A coming together with another car while bidding for the lead ruins Aussie speedster's hopes of victory
V8 Supercar racer Steve Owen said after a character-building race on Saturday that his only chance of salvaging a BNT NZ V8s podium placing lay in yesterday’s reverse grid final race at Ruapuna.
And the HPM Ford driver looked headed to do just that when an altercation with another car damaged his Falcon’s right front wheel and put him out of contention.
Owen is standing in for the injured Paul Radisich in the Tracer Motorsport Ford, and had struggled to find a good chassis set-up in timed practice and qualifying. He eventually gridded 13th.
He had looked likely to finish eighth in Saturday’s race one but was tagged by another car. Officials ordered him to pit for repairs to the damaged rear bumper and he finished 19th. That, and 20th in Sunday’s first race, saw him start the reverse grid finale from eighth.
He moved quickly to fourth, and was bidding for the lead when he and the car he was passing touched, damaging the Falcon’s right-front wheel and starting a slow leak.
Owen said he was in “the wrong place at the wrong time. We had the speed to get past those guys and as I came up behind he blocked and stomped on the brakes to stop my run.
“Unfortunately I got into the back in to him and it will always be the guy behind’s fault. But we were only four laps in to a 20-lap race so it was unfortunate you had blokes blocking to begin with – but that’s the way it is I guess."
Owen’s focus shifts now to next weekend’s Oran Park, Sydney, finale of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Development Series which he leads.
“It will be nice to get back to cars I know and in a position where if I’m not on pole I’m disappointed,” he said. “After a tough weekend (in NZ V8s) it will be an ideal way to get back in to it.”