It was a record-breaking weekend for Jude Bargwanna in the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series after walking away with three race wins and the lap record at the Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton.
After going fastest in both practice sessions on Friday, Bargwanna put himself in pole position for the first of three races after storming to a lap record 1:23.091 in qualifying.
A fast start to race one then ensured a comfortable win, but after falling to fourth at the start of race two, Bargwanna was forced to make his way through the pack to eventually take another victory.
The third race win of the weekend ensured the grand slam for the rookie driver, who further extended his series lead to a comfortable 35 points.
Despite clean-sweeping the round, Bargwanna and the Anderson Motorsports team were fronted with some unexpected challenges throughout the weekend – including the fact that the team made a last-minute decision to run on only a single set of tyres.
Acknowledging the pace advantage they had over the likes of their closest competitors in Notlaw Racing’s Jamie Tilley and MoComm Motorsports Comms Jim Pollicina, the team decided to save a set of tyres for the Queensland Raceway.
Whilst the challenge proved difficult throughout the back end of the weekend, the 18-year-old saw it as a learning opportunity.
“Using the one set of tyres helped me learn how to manage it across an entire weekend,” Bargwanna said.
“All those little things that will help me throughout my career, it was tough in the last race, but I got it done.
“Any day in these supercars is a good day, to learn all the little things about them and have to endure the unexpected problems we had is always great.”
Another challenge then came about in the opening race of the weekend, when a fuel pressure issue only allowed for 80% throttle pressure throughout the entirety of the race.
While the issue didn’t stop the New South Welshman from winning in dominant fashion, it didn’t allow him to beat the in-race lap record – one of the team’s top priority goals for the weekend.
“While the goal was to win the round, the lap record was also something we were after and we were unable to get that due to a fuel pressure problem in the first race,” Bargwanna explained.
“It was hard to stay focused when you knew you had to back off at least 20%, but it was a good experience for me.
“I was able to make a few mistakes without it hurting us too much and I could regain my focus and keep going.”
The attention now turns to the fifth round of the Shannons SpeedSeries at the Queensland Raceway in August, a circuit where the series leader has never competed before.
“The mindset going into Queensland with potentially more cars doesn’t change, I’m a racer and I’m always there to win and so is the team,” Bargwanna stated.
“It’s a long break, I am hoping to have some test days at Queensland Raceway because I have never actually driven there before, so it would be great to get up there.”
The next round of the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series will take place at the Queensland Raceway as part of the fifth round of the Shannons SpeedSeries on 11-13 August.