Wood’s AGP Wrap Up

Well what a huge 4 days we had at the Melbourne Grand Prix. It’s a great event with what seemed like very big crowds and I would like to think we got more than our fair share of exposure…

Practice was probably not as good as what we had hoped for as we finished the session in 8th, but I think most of this came down to the fact we decided to keep all of our good tyres we saved from Adelaide for round 3 at Phillip Island and use just an old set at Grand Prix practice given the track was quite dirty and we were one of the first categories out there.

Qualifying was a big improvement once we put new tyres on and got a better direction for our setup. There was a track timing issue that caused some grief and initially showed us in position 8 as it missed our best lap, but after they corrected the issue and re-instated the correct time we qualified 3rd, 2 tenths away from pole position. We still had a few setup problems at this point but happy to be starting up the front.

Race one I got off the line well and was able to hang on around the outside of 2nd place through turn 1 and pick up a spot there which moved us into 2nd. Then after a lengthy safety car following a crash off the start line we got the green flag to go racing again, I was tucked in behind Nick McBride who was leading at the time and going into turn 1 he locked up and speared off which handed me the lead. I had Jaxon Evans on my tail for the last 6 laps but just enough gap to comfortably get home with a race 1 win!!

Race 2 had us starting off Pole position, unlike Adelaide I got a great start and led the pack into turn 1. Jaxon Evans put a heap of pressure on for the remainder of the race but didn’t have enough to get around us and we were able to take away race 2 honours… 

Race 3 was looking to be wet but the rain stopped about 30 minutes prior to our race and left the track greasy but dry enough for slicks. After the amount of rain we had the start lights had failed on the Rolex start tower and we had to do a rolling safety car start. This obviously took some pressure off and gave us an advantage starting from pole however I would have preferred a standing start as I think I’ve now finally worked out how to get these rockets off the line. Again Evans put a lot of pressure on and had a couple of attempts at passing but not enough to get in front. The pace in race 3 was pretty strong and the two of us gapped the field by quite a lot and I was lucky enough to take the checkered flag first again for race 3. 3 wins a row was starting to feel pretty cool!!!

Race 4 on Sunday again had us starting off pole position. The sights were set on taking 4 wins and I got off the line well and led the pack into turn 1. I had just got on the throttle to start powering out of turn 1 in the lead when we got a big hit from behind from Michael Almond (my team mate) who unfortunately locked up while trying to make a pass in to 1 and came in far too quick and cleaned up the back of me and the side of another. Unfortunately that put us to last and then only 10 laps to fight back through the pack. I could only manage to get back to 11th which ended our weekend 2nd overall as Evans went on to win the final race. A great result but obviously 1 spot away from where I would really have liked to be.

We now sit second in the championship after 2 rounds. Really happy with how the year has started off and hopefully plenty more wins to come our way. Phillip Island is next and we will venture there in a week for a test day before hand.

Again, thank you all for the support and look forward to seeing you all soon. 

Dale Wood.

 

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