Nov 1, 2014
V8s: WET RACE FAILS TO SLOW RUGGIER’S KUMHO TITLE CHARGE
Extends series lead to 52 points with two races to come in Sydney
NOT even a wild pre-race thunderstorm today at Sydney Motorsport Park could derail Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series leader Justin Ruggier in his chase of the category title.
The Eggleston Motorsport driver won today’s nine-lap race from pole position, leading home series rival Ryan Simpson to the line by just over three seconds.
The race was held in wet conditions, with all drivers (bar slick-shod Jose Fernandez) opting for wet weather Kumho tyres in the slippery conditions.
Victory in Race 1 – plus the three bonus points for scoring pole position earlier in the day – now sees Ruggier 52 points clear of Simpson with two races to go tomorrow and 100 further points remaining up for grabs.
Ruggier could seal the series in Race 2 tomorrow, though should he win and Simpson finish second it would keep the title alive until the final, longer race.
The fight for third place in today’s race was entertaining, though drama befell Poco Racing Commodore driver Steve Briffa while sitting in third spot when driveline dramas took him out.
That left Matt Palmer and Matt Chahda to scrap over third place, swapping the position on the last lap with it finally settled in favour of Palmer.
The STR Trucks Bodies Falcon driver has now moved into a clear third in the series points, 39 points in front of Chahda.
Chahda’s performance was impressive given his team spent the time between qualifying and Race 1 changing a gearbox sourced from off-site.
Rookie Brendan Strong stayed out of trouble to finish fifth clear of Kumho Series debutante Darrin Renouf and Jose Fernandez. With no wet weather tyres, the former V8 Supercar driver was forced to compete on slicks and slipped and slid around to be the last classified runner.
Chris Delfsma’s Falcon was the race’s first retirement when he pulled into the back of the paddock halfway through the opening lap.
The Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Cars Series returns for a further two races to complete the season tomorrow – with both races to be streamed live via www.thenationals.com.au