Wet and Wild Weekend in the Sunshine State

Round 4 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar series known as the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 was recently held at Queensland Raceway. A near full field of 28 Ford and Holden’s completed 2 practice , 1 qualifying session and followed by 3 races over the weekend.

Drew and Aaren Russell both competed in the Go Karts Go BF Falcons on the track commonly referred to as the paperclip because of its shape. Although the track may be considered boring the action was anything but, plenty of carnage evolved during Race 1.

Drew welcomed back on board Internet security company ESET, a company that develops high perrforning security solutions for home and corporate customers, to see more on their fantastic products go to www.eset.com

Sponsor, Celtic Tearoom of Maleny had the honours of major sponsor on Aarens #59 Falcon.  The tearoom supply the finest local and exotic imported teas, fresh ground organic coffee and much more, visit them at www.celtictearoom.com.au, Maleny is a gorgeous town in the Sunshine coast hinterland.

The cars hit the track and after the 2nd 40 min practice sessions on Friday the times with Drew sitting in P10 and Aaren P17 things were looking promising for qualifying on Saturday morning. Although the boys times had improved their times in qualifying, the cars are now that close that less then 1 sec can separate the top 20 drivers. Drew qualified in 21st and Aaren 25th.

Race 1 Drew got tangled up with Zukanovic, Jilesen, Emery, Percat, Cregan, Douglas and Perkins in a massive incident on the first lap. 9 cars were involved in the incident most with major damage. Jack Perkins later said he had tagged Percat but looking at any available footage it is difficult to judge exactly what happened and if it were anyone’s fault or an unfortunate racing incident. The ESET Falcon was badly damaged and was towed back to the garage.

The race resumed all eyes were now on Aaren, he was making a charge through the field, now up to 16th he was passing 3 cars and got tapped by McGill who sent him into the Sand trap at turn 3, not all the tea in Maleny could get him out on his own, the Safety car came out again, Aaren was pulled out of the gravel and he was then able to rejoin the race and finish in 21st.

Damage to Drew’s car was quite extensive, a massive effort from the boys who spent a late night at the track to remove and rebuild the diff, replace rear bar, side sill, 2 new doors, parallel bars, exhaust system and rear quarter panel.

Late night, cold weather and the rain came for Sunday’s race 2 where the top ten cars are reversed. The weather may of turned bad but our luck turned around and the race was drama free with Drew powering though the field finishing in 11th and Aaren moving ahead finishing 17th.

For the final race of the day Drew started from 23rd and Aaren 18th, with the rain on and off all morning the question up and down pit lane now was to on wet tyres or slicks? Part of the track was dry and the other half was very wet. The rules state you are unable to change tyres after you have started the race unless it is declared from Race Control.

The position where Drew started saw him in massive puddle on slick tyres, lights go green and the car fell back to last position due to no traction. Nothing on the track this weekend made the boys races easy, Drew once again fought his way through the field and finished an impressive 11th and Aaren did a fantastic job in only his second year in V8’s finishing in 13th for the 22 lap race.

Even with all the obstacles thrown the teams way, the boys still managed to finish the weekend with smiles on their faces and wish to thank all their fans and supporters especially sponsors ChillIT, Promac, and Steve Koulis Smash Repairs .
The team will now return to Newcastle, and prepare the cars for everyone’s favourite race the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 held Oct 6-9th

When the boys are not getting race cars ready you will find them at any of their Go Kart tracks in Newcastle, located at Broadmeadow, Nelson Bay and Cameron Park.

The team wish to thank Eset and Celtic Tearoom of Maleny for their support, which is so vital to continue.
Currently the series leader is Andrew Thomson and Aaren is 16th and Drew 18th overall.

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