Podium fails to ignite russell
ONE podium finish on motor racing's biggest stage wasn't enough to soothe David Russell's disappointment in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst.
Russell, from Caniaba, is in second place in the series with one round remaining after finishing second and fifth in the two races held at Bathurst over the weekend.
Jim Beam Racing Falcon driver Jonathon Webb made a clean sweep of the event and is now 79 points clear of Russell in the series standings.
Webb won the first race ahead of Russell, who had an interesting duel for second place with James Moffat, the son of Bathurst legend Allan Moffat.
Russell made a flying start to the second race and was in the lead when rain started to fall and the red flag came out for Fujitsu teams to fit wet tyres.
Upon the resumption, Webb made the most of his chances, grabbing the lead on the sec-ond lap and going on to win the race ahead of Moffat, Brad Lowe, Daniel Gaunt and Russell.
Russell, who was driving the Sherrin Rentals Ford BF Falcon, was disappointed with the result and that the second race was re-started on the grid.
“We wanted to finish off the weekend strongly and it was pretty disappointing because we were winning when we had to go in and change to wet tyres,” Russell said.
“I don't know whose call it was to grid us up again, but no one has ever done that in all my days of racing, to re-start a race that has already been started.
“Why they didn't put a safety car out is beyond me. It was just a very poor call by some official.”
Russell will now look ahead to the final race of the series, the Sydney Telstra 500 in December, which will be held around a street circuit near the Olympic stadium at Homebush.
“What is unique about Homebush is that it is a new circuit so no one has been able to do any testing and get the car set up for it,” he said.
“The way I look at it there are 300 points on offer and I'm 79 points behind the leader so there is still a mathematical chance that I would win it.
“The only thing I can do is go to the Sydney Telstra 500 and take pole in both races.
“If I do that, I give myself every chance so if it's going to happen, it's going to happen.”
But his standing in the championship and results at Bathurst continue to encourage Russell's efforts to break back into the big league next year.
“The main thing that teams look at are the times and some of the sessions we had would have put us up in the top 15 of the main event,” Russell said.
“There are certainly some options for next year and at the moment I'm taking a good look at what my options are.”
Webb on 1586 points is 79 points ahead of Russell in the championship standings at 1507, while Moffat is on 1335 and Denyer on 1183.