HIS weekend ended in disappointing fashion as he was forced to withdraw from Sunday’s racing, but what Bathurst driver Michael Anderson did before that at Sydney Motorsport Park was full of promise.
Competing in the third round of the Kuhmo Australian V8 Touring Car Series, Anderson showed good pace in Friday practice and Saturday qualifying.
He then placed fourth in Saturday’s 10-lap race – the first of three for the round – and had been running second after making a brilliant start in his Kenwood Homes Ford Falcon.
“On the Friday, the car was the quickest it’s ever been there, we were under record time, they are the sort of times we were doing. The car set up was really good,” Anderson said.
“Saturday morning it was wet, we qualified sixth, but there were a few red flags that sort of hampered our lap times. We’d be on a good lap and it would be red flagged, there were cars going off here and there sort of thing.
“In the race I ended up getting a blinder of a start and jumped up to second. I was second for a majority of the race until the bloke coming third just gave me a little tap into turn two, which sent me a little bit wide and two cars went through.”
The result was good enough to have Anderson sitting just five points outside the overall top five in the series. It gave him hope of further climbing with a pair of 10-lap races to come on Sunday.
Anderson was strapped in to the drivers’ seat and ready to go when his team noticed a funny sound coming from the engine. Unable to diagnose the exact issue, he erred on the side of caution and withdrew.
“Come Sunday morning we had the warmers on the car and were warming everything up and we were hearing a noise that’s never been there before,” he said.
“It wasn’t a major noise, the car was still running and all the data was working and all the figures looked right, but there was just something that didn’t sound right.
“Any noise in these sort of engines, you want to take precautions. I thought we still would have been on for a podium for the weekend … but I thought it was best to show caution than potentially go out and blow the engine, which would put us right back to square one.
“It’s not going to be anything major, so we could have run it on Sunday and not have anything major go wrong, but if the noise is being caused by what we think it is, it could have gone bad and stuffed up my whole motor.
“But the times were good, the car was good and we were on for our best weekend.”
Even without racing on Sunday, Anderson finished the third round sitting in seventh place. Talented Dubbo teenager Tyler Everingham leads the standings with two rounds remaining.