May 5, 2015
Kumho V8 Rookie On Way Up
STEVEN Devjak had never driven a Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Car Series car before he rolled out onto the circuit for opening practice in the first round at Sandown in late March.
The 32-year-old from Sydney had purchased an ex-Brad Jones Racing Falcon just a fortnight prior from Simon Tabinor and then did something that got some attention – he qualified on the front row!By the end of the weekend he had finished third in the Privateer class and is champing at the bit for the next round at Winton on June 13/14.
“Qualifying on the front row alongside Jack Perkins was the highlight of my weekend,” says Devjak.
“I’d never driven the car or driven at Sandown before the weekend. We put new tyres on in qualifying and we were on the front row! The car had a few niggles during the races but we’ve sorted them out since then.
“I had the perfect opportunity in Race 1 on the front row and enough speed to stay at the front but I didn’t get enough heat in the tyres on the warm-up lap, went wide at turn 1 and let a few cars through.”
Devjak’s weekend them slipped slightly after its strong beginning, rounded out by a pit lane penalty in Race 3 for contact with fellow rookie Jason Leoncini.
The penalty was taken under Safety Car conditions so Devjak was forced to return to pit lane to serve it correctly under green flag racing conditions.
“The positive from the race was I got to drive the car without anyone around me and put together some good lap times, so we definitely had some pace.”
Devjak’s previous racing experience of Improved Production was one thing, but he could only come up with one word to describe his first taste of Kumho Series racing – intense.
“It’s very, very intense compared to what I’ve done before – I was using that word all weekend at Sandown!” he says.
“I’ve done well in Improved Production and done well in that but the intensity of this racing is on another level. I think I did well considering I’d never driven the car or the track before.”
Devjak will compete the full season in the Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Car Series and will have a new livery on his Falcon in time for Winton, another circuit where he’s never raced before.