous circuit, Suzuka. Owned by the Honda Motor Company, it is regarded as one of the most technical circuits around the world and highly regarded by Formula One drivers. The heavy and powerful V8 Supercars would prove to be quite the handful around the 5.8km layout, with tyre conservation and driver smoothness being the keys to a quick lap time.


Matt Refalo secured pole for the sprint race and began what would affectionately be known as the “Refalo Show”. A poor start by half of the field saw a bevy of lead changes during the first lap – four in total! Michael Gray had an unfortunate incident coming into the first of the Degner curves, running wide and clipping the wall; fortunately he was able to continue. A mid-pack battle with Poland Lau and Dan Maher continued for a few laps until Poland ran wide at the same turn as Michael earlier. However, in this instance, he came away with nothing more than a battered ego. Scott Durham’s tyres were not able to last the distance, which resulted in him pitting mid-way through the race. Bringing him out just behind Sam Owen, the two had a monumental tussle for final honours which lasted until the end of the race. The action didn’t end until the final corner; Matt Refalo won by a clear ten seconds from Michael who only inherited the place from Jeremy Pernesz after he overshot the final chicane (famous for the Senna/Prost debacle) and spun.


Matt took his second consecutive pole position of the weekend by a massive 1.5 seconds, proving that he had a good handle on Suzuka’s long radius turns! Another clean getaway saw the pack bunch up by turn two. Sam Owen was unlucky to be tapped in the side and run a little wide at turn two; relegating him to the rear of the field. A battle for the final podium positions ensued earlier on with Michael, Scott and Dan all fighting (and swapping paint) for laps on end. Scott was again the first to blink and pitted first, however had a bit of a ‘blooper’ moment when he spun in pit lane. Most of runners followed suit to the pits on lap six, except for Sam. It was always going to be close trying to get to the end on one set of boots and he almost pulled it off until half way around the final lap he had a right-front blowout whilst running fourth. Matt crossed the line first, a clear sixteen seconds from Michael.


The final qualifying session for race three was filled with controversy. Matt had once again set the quickest time, however with Dan had been disqualified by the stewards for “reversing too much on track”. Relegated to the back of the field, the two drivers were seething at the result. The first lap proved to be a very interesting affair with the whole pack heavily bunched up until the Degner curves. Sam unfortunately fell off the circuit again at this point and languish at the back of the pack for much of the race. A determined Matt was soon battling for the lead with Michael and Jeremy until both spun and handed the “Suzuka King” a comfortable lead. Even though Michael was pumping in fastest laps, it was not to the detriment of Matt’s consistently quicker average lap time. With tyres and brows sweating profusely after the gruelling race, Matt took the hat-trick with a comfortable third race win.

With only two rounds to go, the championship fight is hotter than ever! It looks to becoming a two-horse race between Matt and Michael; however as we all know, anything can happen in this game! Join us next week for our penultimate round at Circuit De La Sarthe – LE MANS!

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    
Poland Lau 3 0 4 4 3 4    
Dan Maher 4.5 6 0 5 0 2    
Michael Gray 10 10 6 6 8 8    
James Kyte 4.5 8 0 0 0 0    
Sam Owen 0 2 5 3 2 3    
Jeremy Pernesz 0 4 8 10 4 6    
Mark Kearon 0 0 0 3 6 0    
Matthew Refalo 7 6 10 0 10 10    
Overall Leaderboard Total
Michael Gray 48
Matthew Refalo 43
Jeremy Pernesz 32
Scott Durham 31
Poland Lau 18
Dan Maher 17.5
Sam Owen 15
James Kyte 12.5
Mark Kearon 9

By Ryan Bestulic.


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