Pingel struggles at Gold Coast
Mechanical problems strike in final race
QUEENSLAND’S Gold Coast 600 is without doubt one of the toughest street circuit events in Australia and Gatton speedster Brendon Pingel buckled in to take on the challenge.
But Brendon’s shot at another round win was dashed by a gearbox failure in the final race.
After winning the last Aussie Racing Car round in Victoria, Brendon had high hopes to improve his championship standing at the Gold Coast.
Friday’s practice and qualifying was tough and certainly demanding in the biggest field ever assembled in Aussie Racing Cars’ 15 year history.
A massive 50 car field lined up for practice and qualifying on Friday among some of the toughest competition this year.
Despite his best efforts, Brendon only managed to qualify 16th.
“I really thought my times would have been much better given the car felt fantastic,” he said.
In race one Brendon improved three places to 13th before the safety car was deployed due to an on track incident.
In race two, a reverse top 10 grid starting from the 11th position, Brendon quickly moved up two spots and by lap eight was running in ninth position when four separate crashes occurred on the circuit, bringing out the safety car.
On the aggregate of races one and two, Brendon started in 10th position for the final race on Sunday morning.
Who could ever have expected what would eventuate less than one lap after the start of this race.
After making several minor adjustments over the past couple of races, Brendon had continued to improve his lap times and competitiveness of his car on this very difficult circuit.
By turn two in this final race, Brendon had skilfully made his way from tenth position up to sixth spot.
The excitement turned to extreme disappointment when approaching the high-speed back chicane the gearbox let go in Brendon’s Holden Cruze and left him without second or third gear.
With only fourth and fifth gears available Brendon pushed as hard as possible but lost 15 spots and finished a very disappointing 20th.
The final round of the 2013 Aussie Racing Cars championship will be held on December 6, 7 and 8.
TOUGH WEEKEND: Brendon Pingel leads Darren Chamberlain around the tricky and treacherous Gold Coast circuit.