Andre Simon is reflecting on the positives following his DNF in the second South Island Endurance Series round at Timaru.
Simon led the Class A and B one-hour race in his SR20-powered Toyota 86 before peeling off the road on lap two.
The lower ball joint on one of his wheels broke.
“The wheel was no longer part of the journey,” Simon told Velocity News.
“Frustrating, I guess you could say. But I have been in motorsport long enough to know this kind of stuff happens. It is what it is.
“Pretty lucky it didn’t happen at 200 km/hr or else it could have been much worse.”
The part will be replaced by a new component, which Simon says should make the suspension stronger than before.
But despite the early retirement, Simon is still pleased with his pace during his first visit to the Levels circuit.
Before the weekend, his only experience of the track was virtually via his home simulator.
“I’m stoked,” he said. “We were faster than I expected.
“Obviously you don’t know how the race would’ve been.
“But couldn’t have asked for much more from our first visit to the track.”
Simon qualified second, only 0.017s behind pole position but made a slight mistake on his lap, which cost him a couple of tenths.
“Maybe could have got a high 1.03 [in qualifying].
‘On paper, Timaru was probably the circuit that suited our car the least.
“To be competitive there was impressive. We should be good at Teretonga with the long straight.”
Between his win in round one and last weekend, Simon and his team had also made some changes to unlock more performance.
“The team has been working hard with pit strategy, and we’ve made up some time there.
“We’ve also made some improvements to the car to improve some mechanical grip. From the driver’s seat it definitely seems we have made a real shift forward.”
Simon’s DNF hasn’t done much for his championship challenge, but that’s not why he is racing this season.
“We didn’t come into the year looking for an overall win.
“We just wanted to finish as best we can and see where we are.”
The third endurance series round is on Sunday, October 24.
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