I’m still not out of the ti­tle race

Herald Sun - Motoring - - What’s On -

IKNOW I said that last week­end’s round in Tassie was do or die for my cham­pi­onship hopes, but I am still a slim chance, de­spite the set­back last Sun­day. I’m not re­ally a bet­ting man, but I’d still put a bet on me as a long out­sider.

The bad luck I had at the week­end would now have to strike all three in front of me to have any chance. But I haven’t given up and will keep the pedal down un­til it be­comes a math­e­mat­i­cal im­pos­si­bil­ity.

It’s a shame that such bad luck can strike af­ter hav­ing a good run all the way from Phillip Is­land. Af­ter Satur­day’s race I had hauled back a stack of points and the car was sen­sa­tional and ex­cit­ing to drive.

On Sun­day it rained, and it all started to un­ravel when I came out of the hair­pin and pulled the gearshift back to sec­ond and the bolt and thread came straight out of the front mount.

I had the adrenalin pump­ing be­cause I was run­ning sec­ond to Frosty and quite com­fort­able at that point. So when it all dis­ap­peared from my grasp it was a bit­ter dis­ap­point­ment.

We came in and re-drilled it, tapped it and put in a he­li­coil. We then went back out 19 laps down, but still look­ing for some points.

How­ever, it seemed the in­ci­dent weak­ened the two other mount­ing points and it broke again.

We then parked it be­cause we couldn’t do enough laps be­cause you have to com­plete 70 per cent of the race and greet the check­ered flag to score points.

It was pos­si­bly the most dis­ap­point­ing week­end we’ve had as a race team.

Our de­brief with team boss Roland Dane could have be­come a shout­ing match but it wasn’t.

He’s ob­vi­ously not pleased and when he’s like that he’ll share his view of the world. He’s very pas­sion­ate and fo­cused.

How­ever, I think that the time be­tween the end of the race and the de­brief al­lowed him to cool down a lit­tle more, so ba­si­cally Roland left it up to us to an­a­lyse it and fig­ure it all out.

There’s no good dwelling on it. We have to make changes to fix what has hap­pened and that is that.

As for sort­ing out the gearshift prob­lem, from what we can un­der­stand, a cou­ple of teams have had the same prob­lem with the se­quen­tial gear­box.

It has high­lighted a prob­lem that the bolt set-up may not be strong enough. It’s a part ev­ery­one runs, so the prob­lem needs to be sorted out as a cat­e­gory, not by a team.

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