MECHANICAL issues and crashes were easy to come by in Sunday’s Bathurst 6 Hour but one team who steered clear of those dramas was the home city duo of Brett McFarland and Nik Hough.
McFarland and Hough began the endurance event in 27th and thanks to a trouble-free day at Mount Panorama worked their way up to 16th when the chequered flag came out.
The pair missed out on a class podium by just 17 seconds in their B.A.R. Constructions Subaru Impreza.
It was a welcome result for McFarland who failed to finish last year’s race due to a broken tyre.
“Unfortunately we missed third place in our class by probably only around 400 metres but that’s the way it goes. The whole weekend everything went smoothly for us and just the way it should,” McFarland said.
“You would get a whole lot of traffic when the safety car was out but that keeps you on your toes.
“The car’s performance was great. All we did in the pits was fuel tyres and driver changes. We didn’t have to lift the bonnet once, and that’s two years now where that’s been the case.
“We could have been up there but we just mistimed our first pit stop and that put us down a lap. That was the lap we were trying to get back for the whole race.
“Still, to finish 16th of 64 cars was a great effort.”
McFarland was also pleased with how co-driver Hough handled the car in his first race experience on the Mount.
“For his first race at Mount Panorama I couldn’t have asked for anything more. When he was asked to conserve fuel he was able to that … and he gave the team some great feedback,” he said.
“The racing was all pretty even for us in our class. Aside from the Jack Perkins-Leigh Burges car, which had a little more straight line speed, there was little separating all of us.”
The other all-Bathurst entry in Sunday’s race of Kyle and Blake Aubin was affected by an unfortunate mechanical drama after a promising start.
Kyle Aubin had taken their Renault Megane to first in Class C before disaster struck during a safety car period 90 minutes into the race.
“I thought something didn’t feel right. Then the steering wheel started wobbling everywhere and I was just hoping that it wouldn’t fall off completely,” Kyle Aubin said.
“The team wanted to know if I could stay out there for another lap but I didn’t want to end up in the wall so I brought it in.
“We did a full stop but then an overflow valve in the tank leaked, which lost us another lap, and then we had to wait for that to drain before we brought the car back into the garage.”
The team were stuck in pit lane for 18 and a half minutes before they got back on track.
Aubin Brothers Racing finished the race in 38th overall and fifth in their class, eight laps behind winners Luke Searle and Paul Morris.
“We had some of the fastest times in our class all day, outside of [Super2 driver] Todd Hazelwood,” Kyle Aubin said.
“It was just a case of ‘what could have been’ for us.”
Bathurst’s Matt Windsor took part in the #47 Honda Integra Type R entry alongside David Baker.
Windsor and Baker finished 40th overall and seventh in Class D.