Hazelwood "cheesed off" with driving standards

  • Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 04/08/2015
  • By Words: V8 Supercars - Image: Supplied

Todd Hazelwood has voiced his disappointment in his competitors' driving standards at the Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint, after the iSeek Communications pilot was hung out to dry during Sunday's two races.

The 19-year-old had a strong showing on Saturday - finishing where he qualified in sixth - but his chances at improving his results on Sunday were squashed when he was first pipped in race two.

The pilot of the #35 Matt Stone Racing Falcon started Sunday's first 19-lapper in sixth, making his way up to fourth by lap six after capitalising on the battle unfolding in front of him between Paul Dumbrell and Chris Pither.

But his luck soon ran out when he was shuffled back to seventh after contact with the battling cars in the closing laps of the race.

None

Amid his bad luck on Sunday, he was thrown a lifeline for the final race, starting third on the grid after a number of the front running cars were penalised for accelerating before the green flag during the safety car restart in the previous race.

He had fallen to fourth place by lap three, but his shot at a top four finish was again snatched away when he was pushed off the track by Jack Le Brocq at turn five, coming home in ninth place.

The 2015 Mike Kable Young Gun awardee was displeased with the antics across the day's racing, which saw the promising racer close his assault of Queensland Raceway eighth for the round.

"I think there's a bit of poor driving standards in the last two races that I'm pretty unhappy about, to be honest," he told v8supercars.com.au.

"It's happened two races in a row now and I haven't received an apology for any of it, so I'm a bit cheesed off to say the least.

"I'm more disappointed because I felt like I left good racing room. It's not like I pushed anyone off the track and got a returning serve, I left racing room to have a good clean pass if they wanted to and I still got hit and got pushed off the track and we lost a number of spots because of that.

"These things do happen and we'll live to fight another day, but it's frustrating, there's no other word for it."

Despite the torrid end to his weekend, the ever-positive Hazelwood believes the MSR crew made some valuable gains at Queensland Raceway - particularly with his qualifying pace - as they fight their way further up the field in the competitive category.

"I think we showed a lot of promising signs... we've definitely closed the deficit to second, we were a tenth off second place [in qualifying this weekend]," he said.

"In Townsville we were two and a half tenths off, now we're at a tenth, so we're getting there - it's just so close at the moment, you only have to be a tenth off and you'll loose three positions on the grid.

"We're taking baby steps. We're keeping to our procedure and it's working really well for us, so now it's just a matter of keeping it going and trying to not loose our mojo so we continue to move in the right direction."

After the disappointing round at Queensland Raceway, Hazelwood remains fifth in the series standings - 128 points adrift of Pither in fourth.

But he's optimistic of improving his placing at the next round of the Dunlop Series at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, October 8-11, with a test-day scheduled before the showcase 200 kilometre, 300 point race.

"That's going to be crucial," Hazelwood said of the upcoming test.

"It's a long race at Bathurst with pit stops thrown into the mix also, which always adds an interesting aspect to our racing.

"We'll be making sure we get on top of all of that before the race, and we're really looking forward to it.

"A long race at Bathurst with pit stops which always add an interesting aspect to our racing. We'll make sure we get on top of all of them and we're looking forward to it, we had a strong result there last year so we'll be putting all our focus into that to keep moving forward."

Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter