Lucas Dumbrell says that high fuel consumption caused by a cracked header cost his minnow outfit its maiden V8 Supercars podium on Sunday at Surfers Paradise.
Nick Percat pitted the team’s #222 Holden from the lead with just five laps remaining for a splash of fuel, eventually finishing 15th.
Percat had earlier rejoined from the Safety Car induced pitstop cycle on lap 54 in 11th place before slowly rising to the front as others dived in for more fuel.
“It’s really frustrating,” Dumbrell told Speedcafe.com of the result.
“Really early in the race the header just cracked clean off at the block and it destroyed our fuel consumption.
“We would have had to save a bit like JC (winner James Courtney) did, but it was only a lap or so that we would have needed, which we could have easily saved if not for that problem.
“We wouldn’t have won it but we would definitely have been on the podium.”
Rick Kelly’s Nissan was the only car to make it all the way from lap 54 to the end without an extra stop, eventually finishing second.
Adding to the pain for Percat was the fact that the South Australian was battling extreme temperatures inside the car.
“He was struggling to see straight at the end because his cool suit had failed and his helmet fan came off and he couldn’t reach it,” Dumbrell said. “He was being cooked for 60 or so laps.”
The near miss followed a strong sixth place finish on Saturday, which brought joy to an otherwise miserable Pirtek Enduro Cup campaign for Percat and co-driving import Oliver Gavin.
LDM’s second entry of Tim Blanchard/Karl Reindler also saw a result go begging on Sunday as its window net needed repeat attention.
Black-flagged to fix the issue early in the going, following Courtney’s strategy of a fuel top-up before the Safety Car restart left Blanchard on course for a top 10 finish.
A reoccurrence of the window net issue saw Blanchard slow and then eventually pit before rejoining to finish a lap down in third.
“When the (window net) bolt broke initially, we cable-tied it and then they (V8 Supercars) weren’t happy, so we had to put another bolt through it,” Dumbrell explained of the net.
“Then for whatever reason it came off again. It was a shame because Tim and Karl deserved a lot more than they got as well.
“That’s just racing though. Results are easier to lose than they are to get. But overall the weekend was a positive sign of the potential that the team has.”