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HRT Sunday Report - Placemakers NZ V8 International

19/4/2005 14:27 (Press Release) - PLACEMAKERS NZ V8 INTERNATIONAL – DAY 3
Pukekohe Park Raceway, New Zealand
April 17, 2005

Weather: Fine, overcast, 20 degrees

Race 2 (50 laps)
4th: Mark Skaife (#2 Holden Commodore VZ)
DNF: Todd Kelly (#22 Holden Commodore VZ)

Race notes
- Mark Skaife started from 3rd, Todd Kelly started from 8th
- Mark lunged up inside of Russell Ingall at Hairpin on Lap 12 for 2nd place, but locked front wheels and spun
- Mark pitted immediately for two left-side tyres, rejoined 13th
- Todd pitted for two left tyres on Lap 17, rejoined in 21st
- When pitstops completed on Lap 20, Mark was 4th and Todd 16th
- As Safety Car is called on Lap 20, field slows dramatically at the Kink and veers either side of limping Paul Morris car. Todd doesn’t see it until too late and smashes into the back of Morris, severely damaging his radiator and causing the car to be retired
- Mark retains 4th placing until race finish despite a delaminating front right tyre

Mark Skaife:
“The car was very good and I thought it was strong enough to really challenge. But it was a lucky result in the end with the front tyre so badly flatspotted after the incident with Ingall. But when your luck’s going with you, you get away with those ones – other days we would have had that one blow out. The car is plenty good enough to reach those blokes in front of me, we just need a bit of luck with us.”

(On the move to pass Ingall)
“It was on, definitely. I thought I had it under control but what happens is the left-hand front here has so much camber on it that for the loaded side for the fast corners, it just picked the inside of that tyre up and tore up that left front, which I didn’t expect at that corner, to lock the loaded wheel.”

Todd Kelly:
“I was behind Garth (Tander) and came around the Kink on the back straight and everybody had just stopped, I couldn’t see, there was smoke everywhere, a few people had obviously done the same thing before me. I got straight on the brakes and locked up, I just couldn’t go anywhere. We knew the (Safety Car) boards were out but Garth and all the guys in front were pressing on – if you slow down you lose pit position and all the cars are flying out of pit lane so the whole field was pressing on and everybody just caught up to each other at the end of the back straight. I just came around the kink and they were all there.

“It’s just unbelievable from being 3rd in the championship to missing a race like this, but we’ll get back.”


Race 3 (50 laps)
5th: Mark Skaife
13th: Todd Kelly

Race notes
- Mark Skaife started from 4th, Todd Kelly from 30th
- Mark had a similar engine-related problem to Race 1 at the race start and lost a few placings
- Mark (5th) and Todd (16th) both pitted for left-side tyres on Lap 9 – Todd was baulked at pit exit and lost several positions, rejoining in 19th
- Mark passed Craig Lowndes for 3rd on Lap 23, Todd involved in a dice for 16th with Glenn Seton
- Race stopped on Lap 31 after huge accident involving Craig Baird and Paul Dumbrell
- Race later restarted for a 16-lap sprint following a shower of rain
- Todd reached 10th before outbraking himself and spinning off at Hairpin
- Mark running in 3rd until 6th lap of sprint, when Steven Richards pushed past and Marcos Ambrose squeezed by
- Mark finished 5th and Todd 13th
- Mark clocked the fastest lap of the race, 56.1478sec

Mark Skaife:
“The car was really good in the dry – we probably missed out on a better result. We had the fastest lap in the last race and we were catching Ingall before the rain. It was a weekend where we probably didn’t show off the speed of the car. In our stop we were OK and I put a good pass on Lowndes and we were starting to press towards the front guys and probably had the fastest car. So it’s one of those ones where we probably got away with a reasonable result, but it could have been a better one. I don’t know what happened to the engine at the start, it’s a bit of a strange one. It wa a very similar thing to yesterday, so we’ll have to do our homework on that.

“We scrambled. We’ve had better weekends but we’ve had a lot worse. We scrambled through to a reasonable result on a weekend where we probably deserved better.”

(On being passed by Steven Richards)
“He was way too far back and he was absolutely out of control, but I saw him coming and gave him enough room that he didn’t put me out. I wasn’t happy about it, but that’s how it is. He was faster than me, but he would have got me at some stage. He probably didn’t need to make a pass like that.”

Todd Kelly:
“It always frustrates me thinking about what might have been, I’m probably more annoyed than what I should be because I hate being back there. There were just too many things went wrong this weekend, from the first practice and it just followed through. In the last race I think we came into the pits at the wrong time, we made up a heap of positions, and the whole field came in. I lost a heap of positions because I couldn’t get into the queue to exit the pits, but by the time the race was restarted I’d got back into 10th and then I locked up at the hairpin, just overdriving. Then I got back to 13th, but I was getting really annoyed stuck behind Glenn Seton. I was behind him for the whole race really, and every single lap he drove up the inside of the track in the braking areas. Around a place like this where there is really only one passing place, anyone can do that, but he was doing it 30 laps from the end. I was stuck there – I had a mile more speed than him. That’s the way it is when you’re back there, you spend the whole weekend doing that. We just have to get back to where we were, and start the weekend up the front.”

Round placings
Equal 3rd: Mark Skaife
16th: Todd Kelly

Series standings (after Round 2)
1 Marcos Ambrose 366pts
2 Russell Ingall 324pts
3 Paul Weel 279pts
4 Craig Lowndes 277pts
5 Greg Murphy 273pts
6 Mark Skaife 264pts
7 Paul Radisich 261pts
8 Jason Bright 256pts
9 Todd Kelly 252pts
10 Steven Richards 225pts


Release Date: 17/04/2005

Holden Racing Team