Hamilton's Kayne Scott recorded another win and a top-10 finish in the latest round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship held at Mallala.
On an unseasonably warm spring weekend at Mallala, about an hour north of Adelaide, provided air temperatures in the mid-thirties and cabin temps 10º more than that. A 30-car field arrived for Round 5 of the hotly contested Australian Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship, and more than 8,000 people turned out to watch the spectacle.
The on-track weekend couldn't have started better for the Fujitsu Heat Pumps Commodore, which in Scott's hands was immediately to the top of the timesheet in the first practice session, run in the coolest conditions for the weekend - 22ºC.
The weekend started to run off the rails for the #100 Commodore in practice session 2, when the brake gremlins that plagued the car at Sydney's Oran Park a month earlier returned. Scott missed more than 20 minutes of the half-hour session, but still managed a creditable 6th.
"It's just so disappointing. We've tested here four times this year, so this is a place where we should be really quick," uttered Scott.
The Mark Petch Motorsport team worked feverishly on the car, trying to pinpoint the cause of the braking woes.
But things didn't get any better in the 20-minute qualifying session, with the brake problems limiting Scott to only a few laps to snare 8th grid position for Sunday's Race 1 - in the circumstances a more than respectable performance. "As soon as I go out the brake pedal just goes to the floor. It's really affecting my confidence," a dejected Scott said, adding, "I've never run on new tyres here, so I was looking forward to qualifying well. We need to fix the problem and start the weekend over again."
Race 1 (16 laps) - Grid Position 8:
In his Fujitsu Heat Pumps Commodore Scott grabbed a couple of positions on the opening four laps, dicing with "Dancing" Denyer, but the brake gremlins came back to haunt him, sending him off the track. No car damage done and Scott returned to the track at the rear of the field, climbing to 19th by race end, when he was the fastest car on track.
"It's the same brake issue. I've got hardly any brake pedal at the beginning of the race, and then it slowly comes back."
Race 2 (16 laps, reverse grid) - Grid Position 10:
The team was confident it had identified and fixed the brake woes afflicting the Fujitsu Heat Pumps Commodore. By the end of the first lap Scott had grabbed eight spots, to be second behind Youlden. On lap 4, with superior power down and sheer speed Scott, dispensed with Youlden down the straight and was never headed, his 1st some compensation for the frustrating weekend.
Race 3 (28 laps) - Grid Position 12:
Being first to see the chequered flag in Race 2 helped return some of the confidence Scott had lost over the early part of the weekend, and he worked his way eight places forward in the Fujitsu Heat Pumps Commodore, to be 4th behind fellow countryman Porter by lap 13. But an off-track excursion relegated him to 11th. He also had a spin a couple of laps later, but didn't lose position. It was time to put the head down and reclaim some of what had been lost on the weekend, and he climbed back to 8th, which was also his finishing position for the round.
"The car was good. I was just trying to make up for what we lost in the early part of the weekend - tried just that bit too hard. This should have been our weekend, but that's what happens sometimes in this sport."
Kayne Scott's next track outing will be in a Paul Morris Motorsport Sirromet Commodore at the challenging and spectacular Mount Panorama, Bathurst on 5 to 8 October.
Catch all the Mallala action of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series telecast on TV ONE on Sunday, 1 October , between 3 pm and 6 pm.