DUNLOP V8 SERIES - TOWNSVILLE A MIXED AFFAIR FOR TEAM PAYCE
- Townsville, Northern Territory.
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd said the V8 teams look forward to the Townsville Supercars and Dunlop Series rounds each year as they produce some of the best racing of the championship.
The Townsville part street-part parklands circuit is 2.86 kilometres long with 13 corners and offers lots of passing opportunities. A track favourite of the fans, Townsville was never going to disappoint.
Dunlop V8 Series - First Dunlop Event Since Perth – Brian Boyd
After a two month break following the Perth meeting, the Team PAYCE members of James Golding and Richard Muscat (Wilson Racing PAYCE GRM) and Macauley Jones (PAYCE Brad Jones Racing) were itching to get behind the wheel of their Commodores.
Brian Boyd said all three have showed strong form this season and at each round have been contenders for podium spots.
"Although that was not the case at Townsville, they put in some impressive performances," Brian Boyd said.
The practice sessions on Thursday offered the first indication the group were in strong contention, with James clocking fastest time in Practice 1 and Richard and Macauley close behind in 3rd and 4th on times.
Richard was fortunate to recover after he was not able to avoid a stopped car on track. The solid form of the group continued in the afternoon session, with Macauley 2nd on times, James 4th and Richard 5th.
Brian Boyd said it is always encouraging to post some fast times in practice if that is what you set out to do.
"The two teams appeared to have the cars sorted pretty well from the outset as was reflect in their times in both sessions," Brian Boyd said.
Qualifying on Saturday for the first race had Macauley leading the team, with a strong 3rd spot on the grid, while Richard was positioned right behind him in 5th and James one row back in 8th. In a hard fought race with little change in positions, Macauley delivered the best result with a 4th finish, followed by Richard in 6th.
James did well to finish in 9th after enduring damage on the left rear panel.
"A very impressive drive from young Macauley and he drove sensibly to stay out of trouble and not take any unnecessary risks," Brian Boyd said.
A Great Qualifying Effort by the Drivers – Brian Boyd
Qualifying on Sunday resulted in all three drivers pushing hard for good times and being rewarded with grid spots in the top 10.
Macauley put up the best time of the three to take his place on the second row of the grid in 4th spot, while Richard was immediately behind him in 6th place and James another row back in 8th spot.
"Another great effort from Macauley in qualifying and a well-deserved second row position on the grid," Brian Boyd said.
As the flagged dropped and the field headed into turn 1 there was a lot of jockeying and the three boys did well to hold their positions. Richard was first to improve, moving up a spot by lap 5, while Macauley fought hard to hold onto his spot.
James was able to get past Macauley and crossed the line in 5th place, just behind Richard in 4th. Macauley came home strong in 8th place.
Technicality Excludes Richard from Solid Fourth Place – Brian Boyd
Unfortunately for Richard, his efforts in the race were in vain, as he was excluded from the race results due to a parc ferme infringement by stopping his car in the wrong place at the end of the race. That bumped James up to 4th place and Macauley to 7th, which helps them championship points-wise, but left them sorry for their Team PAYCE member.
Brian Boyd said he understood Richard's disappointment to be excluded from the results after such a good drive.
"To drive your heart out and then lose the position and points on a technicality would have been devastating," Mr. Boyd said.
"I'm sure he will bounce back at Sandown and put this unfortunate incident behind him," Brian Boyd continued.
"Overall, the three Team PAYCE drivers had a good weekend and have continued to be among the front runners in what has turned out to be a very exciting and competitive season to date," said Brian Boyd in his closing commentary.
The Wilson Security Sandown 500 meeting is the next round and will be held on 16-18 September.
Go Team PAYCE!