The 2013 Dunlop Series for V8 Supercars exploded into life on the streets of Townsville on the weekend delivering three action packed races. The Gulf Western Oil Falcon of Michael Hector was in the thick of the action throughout the weekend with the Newcastle based driver enjoying his second visit to the demanding North Queensland track. Running for the first time out of the accomplished Matt Stone Racing garage, Hector was full of praise for the professional way in which the team went about the weekend. The FG Falcon raced by Hector is the ex Scott McLaughlin Fujitsu car run by Jimmy & Ross Stone in 2012 and joined its two ex SBR sister cars for the first time this season.
“Very professional is the easy way to explain it” when Michael was asked about his new relationship with MSR. “They are very good and very supportive in the way they go about it. We are seeing the results already” he added.
Two practice sessions and a Qualifying session saw improvements of over a second to place Michael in 24th in the 31 car field. Race 1 saw Hector climb quickly up the field but as the race wore on, so did the tyre life drop off and he finished in a solid 22nd position.
Race 2 was the ‘Reverse Top 10’ race and there was action right thorough the field. Another good start by Hector was quickly overshadowed when he got punted off the track at Turn 11 sending the Gulf Western Oil Falcon to the tail of the field. Once again, a good drive saw Michael pick up some spots and finish in P25.
The final race was the first time the Dunlop Series field had ever raced on the Dunlop Sprint Tyre and it turned out to be a wild affair. Hector’s Falcon was in P24 after lap 1 but clawed its way up to record a Top 20 result. The race was littered with accidents and Safety Cars, but Michael showed a clean pair of heels to those he was battling with and recorded very competitive lap times on the Sprint tyre.
“Race 1 was a pretty good outcome. I started well and jumped quite a few cars, but felt the tyres go off towards the end and gave up a few spots. The second race was frustrating. After another good start, I arrived at Turn 11 and there were a few guys around me who were trying the dive bomb on Lap 1. A few went screaming past then couldn’t turn in and spun me out. I spent the rest of the race working hard to try and come back up the field, but it ruined what looked like a good race for the Gulf Western Falcon” Hector commented.
The final race was a longer affair over 18 laps.
“The final race was quite insane! But this time I managed to stay away from it all. Don’t quite know how but it made up for Race 2.” Michael commented. “I think there were a lot of guys who were ambitious on the Soft Tyre but we had a game plan and the car hung on really well. It was good to get Top 20 this weekend.’ Hector concluded.
The next Round of the Dunlop Series will be held at Queensland Raceway at the end of July.
Michael Hector sits in 25th position in the 2013 Championship.