Tony D'Alberto has finished a mixed Sucrogen Townsville 400 with a solid 14th place finish at the popular street circuit today.
The #3 Team HIFLEX Ford Falcon FG driver finished 18th and 14th in the two races over the two races, which unfortunately didn't truly reflect the car's outright pace.
D'Alberto was lightening fast in both qualifying sessions, placing fifth and 11th for the races. His fifth place on Saturday equaled his career best.
The Victorian looked set for a top 10 finish on Saturday until being the innocent victim in a crash after Jason Bright had brake problems in his Commodore VE. Bright's car slammed into the back of Michael Caruso, which propelled Caruso in D'Alberto.
The Team HIFLEX Ford fought its way back up to near the top 10, only to fade late in the race with diminishing tyre grip and a rear sway bar linkage failure.
Sunday's race started competitively for D'Alberto, who ran comfortably with the leaders. His second stint was compromised again by severe tyre wear, but found life easier in his final two stills, advancing from below 20th to eventually take 14th.
The next event of the V8 Supercars Championship will be held at Queensland Raceway on August 3-5.
TONY D'ALBERTO (team driver)
"The races didn't go to plan, but there are some encouraging signs,"
"Saturday could have been a better result, but the incident really cost us. It was great to qualify fifth, but we're here for the result at the end of the race and we were a victim of someone else's accident.
"Today, the tyre wear was immense. The car faded so badly in the second stint that I couldn't run with the leaders. It felt good in the first race, but not in the second.
"It was good to picking up those places in the last two stints.
"Overall, it's was not a brilliant, but it's better than average."
AL D'ALBERTO (team owner)
"I thought it was a good weekend,"
"Obviously we had some pretty serious tyre issues at different points of the weekend. That will be one of a number of things we'll go back at look at, but there's certainly some really encouraging signs.
"Again, the team did a great job and we're looking forward to the next half of the year."