|Australia 2010: Fellows Championship Momentum builds at Griffith Race.|
David Fellows and Mark Bergamin continued to build the momentum towards an elusive first Australian Championship Title, finishing third outright at the MTQ Griffith 700 held in NSW last weekend.
The event was a true endurance race that saw only 10 teams complete the entire race distance of 700 kilometers. "We needed the finish we had at Griffith and we preserved the car to get to the finish line and maintain our points lead in the championship" said Fellows, driver of the #2 Peter Kittle Motorsports Jimco.
Saturdays prologue to determine the starting order was held in near perfect conditions. David Fellows charged hard around the 25km course that was designed to give a taste of what lay in store for Sundays main race. His scorching time of 13min 34.83sec saw him lock in second on the grid, just 0.18 of a second behind Glenn Owen on pole.
On Sunday morning the start of the MTQ Griffith 700 was delayed for 35 minutes due to a thick fog that had engulfed the Blue Dot Speedway. Fellows and Bergamin in the #2 Peter Kittle Motorsports Jimco were the second car away into the blanket of white mist and set about reeling in the pole sitter, Glenn Owen.
"The visibility on the first three laps was poor, but it was the same for everyone. My visor didn’t fog up like it did for some and it made it easier to get into Glenn Owen and hold off Shannon Rentsch" said David Fellows. "The three fuel stops all went to plan and our race strategy always included a pit stop at the mid-point for fresh tyres and to grease the CV’s. However we also did a precautionary brake pad change which we hadn’t originally planned on which cost us a few extra minutes. "The fog was a bit of a saviour in helping to preserve the car as we couldn’t push it as hard in the early stages."
After 8 laps of the 87km track, Fellows and Bergamin crossed the finish line of the MTQ Griffith 700 in a time of 7 hr 42min 54.38 sec to take third outright, behind the race winner Glenn Owen and the second placed Shannon Rentsch.
"The car was faultless for the 700km. It was a reasonable time to spend in the car and it started to get a bit rough towards the end, but the track did hold up better than I thought it would" Fellows continued. "The endurance element of the event was definitely a good test for the machinery and crew in general.
Andrew Kittle and Simon Amos qualified the second Peter Kittle Motorsports Jimco in twentieth position and had established themselves a great launching pad to spring from at Griffith.
"It was tough in the fog and it wasn’t easy for anyone" said Andrew Kittle. "However we were happy with the pace of our Toyota powered Jimco until I cracked the visor open to let some fresh air in to help clear it and got a face full of mud, which didn’t react well with my eyes. Forcing me to pull out of the race and head to the hospital to get my eyes flushed out on the paramedics recommendation."
"We had prologued in the top 20 for the first time at a national and I was looking forward to spending 700km behind the wheel, so having to retire from the event was disappointing. We’ll now focus on getting the car cleaned up and prepared for the Pines."
After locking away a successful weekend at Griffith, Peter Kittle Motorsports now heads in to the home straight of the 2010 Australian Off Road Championship. Where the team will take to battle on their home turf at the South Australian round of the championship, the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro from September 3-5.
2010/07/28 | 13:12 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/KILNER