Paul Morris Motorsports will head back to the Gold Coast smiling tonight after a huge effort, which sees the team equal their best result for the year with Supercheap Auto driver Russell Ingall at the latest round of the International V8 Supercar Championship – Hidden Valley Raceway’s Skycity Triple Crown.
The team was also treated to its first ever top-10 shootout appearance for the 2011 season when V.I.P. Petfoods driver Steve Owen flew home in 7th during yesterday’s qualifying session.
Supercheap Auto Racing’s Ingall showed why he earned himself the coveted title as The Enforcer after blitzing through the pack today from 10th on the grid to finish up with a 2011 best, 5th overall.
Today’s result saw the Gold Coast-based driver finish the round strong enough to move him up three spots to 23rd in the International V8 Supercar Championship.
V.I.P. Petfoods driver Steve Owen put in a magic drive after starting today’s feature race from pit-lane, when the team decided it was a safer option than starting from the rear of the grid after Qualifying 27th this morning due to traffic on his ultimate flying lap attempt.
From the back of the pack Owen carved through the field thanks to some handy strategy work by his PMM crew over the course of the race and finished his 69 laps 14 spots up on his starting position in 14th.
After testing at Queensland Raceway two weeks ago the team have made headway after a sluggish start to the season which has seen some spectacular action and results.
This weekend’s event at Hidden Valley saw a new sponsor supporting PMM with local logistics company NT Shipping coming on-board to support the team and their local event which, this year, attracted just shy of 50,000 spectators.
V.I.P. Petfoods also complimented each and every official of the event, who donate their time to volunteer, by offering each of them a free, 2kg bag of Yogurt Plus petfood during this afternoon’s thankyou barbeque to all event marshals.
The next round on the calendar for PMM takes the team north of its Gold Coast base to Townsville for the Sucrogen Townsville 400 – July 8-10 2011.
Supercheap Auto Racing driver Russell Ingall said:
Well finally a great result for the team and for my confidence after what has been a pretty shocking start to the year. Everything ran smoothly today, all the right calls were made, the car ran mechanically well and I didn’t make any huge mistakes which, over a 69 lap race in the Northern Territory is always tough going. What’s more promising is that there is still more to get out of this car so I know I can definitely go faster in this chassis. The test at QR has helped a lot too and now its time to charge through the second half of the season. Fifth today is a much better result than we have been producing this year but we’re here to win, nothing less.
V.I.P. Petfoods driver Steve Owen said:
There is still a lot we need to learn about these cars but things seem to be taking positive steps forward and this latest round in Darwin has proven that. I would have liked better results this weekend after picking up just my second top-10 shootout berth and the first for V.I.P. Petfoods, but unfortunately things didn’t quite fall into place for a planned top-five finish. Russ [Ingall] had a great day today and we’ll take a lot away from the weekend. I’m happy to have salvaged some good points from today after starting from pit-lane but the front of the grid is where we want to start from and I think now we have a bit of momentum things will hopefully move in the forward direction over the next few rounds.
2011 International V8 Supercar Championship Points
1 Jamie Whincup – 1395
2 Craig Lowndes – 1239
3 Shane Van Gisbergen – 1134
4 Rick Kelly – 1082
5 Steven Johnson – 1030
6 Will Davison – 1020
7 Garth Tander – 1013
8 Alex Davison – 963
9 Mark Winterbottom – 961
10 Jason Bright – 920
11 Fabian Coulthard – 838
12 Lee Holdsworth – 801
13 Tim Slade – 711
14 Michael Caruso – 696
15 Jason Bargwanna – 686
16 James Courtney – 679
17 Greg Murphy – 635
18 Jonathon Webb – 618
19 Paul Dumbrell – 616
20 Steve Owen – 576
21 James Moffat – 568
22 David Reynolds – 564
23 Russell Ingall – 539
24 Todd Kelly – 517
25 Dean Fiore – 517
26 Tony D’Alberto – 493
27 Karl Reindler – 444
28 Warren Luff – 355