Chaz Mostert has taken victory in the opening round of the 2013 Dunlop Series after a dominant performance in the second and final race of the weekend.
Having finished second in Friday evening's opening race, Mostert led every lap of the second encounter, leading by as much as four seconds before easing up his pace in the closing stages.
Mostert's Matthew White Motorsport team-mate Dale Wood was 2.8s adrift at the flag in second, while Race 1 winner Ash Walsh was a further seven seconds adrift in third.
Walsh dropped to as low as fourth behind Mostert, Wood and Andrew Jones on the opening lap before retaking the Brad Jones Racing Holden to secure second overall for the weekend.
Jones held down fourth until slowing with a flat left-front tyre mid-race. He eventually finished 26th.
V8 Supercars debutant Casey Stoner headed in the opposite direction, taking 14th from his 30th place on the grid.
The former motorcycle star methodically picked his way through the traffic, making calculated overtakes at each of the circuit's key passing points.
Further up the order, Kristian Lindbom rounded off an outstanding Dunlop Series debut for Evans Motorsport, taking fourth in both Race 2 and the round.
Taz Douglas emerged from the midfield to take fifth in the second encounter ahead of Aaren Russell, George Miedecke, Cameron Waters, Daniel Gaunt and Geoff Emery.
The second round of the 2013 Dunlop Series will take place at Barbagallo Raceway on May 3-5.
Chaz Mostert has firmed as the favourite for the 2013 Dunlop Series title by setting the fastest time in the opening practice session at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
The Matthew White Motorsport Ford driver improved his own previous fastest lap by 0.16s on his final attempt to end the 40 minutes 0.28s clear of second quickest man Daniel Gaunt (Eggleston Holden).
Ashley Walsh was third fastest despite missing the majority of the session thanks to a crash at Turn 8. The Matt Stone Racing Ford sat parked at Turn 10 for the final 20 minutes after contact between its right-rear corner and the Turn 8 exit wall.
Walsh had set the fastest time to that point on the lap prior to his mistake.
Andrew Jones (Brad Jones Holden), Kristian Lindbom (Josh Evans Ford), Dale Wood (Matthew White Ford), Aaren Russell (Novocastrian Ford) and Sam Walter (Minda Holden) completed the top eight, while an improvement on his final lap moved Casey Stoner (Triple Eight Holden) into ninth, just 1.23s from the pace.
Stoner, as did many of the drivers, steadily improved his pace throughout the opening session, beginning, fittingly, in the 1:27s bracket.
"We're pretty happy with that," said Triple Eight owner Roland Dane of Stoner's initial effort.
"He finished top 10 with plenty of experienced guys all around him and behind him. So he is in the thick of the action. He didn't touch anything, he didn't hit anything. He did a great job first run out and I'm sure he'll be more relaxed now."
It was a difficult start to the season for new squad Finance Ezi Racing, whose Andre Heimgartner and Josh Hunter driven cars both stopped on their out-laps, necessitating a lengthy red flag.
The first 10 minutes of Practice 1 were available to rookie drivers only, with Tony D'Alberto Racing's new recruit Nick McBride setting the early pace.
The second and final Dunlop Series practice session of the day will get underway at 1445 local time.
The Matthew White Motorsport Fords of Dale Wood and Chaz Mostert have led the way in a tight second practice session for the Dunlop Series on the streets of Adelaide.
Wood knocked Mostert from the top of the time sheets halfway through the 30 minute hit-out, with the latter falling just 0.05s short of returning the favour at the end of his penultimate run.
The top five was completed by Andrew Jones, Geoff Emery and Ashley Walsh, who all lapped within 0.17s of Wood's best effort.
Kristian Lindbom again showed promising pace in sixth ahead of his first Dunlop Series meeting since last year's Adelaide event, while George Miedecke and Casey Stoner completed the top eight.
Having been 1.2s from the pace in Practice 1, the former two-time MotoGP World Champion was just 0.7s from the top spot in the second session.
Daniel Gaunt was ninth despite losing considerable time mid-session with a fuel pump issue in the ex-Tekno Autosports Triple Eight Holden, while Garry Jacobson rounded out the top 10.
The session ran free of red flag periods, although it ended with the cars of Aaren Russell and Chris Pither both stranded on the circuit.
Aaron Tebb endured an early incident in his Commodore, tagging the Turn 5 exit wall during a half-spin.
The Dunlop Series field will return to the track for qualifying at 0955 tomorrow.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL PRACTICE 2 RESULTS
Chaz Mostert isn’t the only Matthew White Motorsport Ford driver gunning for victory in this year’s Dunlop Series, with team-mate Dale Wood also set to challenge for the title.
Wood has moved to MWM this year following a 2012 Dunlop Series campaign with Greg Murphy Racing that netted sixth in the standings and a maiden race win.
The 29-year-old steps into the ex-Will Davison Ford Performance Racing chassis with continued support from major backers GB Galvanizing and Wilson Security.
“It’s the first time that I’ve been in really competitive equipment and I honestly believe that I can challenge for wins this year,” Wood told Speedcafe.com ahead of his 2013 campaign.
“I was arguably the only privateer to get on the podium in 2012 and finishing up there consistently is a clear goal for us this year .”
Wood tested alongside MWM team-mates Mostert and Morgan Haber at Winton yesterday, and says he was pleased with the initial hit-out.
“I thought it went extremely well given it was a day to gel with a new team,” he said.
“I’m not unfamiliar with an FPR car because of my experience with Tony D’Alberto Racing (in the V8 Supercars endurance events over the last two years), so I was happy in the car straight away.
“Matty’s team are familiar with FPR equipment as well, which always helps.”
Wood is not expected to return to TDR for this year’s endurance races, but says he’s in discussions with multiple teams about a drive and is optimistic of his chances.
Prominent Dunlop series team Matthew White Motor sport have secured the support of leading privately owned National equipment hire company Sherrin Rentals for an all-out assault on this years Championship series.
The partnership between Sherrin Rentals and MW Motor sport has enabled the team to secure Ford Performance Racing rising star Chaz Mostert with the sole aim of claiming the title that eluded him last year.
Mostert will drive Mark Winterbottom’s 2012 Ford Falcon FG which will be prepared and run by White’s team with technical assistance from FPR.
“I am grateful to Matthew White and Michael Sherrin for giving me the chance to finish off what I didn’t get the chance to last year,” Mostert said who will drive the #99 car.
“While I was no rookie last year it was my first year in a race-winning car so I think those experiences and the support of MW Motorsport, Tim Edwards and everyone at FPR will help me be more consistent across the entire year.
“We have great support from Sherrin Rentals and with Frosty’s old car I think we have a great combination.”
Team owner White believes Mostert and FPR’s best previous-generation machinery places the team among the favourites for the title.
“For us it has been over a year in the making trying to get the three cars we’ve got. We knew we wanted to get FPR’s three newest cars and we have,” White said.
“FPR helped us last year to dip our toe in the water with newer machinery but this year with Chaz we have a great line-up alongside Dale Wood and rookie Morgan Haber.
“Level one teams have upped the ante in recent times and we are trying to respond. I think with the car we have and the help from FPR and with Chaz on board we should be there.”
Mostert will make his MW Motorsport debut at Winton on Tuesday where he will sample his new car for the first time ahead of the season-opening Dunlop Series round in Adelaide as part of the Clipsal 500 from 28 February to 3 March.
The qualifying effort was a season high for the Fg with Youlden out pacing several level one teams. "We were thrown a little in the deep end this weekend with no testing, however the the team made great improvements to the car over the 3 session's. We are looking forward to tomorrow as we hurt the rear tyres in race 1 despite having good pace" claimed Youlden.
Elliot Barbour joined the MW Motorsport team this weekend and on debut qualified 8th, a career best driving the BF Falcon previously raced by Youlden.
" I couldn't be more happy with the job Luke and Elliot did today, they were both up against it with chassis changes mid season. Luke finished a season best 3rd and Elliot 9th, we will need good luck with tomorrows reverse top 10 but am confident both cars will be better" exclaimed Matthew.
Round 5 of the 2012 Dunlop Series has been run and won at the famous Mt Panorama circuit as part of the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. Following a strong Top 10 result in Race 1 on Friday, Jaylec Automotive Electrical driver Tim Blanchard lined up in P6 for the 14 lap final. The team had effected a number of changes to the ex FPR FG Falcon and Tim immediately reported that the car was far racier than previous. His lap times supported this view as he settled into a good top 10 battle with Wood, Miedecke and MW Motorsport team mate Luke Youlden.
The race pace was hot at the front but unlike the Friday race, Blanchard was able to keep the leaders in sight putting a great move on Miedecke at Forest Elbow to grab 6th place. The Safety Car was on track on Lap 6 and at the restart Scott McLaughlin had caught Blanchard but could not get past the Jaylec Falcon. It took until Lap 10 for McLaughlin to finally find a way past Blanchard and push Tim back to seventh, a position he would hold until the chequered flag. This result gave Tim an overall round position of sixth and a very healthy 198 points for his Championship assault.
“We really improved the car a lot between races and we were happy we made some real inroads into the total package. Sixth was not the result we came here looking for but after the last couple of rounds it has put us back on track.” Tim said. “I’m hoping the changes we made can be a bit of a benchmark for the rest of the year. We should be good at Winton – we’ve done a lot of miles there so it is an important round.” Blanchard concluded.
Tim Blanchard sits in seventh place after 5 of 7 rounds in the 2012 Dunlop Series.
Morgan Haber's third-consecutive pole position was the highlight of a mixed day at Phillip Island in the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Cars series. Blue skies over Phillip Island saw a promising final practice ahead of qualifying for round five at the Shannon’s Nationals.
Despite aborting his two best practice laps due to traffic, Haber topped the time sheets on green Kumho Tyres, and with promising individual sector times and a few minor adjustments to be made, qualifying could only get better.
Another new set of tyres and a minor suspension change saw Haber flying from the opening lap, and set a blistering 1:36.6 on the fourth lap in, hoisting him to the top of the charts with a fair margin behind him. A red flag for championship contender Josh Hunter hardly took the pressure off, with Evangelou posting fast individual sectors. Evangelou couldn’t quite catch Haber’s time though and for the third consecutive round, the #28 Miraflores Falcon secured pole position.
“Qualifying was great, the car felt good, I would have liked to have posted a faster time, we were on our fastest lap when the red flag came out, but still 8 tenths faster than the field so I’m happy with that” said Haber after the session was completed.
Track conditions remained perfect and Haber got a clean start, but Evangelou from P2 shot to the front on the first lap and Haber settled in behind him, finding his qualifying pace and the chase began.
“The car took a few laps to really come on, but once it did I set the fastest lap of the race, just two tenths off the lap record and started to hunt down Evangelou.”
Haber had a few looks down the inside but before he could make it stick, everything came unstuck, locking up at pace into turn four and going down the escape road.
“When I caught up to Evangelou I went for the pass at turn four and the car just locked-up, even though I’d actually braked earlier than I had to, it was a bit weird so we’ll take a closer look at the data to avoid anything similar for Sunday.”
Haber rejoined in fifth and held off Pennisi until a brief lock-up into turn one blew an already damaged tyre, sending the car deep into the gravel trap at high speed.
“I had a pretty big flat spot which was causing a few dramas, but I decided to stay out and just muscle the car around until the tyre gave way at turn one and my mind was made up for me.”
With only minor damage and gravel to tidy up, the car will hit the track just as fast for race two Sunday morning. Haber will start from the rear of the grid, and with the pace he has shown so far this weekend, should power through to the front pack in the first few laps.
“I’ve got a fast car, just got to get around a few people cleanly so I can hunt down the front runners”
Race two of the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Cars at Phillip Island is from 10:40am Sunday AEST. Audio/video streaming can be found at www.itvlive.com.au.
For live updates from the track, check out Morgan Haber on Facebook and Twitter. www.facebook.com/MorganHaberRacing @MorganHaber
For more information please contact media manager Vanessa Gray - 0401 726 526 / email@example.com
Jaylec Automotive Electrical driver Tim Blanchard has turned a tough qualifying position into a very strong result in the opening 14 lap race in the 2012 Dunlop Series. After suffering a loss of track time in practice yesterday, the team was behind the eight ball in getting the perfect set up for the single qualifying session.
In the end Tim’s time was good enough for position eight continuing his fine Top 10 qualifying run. The race was run in surprisingly cool and windy conditions. At the green light, Blanchard was jumped by Jones & Miedecke in a very hustle and bustle lap. Everyone got through unscathed but there was a lot of work to do for Blanchard as he was back in 12th place but crossed the line in 8th after a storming recovery.
A big battle group developed with Tim pushing hard to get past David Russell and chase down the leaders. With tyres and brakes playing a big role with all the leaders, Blanchard had the pace of the runners in front of him but could not quite mount an attack. Keeping his cool until the final lap a great move on Russell moved Blanchard into seventh place overall.
“The first lap was hectic with cars going everywhere. I was maybe a bit conservative on Lap 1 but got back up to 8th quickly.” Tim said “There was real freight train of six cars but you just had to wait for the opportunity to pass. I got a good run on Russell out of the second last corner and slipped up the inside.” Tim finally crossed the line in seventh place.
The Dunlop Series continues tomorrow with Race 2 and 3. Tim Blanchard has moved up one spot to 7th in the 2012 Championship.
The final race in Round 2 of the 2012 Dunlop Series for V8 Supercars has rewarded Tim Blanchard with a fighting 5th place in Perth today. The Jaylec Automotive Electrical Falcon FG bogged down slightly at the start and was side swiped by Daniel Jilesen's Ford. Luckily with no damage Blanchard finished lap 1 in 7th place as the Safety Car was deployed. A final corner accident between Percat & Zukanovic meant 4 laps behind the Safety Car.
Once the green light came on racing resumed and Tim quickly disposed of Rod Jane & Ash Walsh to move up to fifth. The battle ahead between Mostert & Youlden was allowing Blanchard to close in and the #27 Jaylec Falcon was again showing good race pace.
Blanchard could not quite bridge the gap to his MW Motorsport stable mate Youlden and crossed the line in 5th giving him a 5th place overall for the three races held over the weekend.
"The start wasn't great but we had good pace in the car and worked our way back to fifth." Tim said. "This weekend was all about consolidating points to allow us to get back up the ladder in the Championship. So, to go home with a bag of points and move up to 8th in the series is a good result." Blanchard added.
The next round is at Townsville in July; a track that has bought Tim a lot of success.
"We have a good track record up there so we need to still focus on the points but we'll be chasing a race win for sure" Tim concluded.
Jaylec Automotive Electrical V8 Supercar driver Tim Blanchard has banked another strong performance in the 2012 Dunlop Series with a 6th place finish in Race 1 and a 2nd place in Race 2 at Barbagallo Raceway today. After a strong showing yesterday in practice the MW Motorsport team were a little perplexed during qualifying where Tim wound up in P10. Tim and the crew were confident in a good race package however and this proved to be correct.
As the cars entered the new Barbagallo Pit Lane the rain moved in throwing most teams race strategy up in the air. It was however a wet race and the #27 Jaylec Falcon lined up on row 5 as the rain increased.
The start was frantic with cars disappearing in the spray and a Safety Car was soon dispatched as track officials recovered McGill's slick shod Falcon from the sand. Blanchard was up to P9 at the restart and immediately pounced on Andy Jones in a storming move at Turn 1. The leaders were just out of reach but Blanchard pressed on picking off Percat and Wood to move into 6th position.
"We did struggle a bit in Qualifying but the race pace was good. It was good to get past guys in front of me and set ourselves up for Race 2. The conditions were very tricky but the Jaylec Falcon is working well in the wet." Tim said. "I think if I had of started up the front we would have been a good chance for a top 3 but none the less we are in pretty good shape" Tim concluded.
Race 2 was the ‘reverse grid' where the top 10 finishes from race one invert. Tim started out of P5 and avoided a start line accident to move to fourth on Lap 1 and line up behind the Safety Car. Once racing resumed, Tim fired into second position, which he held to the race end. The fine drive in both races today has put Blanchard's Dunlop Series Championship back on track moving from 19th to 11th in the point score.
"We had good pace and improved the car a lot from qualifying and we were able to pick our way up to second place." Tim commented. "The sixth place start tomorrow is a little further back than we would have liked, but all the top 6 are very close on points" Blanchard concluded.
MW Motorsport team driver Luke Youlden is looking forward to a strong weekend at Round two of the 2012 Dunlop V8 Supercars Series this weekend. The team are excited to welcome Performance West and East Coast Traffic Control as partners for the round on the number 28 FPR Falcon.
Youlden is making his debut in the ex Russell car from 2011 having completed a test day at Winton last month. The team have incorporated several changes to the chassis in an effort to bridge the gap to the Level One teams. "The car performed very well during the test and had a great balance all day" said Youlden.
Youlden is currently 4th in the points after a solid start at Round 1 in Adelaide, Luke had to endure a pinched nerve in race 1 making for a long race and compromising braking. The team made seating alterations for Race 2 and Luke moved quickly back through the field to be the first independent team home.
"The Performance West Falcon should be right on the pace in Perth, I believe the test will prove invaluable after only completing 5 laps prior to Clipsal" Luke concluded.
The Barbagallo round takes place in Perth on May 4 -6
Jaylec Automotive Electrical V8 Supercar driver Tim Blanchard took advantage of a re scheduled test day at Winton on Monday with his MW Motorsport team in preparation for Round 2 of the 2012 Dunlop V8 Supercars Series. Having arrived at the Clipsal 500 for Round 1 with limited ‘wet' track testing, Blanchard and the team were looking for a full day to put some valuable miles on the ex FPR FG Falcon. The streets of Adelaide had proven to be a tough debut for the Jaylec FG Falcon, but the focus was now on getting data and set up guidelines for the Perth Round in two weeks time.
Winton turned on a superb autumn day and Blanchard took full advantage of a dry track sharing with the other main Dunlop Series Victorian based teams. Only the FPR & HRT teams were not present as their main teams were on the way to New Zealand.
"We had a number of new suspension items to try at Winton as well as general preparation items for Perth." Tim said "We had some good input from FPR and Matt & the boys worked hard during the day. The pleasing thing was the car reacted well and it felt a lot closer to the way we tested with Chaz and FPR back in December." Blanchard added.
The team will now make the long haul to Western Australia for the second round of the Dunlop Series. Perth was not a happy hunting ground for Tim last year so he is looking to make amends and get his point score back on track.
"The Jaylec Falcon should be right on the pace in Perth and with a three race format, I believe the test has put us in the right direction for a good result" Tim concluded.
The Barbagallo round takes place in Perth on May 4 -6.
The first round of the 2012 Dunlop Series for V8 Supercars saw Team Jaylec driver Tim Blanchard make a fine recovery in Race 2 after clash with the infamous Turn 8 wall in Race 1.
The first of two races was run on Saturday evening with a strong field facing the starter. A chaotic start ensued with two cars clashing sending kiwi Daniel Jilesen into the wall on pit straight and a Safety Car deployed for the first series of laps. Tim Blanchard was at the wheel of the new FG Falcon and starting out of position 5, lost a spot but quickly regained it once racing resumed.
A heady drive bought the #27 Jaylec Falcon right onto the tail of the battle group for third, fourth and fifth positions. A beautiful move saw Tim dispose of Scott Pye at Turn 6 but the fourth place he gained was short lived.
Heading to the famous Turn 8 at the Adelaide circuit Blanchard was hunting Nick Percat for third when he lost the back of the car hitting the unforgiving wall and ending his race.
"I braked later and just did not get it turned in; hit the marbles and that was it." Blanchard said from Pit Lane. "We were in a good position but the car speed was not quite there. The boys will have some work but I'm sure we can get it back in great condition" Tim added.
The second race was held under warm conditions today and Blanchard repaid the hard working MW Motorsport crew with a storming drive from the rear of the grid to 8th place. Lap after lap Blanchard picked off cars showing the undoubted potential of the ex FPR FG Falcon. The mid part of the race stabilized somewhat and at the half way point Tim was up to 12 th place, but went on the attack again passing Zukanovic, Miedecke and David Russell. As the final laps rolled out, Blanchard consolidated his position in the Top 10 taking the flag in 8th place.
"The MW Motorsport crew did a fantastic job on the car last night. I was able to get past a lot of guys early on in the race, but around Lap 10 the cars around me were on similar pace." Tim said. "But the new Jaylec FG reacts very well to adjustments and I had much better tyre life at the end and was again able to pass cars. It was the best we could do today after the DNF in Race 1. We got some points and will now look to Perth." Blanchard concluded
The 2012 V8 Supercars season sprang into action today as Practice commenced for the Dunlop Series in Adelaide. The Dunlop Series grid was filled with new driver, car and team combinations and today was the first time the full 2012 field were on track. Jaylec Automotive Electrical team driver Tim Blanchard was one of many to debut new cars. His mount for 2012 is the ex Mark Winterbottom FPR FG Falcon. One of four of the current generation Ford V8 Supercars now in the feeder series.
In cool and somewhat dusty conditions the #27 Jaylec / Cool Drive Falcon was straight into the top 10 in the first 40 minute hit out. As the session drew on most teams were chasing car set ups and not risking new tyres on the dusty ‘once a year' street circuit. However times were still very competitive.
Blanchard ran 12 laps in all posting a time of 1:24.70 for fourth fastest out of the 24 car field.
"It was really exciting to get in the new car. The first session was really learning the car at this track and to get some dry weather running which we missed at our test day. This session has given us a good base to work from" Tim commented between the two sessions. "We continued to work with FPR on car set up, so I am eager to see how the car performs on new tyres later today" Tim added.
The second session was indeed quicker for all the main teams and drivers, with Tim continuing the good form from the morning. With around 10 minutes to go in the 30 minute session, the crews began rolling out the new Dunlop Slicks and the times began to tumble. Blanchard was first to benefit and went to P1 on the time sheets with 1:22.93 – nearly two seconds quicker than the morning practice.
When the chequered flag fell, Blanchard was in 3rd place with his main title protagonists Nick Percat and Chaz Mostert just in front of him.
"The day went well and we are right with the guys we needed to be with" Tim said "The MW Motorsport crew made some progressive changes that paid off and the car was very good on new tyres. We will work on a few things tonight and have a real crack at qualifying tomorrow" Tim concluded.
Jaylec Automotive Electrical sponsored V8 Supercar driver Tim Blanchard has unveiled a bold new look as he again joins forces with DVS Championship winning team MW Motorsport for 2012. The Melbourne based driver has enjoyed success in two seasons in the V8 Supercars Development Series with Round and Race wins to his credit. The move to a current spec ex FPR FG Falcon gives Blanchard a firm shot at the 2012 crown. Blanchard drove the FG at a Winton FPR Test day prior to Christmas sharing duties with Chaz Mostert and was enthusiastic about the cars capabilities.
"The off season has been pretty hectic" Blanchard said "My manager and I sat down to review all the options for 2012. Whilst we were really focussing on a move to the main game, we never lost sight of the importance of ensuring the best possible package for the Development Series. With Matthew White's team stepping up to the FG and building a strong alliance with the FPR Team, it presented an opportunity to really fight for the Championship this year. I know all the guys at MW Motorsport and having a second season with the team in the Jaylec FG should see us at the pointy end" Blanchard added.
MW Motorsport chief, Matt White commented "I was very keen to upgrade to the FG, but would only do so with the right package and driver. Getting Tim in the car for his second year with us gives our team a great base to start at Clipsal in a winning frame of mind. With some off season rule changes as well in the mix, it is shaping up a very competitive year." White said.
Jaylec Automotive Electrical Marketing Manager Matt Russell commented "Jaylec Automotive Electrical is in a strong growth phase and we see the association with Tim and V8 Supercars as an ideal way to broaden our brand awareness with very well defined target market."
Blanchard finished fifth overall in the 2011 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series gaining a podium at the Clipsal 500 and a race win in Townsville.
The MW Motorsport FG Falcon will be sponsored by Jaylec Automotive Electrical with support from Sanden, CPS, CoolDrive, Palm Trans, Bosch & Global Welding. The series will run over 7 rounds commencing in March at the Clipsal 500.