Pingel's made of Super stuff
LAST weekend's V8 Supercar round at Tasmania's Symmons Plains was again supported by another action packed round of the Aussie Racing Car Series.
Brendon Pingel again showed why he has what it takes to be a future champion.
On his first visit to Symmons Plains, Pingel quickly came to terms with this unique power circuit and qualified 6th in a 33 car field only .36 of a second away from pole position among far more experienced series drivers including V8 Supercar driver Jack Perkins, Adrian Cottrell current series leader, and Peter Carr running second in the 2011 series.
Saturday's race one was a frantic pace with the top 10 drivers trading places lap after lap.
Pingel relentlessly pursued the front running cars setting lap times below qualifying pace.
By the end of race one, Brendon crossed the line in 7th place 2.9 seconds behind the eventual winner Paul Kemal.
Brendon set his fastest time yet of 62.5559 seconds on his final lap. In 8th place one second adrift was series leader Adrian Cottrell.
In perfect weather conditions for Saturdays race two the battle continued with the top 10 drivers providing a thrilling spectacle for the huge crowd as they raced four cars wide into the infamous hairpin every lap.
With two laps to go, Jack Perkins slid off the circuit and dangerously rejoined the race slamming into the side of Brendon's car which caused him to lose three positions.
The final placings became impossible to predict as the lead changed constantly every lap. Pingel finished 9th again ahead of Cotrell with the top 10 separated by only two seconds.
A front row start for Pingel from grid position two, his best grid position yet for Sunday morning race three, and with rain threatening, he was highly motivated to take advantage of this position and lead for as long as possible.
"I've got a plan in mind, to beat Cottrell to turn one, build a strong lead from the very start and do whatever I can to hold position for a possible win," Pingel said.
This was a reverse grid of the top 10, placing him in a great position for a great result.
As the red light went out Pingel launched his car immediately to the front ahead of Cotrell and he led for the first 2¾ laps with a commanding lead from the rest of the field.
With the advantage of slipstreaming, three times national champion Paul Kemal made his way past at the end of the third lap, but Pingel stayed in hot pursuit.
With only two laps to go, Pingel held second position and in a battle with the current national champion Kyle Clews on the last lap into the hairpin, Pingel took a late braking manoeuvre on the outside only to have two other drivers take an inside line out of the hairpin.
These four cars battled bumper to bumper to the chequered flag separated by only .7 of the second, Pingel finishing 5th, 1.3 seconds behind the winner.
During this race in an incident between Peter Carr and Jack Perkins, Pingel didn't miss the opportunity to gently nudge Perkins down the fast back straight returning a little favour for the incident in race two. Perkins finished 16th. A
The final race, an accumulation of points from the prior three races, Pingel started from grid six.
With another great start he immediately challenged for 5th position and while maintaining great car speed, on lap five his engine lost horsepower and Pingel slowly fell down the order eventually crossing the line and finishing in 12th position.
Just prior to the engine problem on lap three, Brendon set his fastest ever time for the weekend at 62.3426 secs.
His overall finish was 7th outright. Pingel now moves up a spot in the 2011 championship to 8th.
The final round in conjunction with the V8 Supercars is at Sydney's Homebush Stadium on December 3 and 4.