ShapeCUT have been proud supporters of Declan Fraser Racing going back all the way to his kart racing days, and it was a proud moment when we got to see him in his distinctive car 777 on Australia’s most iconic circuit – Mount Panorama.
As part of the Toyota Racing 86 championship, Declan Fraser Racing took part in three races on the world-famous Bathurst race track.
It was a special moment for the whole crew, not just because of the location, but it was the debut of a new car they had prepared for the event. Premiering a new car mid-season can be a gamble at the best of times but the team had the experience and support to see them through any situation.
During the space of two practice session everyone (including their Performance Driving Centre colleagues at Paul Morris Motorsport) had worked out the best configuration for the track and conditions, and were ready to make their mark on the mountain.
In Race One, Declan started from eighth place which can be a challenge even for the most capable of drivers. Thankfully he managed to stay out of trouble on the first corner and cleared his way up Mountain Straight to remain with the front pack.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly for the next three laps until, with a mere three laps to go, a competitor’s car almost clipped the wall directly in front of Declan.
With reflexes honed from years of professional racing our driver cleared the incident without as much as a scratch but it was enough of a delay to lose the pack ahead.
However, all was not lost, as he finished in sixth place which was enough to earn more highly-coveted championship points.
The next race saw some minor modifications made to the car to help it handle the top of the mountain section better. After a fantastic start, Declan found himself not just keeping up with the front pack but also setting the second fastest lap time of the entire race.
However, as the race drew to its conclusion, Declan pressed through a gap at Murray’s Corner which would later result in a 10-second penalty from the race stewards. Further problems arose when the ABS failed, which made pushing the car to its maximum potential an impossibility. The other drivers soon capitalised on this misfortune and were able to out-break him at every opportunity.
One other driver even hit the front of 777 and was sent barrelling off the track. Thankfully nobody was harmed.
With all this going on, it’s still incredible that Declan was able to cross the finish line in seventh place which was later penalised down to eleventh.
The third and final race was a more sombre affair, with Declan starting in 11th and finishing in 12th place. The car didn’t feel like its usual self and Declan worked extra hard to keep pace with the rest of the traffic.
However, things are looking good overall. DFR entered the racing weekend 108 points behind the leader, and now there’s only a 48-point gap between our team and the championship trophy. The action continues in early November at the Sandown 500 in Victoria and we can’t wait to see how the team shape up there as they head towards the final two events.
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