Dean Canto & Mark Winterbottom’s enduro campaign has had a rough start after two tough days at the Sandown 500.
Friday saw three practice sessions, the first for the main drivers and the other two for the co-drivers. It was clear straight away that they had some work to do to tune the car up for race day.
Dean: “Straight away we knew the car wasn’t right. Mark just couldn’t get the pace out of it and we knew we were going to have to make a lot of changes to get it right.”
The team made some changes and there was an instant improvement with Dean finishing the second practice in P4. The team made some more minor adjustments but after practice three, they still didn’t have the setup quite right.
Dean: “I was pretty happy with the car after 2nd practice. The changes the team made had a big impact. We did some more fine tuning for the 3rd practice but we didn’t get the results we expected. I couldn’t get what I wanted out of the tyres and I finished the practice scratching my head a bit.”
Saturday saw a single practice session, a 20 minute qualifying session and two qualifying races.
Mark completed the qualifying session and qualified them in P11. This is where Dean would start the co-driver qualifying race.
A bad start to the weekend turned worse at Turn 1. After a great start Dean was moving through the field until he got sideways and made contact with Tony D’Alberto & Steven Richards. He was then handed a pit lane penalty quickly after.
Dean: “My race was a disaster. I had a great start but at Turn 1, I had a slight lock up and suddenly I was pointing the wrong way. It was a bit like slow motion as I was pointing at D’Alberto & Richo knowing I was gonna make contact but couldn’t do anything.”
“I didn’t think the lock up was that bad so I was surprised I turned so much. It wasn’t until I got back to the garage and saw the footage & the rear end damage to the car, that I realised I’d been “assisted” from behind.”
“It’s pretty disappointing. It was a qualifying race and not a race for points. It’s something they could have assessed post race after they’d looked at all the footage. The team are addressing it and have requested to see the footage from the car behind me.”
After post race penalties were handed out, they finished the race in 24th.
The second qualifying race was between the main drivers. In a relatively short race, Mark moved the car up to 22nd which is where they will start from for tomorrow’s 500km race.
The Sandown 500 race starts on Sunday at 1:15pm.