George Elliot looked a broken man.
It was early in the weekend at Queensland Raceway and try as he might the seasoned wheel twister just couldn’t get his Vittoria Coffee VE Holden to turn corners effectively.
“I’m driving the wheels off this thing just to get it into a corner,” he grimaced, “the rest of the corner I’ll worry about later but for now it’s too hard just to get in the corner effectively. I’m a bullet in a straight line, but I give all the advantage back in the corners.”
Elliot had exhausted many of the options that may be responsible, until it was suggested they look closely at the shock absorber situation.
After all, Gary “Chuckie” Baxter had been struggling to overcome a similar situation at Eastern Creek in Round Two and an investigation and subsequent replacement of the ‘shockies’ had resulted in a dramatically different handling car for the South Aussie thereafter.
Much to everyone’s relief, none more so than George himself, the crew revealed a bent right front shock on the Vittoria Coffee VE.
“This would have been having a huge impact on the car’s handling,” said the crewmember as he held up the responsible component.
Elliot looked for a moment like Superman confronted with a kryptonite sandwich.
It did make an almost immediate difference to the Vittoria Coffee’s turning capabilities too and Elliot was soon screaming through the pack to make up several positions.
For his efforts, a now smiling Sydneysider was handed a $500 cheque for being the SS Inductions Hard Charger on the weekend.
The result of passing 14 cars in one race.
“Normally they want to fine me $10,000 and take my licence from me for driving like that,” grinned Elliot at the presentation, “this makes a nice change.”
The result was a huge relief, no doubt.
“I was beginning to think I was going out of my mind,” he recalled later, “the damn thing just didn’t want to turn. The bent shock made an enormous difference. I guess it was probably a remnant from the Barbagallo crash.”
George can now attack this weekend’s round of the 2008 Yokohama Australian V8 Ute Series with renewed vigour as he wields the Vittoria Coffee mobile espresso machine around Winton –a circuit he knows pretty well.
“We tested the rebuilt car at Winton a few weeks ago so we have a bit of recent data there to work with. I’m looking forward to it.”
More on George Elliot’s progress at Winton soon…