FS: Mark McNally Adelaide race one report

DARK DAY FOR MARK MCNALLY AS DAMAGE ENDS ROUND EARLY Mark McNally suffered a devastating blow on the first lap of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar race at Adelaide's Clipsal 500 today when a slipping clutch set off a chain of events that destroyed his ...

FS: Mark McNally Adelaide race one report

DARK DAY FOR MARK MCNALLY AS DAMAGE ENDS ROUND EARLY

Mark McNally suffered a devastating blow on the first lap of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar race at Adelaide's Clipsal 500 today when a slipping clutch set off a chain of events that destroyed his car.

Starting from grid seven for race 1 Mark got an exceptional start and was progressing well in the opening corners.

As he got to fourth gear the clutch slipped and the engine revved to the limiter. In an attempt to overcome what appeared to be cooked clutch Mark slotted it to fifth and then sixth which seemed to give him some drive.

As he rounded the right hand turn five the clutch slipped again and the engine revved out without drive.

It was at this point that he was tagged by Brett Hobson and spun onto the next straight.

"I was trying to keep it off the wall," Mark said.

"I achieved that but got hit by Chris Alajajian who slid into my rear."

The car sustained severe damage to the rear end, although the chassis itself was fine.

As a result of the damage the BJR team assessed that it was too severe to repair before tomorrow's race as it would have to be taken to a panel shop to repair the body and floorpan.

Earlier today Mark qualified seventh after making improvements to the car's understeer issues of yesterday.

Having set a time that was third quickest during the session Mark was stripped of that lap for using too much ripple strip.

"While I know I have the pace it was annoying to have my best lap taken from me," he said.

"I went into the race with some confidence that I was one of the fastest out there."

The accident in the race has devastated Mark's plans for 2009 and he was naturally extremely dejected after the race.

"This has really devastated me on many levels," Mark said.

"We started this year with only enough budget for four rounds and I feel like we could have really impressed here this weekend.

"I think a podium was not out of the question and it would have gone a long way towards helping get the budget for the rest of the year.

"Instead we have no result and something like a $50,000 repair bill to boot.

"Motorsport has been the hardest thing that I have ever done, so often we look like getting the results and we get kicked down.

"I will pick myself up again and dust myself off for sure but at the moment I wonder if we can return to the track from this."

-credit: westcoastracing.com.au today.

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