Sep 21, 2013
V8 LAP RECORD TUMBLES AT PHILLIP ISLAND
ROOKIE Ryan Simpson has smashed the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series lap record at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on his way to victory in today’s opening race of Round 5.
The Parramatta Smash Repairs Falcon driver qualified on pole position – his third from three round starts – and went on to smash the lap record by nearly four seconds on the re-surfaced 4.445-kilometre circuit.
He chased down the fast-starting Matthew White in the early laps, eventually making the move to take the lead at the start of lap four.
Simpson led White home by 2.57s at the end and set a new lap record of 1m33.6832s, ripping nearly four seconds from the existing record of 1m37.5416s set by Justin Garioch in 2011.
The new lap record is just two-tenths of a second slower than Craig Lowndes’ Phillip Island V8 Supercar record set last year.
Ironically, Simpson’s car is one of Lowndes’ ex-Vodafone Falcon BFs from the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series.The win was Simpson’s fifth straight race win in the Kumho Series – one more in tomorrow’s opening race will tie him with Josh Hunter for the series record of most consecutive race wins.
501 Performance driver Tony Evangelou finished third, holding off series leader Shae Davies on the final lap.
The young Queenslander was forced to fight back through the field after stalling at the start and led home Terry Wyhoon to the line. Nathan Assaillit finished sixth clear of Steve Briffa, Matt Hansen, Matthew Palmer and Michael Hector.
Racing will continue tomorrow at Phillip Island with Race 2 at 12.25pm EST and Race 3 to complete the round at 3.05pm EST.
Live streaming coverage will be available on Sunday at www.thenationals.com.au with television coverage on SBS’ Speedweek on Sunday October 6 and a one-hour program on SPEED on Foxtel at a later date.