HE did the fastest lap of any driver in the Combined Sedans category on the weekend, but Brad Shiels knows he could have had a whole lot more to celebrate at Mount Panorama.
The Bathurst driver endured a frustrating time in the Bathurst 12 Hour support category as a 21st, 10th and DNF across the three races failed to reflect his real potential.
He led race one until a mechanical issue halted his run, he climbed 10 spots in one lap in race two but then was stifled by a yellow flag, and in race three Shiels was running third in the Fiat 124 Coupe and on lap for a lap record when more bad luck struck.
A tyre popped off the rim as he entered the braking zone at The Chase.
"I don't think it [tyre] actually blew, it just popped off the rim. I think the valve actually broke off and then the tyre went flat and popped off," he said.
"There was no warning, it was instant, as soon as I hit the brakes it let go on me and I was fighting it.
"Lucky I kept it straight, but it was so frustrating."
Prior to that incident Shiels had clocked a 2:11.8438 lap, only marginally outside his best effort of 2:11.1965 in race two.
He was on track to go even faster - Shiels was not only eyeing off fastest lap of the meeting honours, but a Mount Panorama category record.
"That lap that the tyre let go, it was probably on for two seconds faster. I was aiming for the lap record and we would've had it if I made two more corners," he said.
"It was so fast, we were pulling in Jack Le Brocq [race winner] by one or two seconds a lap the guys were saying, so it was good."
Despite his frustrating run, Shiels did enjoy the chance to race at his home circuit for the second time this year.
"Yeah I love it, any time I get to drive here is awesome and I get to drive here four times this year," he said.
"There was Easter, then this, then October with the Porsche during the Bathurst 1000 then the Bathurst International in TCR."
Fellow Bathurst driver Stuart Inwood had better luck than Shiels as he finished the Combined Sedans round with a class win.
He backed up his third placing in Friday's opening race with a fourth and third on Saturday in his Corvette C5.
It sees him leading his class in the overall series as well.
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