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Tough day for Booth/D’Alberto’s first V8 SuperTourer enduro

2 September 2012

Tough day for Booth and D’Alberto’s first V8 SuperTourer enduro

The Woodstock Racing pairing of Andy Booth and Tony D’Alberto had “a tough day at the office” as they contested the first two V8 SuperTourer endurance races at Taupo Motorsport Park on 2 September.

After qualifying very strongly – each with the fourth quickest time in their respective sessions – Booth and D’Alberto finished both races lower down the order than they’d hoped – ninth in race one and eleventh in race two – despite a massive and relatively seamless effort from the entire team.

Booth started the first 56 lap race third on the 20-strong grid and, within a few laps, was running comfortably in second place for a period of time. The Auckland-based driver was given the call to come in to pit toward the end of the ‘pit window’ of laps 25 to 36, to put D’Alberto in the car.

“The pace was good, but rear grip was an issue and then Tony got caught up with a bunch of other competitors and rightly or wrongly was given a drive-through penalty when another driver spun,” says Booth. “He did really well to get back up to ninth and that’s where we finished.”

Rules stated that each driver must start one of the two races, so that put D’Alberto back into the car immediately after the refuelling interval and rest period between races where he started sixth. The starting order was determined by each driver’s qualifying times relative to the other drivers nominated to start their race.

D’Alberto says: “Just as we were all racing into the first corner of the second race Andre Heimgartner’s engine blew; I was right behind him and copped a couple of big hits which caused some damage to the front end. That affected the steering and flat-spotted a front, so I just did the best I could. When Andy got in the car, there wasn’t a lot of grip on that front, so it was pretty challenging.”

Although they didn’t finish nearly as well as they’d hoped, there are plenty of positives to build on, says Booth.

“Both Tony and I had good pace in the car and we qualified well. As a crew, this endurance format was new for us, but the whole team worked together really well and you couldn’t fault the pit stops. We’ve certainly got plenty of experience to build on for the upcoming rounds at Pukekohe and Ruapuna. This is racing and it was just one of those days.”

D’Alberto believes the car is capable of a top five finish. “We’ve certainly learned a lot and we’ll all be working hard for the next one.”

On a different note, the Woodstock Racing team played host to four Olympic medallists today with men’s double scull gold medallists Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan, men’s rowing pair gold medallist Hamish Bond and member of the men’s rowing quad Matthew Trott joining Booth for a series of high speed laps around the Taupo circuit.

“We’ve certainly enjoyed meeting AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd yesterday and all the Kiwi Olympic stars today; they’re all inspirational in their own way,” says Booth.

The V8 SuperTourers’ endurance series continues at Pukekohe Park Raceway 27 and 28 October and wraps up at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway Ruapuna in Christchurch on 24 and 25 November.

Father’s Day 400, V8 SuperTourers round 5, Taupo, 1-2 September
Race 1, 56 laps
Position, lead driver / co-driver, hometowns, car, total race time, difference to leader, best lap time
1, Jack Perkins / Nick Cassidy, Melbourne / Auckland, Holden, 1:30:38.497, - , 1:30.291
2, Scott McLaughlin / Jonathan Webb, Gold Coast / Gold Coast, Holden, 1:30:43.627, 5.130, 1:30.517
3, John McIntyre / Jono Lester, Nelson / Auckland, Ford, 1:30:45.044, 6.547, 1:30.737
4, Richard Moore / Owen Kelly, Christchurch / Melbourne, Holden, 1:30:47.853, 9.356, 1:31.018
5, Andre Heimgartner / Paul Morris, Auckland / Gold Coast, Holden, 1:30:50.206, 11.709, 1:31.037
6, Daniel Gaunt / Andrew Waite, Auckland / Auckland, Ford, 1:30:51.808, 13.311, 1:30.923
7, Steve Richards / William Bamber, Melbourne / Auckland, 1:31:05.910, 27.413, 1:31.084
8, Craig Baird / Chris Pither, Gold Coast / Gold Coast, Ford, 1:31:30.993, 52.496, 1:30.848
9, Andy Booth / Tony D'Alberto, Auckland / Melbourne, Holden, 1:31:31.219, 52.722, 1:30.687
10, Mitch Cunningham / Dean Canto, Auckland / Melbourne, Ford, 1:31:31.583, 53.086, 1:31.508

Race 2, 56 laps
Position, lead driver / co-driver, hometowns, car, total race time, difference to leader, best lap time
1, Scott McLaughlin / Jonathan Webb, Gold Coast / Gold Coast, Holden, 1:31:35.833, -, 1:30.896
2, Jack Perkins / Nick Cassidy, Melbourne / Auckland, Holden, 1:31:36.721, 0.888, 1:30.853
3, John McIntyre / Jono Lester, Nelson / Auckland, Ford, 1:31:48.291, 12.458, 1:31.365
4, Richard Moore / Owen Kelly, Christchurch / Melbourne, Holden, 1:31:50.226, 14.393, 1:31.243
5, Kayne Scott / Simon Evans, Hamilton / Auckland, Holden, 1:31:51.336, 15.503, 1:31.379
6, Jonny Reid / Wade Cunningham, Auckland / Auckland, Ford, 1:31:52.047, 16.214, 1:30.791
7, Craig Baird / Chris Pither, Gold Coast / Gold Coast, Ford, 1:31:55.386, 19.553, 1:31.840
8, Ant Pedersen / Matt Halliday, Auckland, Ford, 1:31:58.285, 22.452, 1:31.036
9, Steve Richards / William Bamber, Melbourne / Auckland, Ford, 1:31:59.345, 23.512, 1:31.549
10, Colin Corkery / Jeroen Bleekemolen, Auckland / The Netherlands, Ford, 1:31:59.855, 24.022, 1:31.475
11, Andy Booth / Tony D'Alberto, Auckland / Melbourne, Holden, 1:32.03.642, 27.809, 1:31.491

2012 Race Schedule

2012 V8SuperTourers Sprint Championship
Round 1: 17-19 February – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato
Round 2: 7-8 April (Easter) Powerbuilt Tools Raceway, Christchurch
Round 3: 27-29 April – Manfeild Autocourse, Fielding
Round 4: 1-3 June (Queen’s Birthday Weekend) – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato

2012 V8SuperTourers Endurance Championship
Round 5: 1-2 September – Taupo Motorsport Park, Taupo
Round 6: 27-28 October – Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe
Round 7: 24-25 November – Final, Powerbuilt Tools Raceway, Christchurch

ENDS

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