Chassis set-up problems, a failed clutch and being tapped into spins in each race drops Andrew Anderson from fourth to 10th in NZ V8s series.
Heading to last weekend’s Ruapuna NZ V8s round, ITM/Pinepac Holden Commodore driver had been confident he’d do well.
After all he had been quick in the opening rounds at Taupo and Pukekohe and was fourth on series points.
But from the get-go at Ruapuna on Friday, the outfit struggled to find a good chassis set-up. “It wasn’t responding as we would have expected.”
Changes for the second timed practice session produced no improvement. He pitted and made more changes and was starting to go quicker when the rear axle broke.
More changes saw Anderson 16th fastest in Saturday’s first qualifying session, though the clutch began to play up. There eight minutes left in the 15-minute top 20 session, when Anderson headed out on new tyres. He fell 0.057 seconds short of the top 10, and would start race one 11th.
He struggled for rear end grip in race one and things worsened after the car was tapped from behind at the hairpin, spun and dropped to 24th. He recovered to finish 15th.
His race two aim was to stay out of any mid-pack incidents, but he was hit hard in the passenger’s rear door on lap one, crushing the exhaust pipe and choking off power. “I was simply staying out of trouble yet it came leaping out and found me again.” After repairs Anderson rejoined, finishing at the back of the field, and would start the reverse grid race three from the front row.
He led handily by the end of lap one, but the set-up was going away and eventual winner Craig Baird got past in the United Video Ford Falcon. Anderson slotted in behind and came under attack from Australian Steve Owen’s HPM Ford.
Entering turn one on lap 10, Anderson felt a big hit and was punted wide and off the track. “I braked for the turn and the next minute I got clobbered from behind. If my car wasn’t there, I think (Owen) would have sailed off into the wall.”
Officials slapped Owen with a penalty, but Anderson, who finished 14th, found that little consolation. He has dropped top 10th in the series’ points standings.