NOVOCASTRIAN Motorsport’s Aaren Russell showed plenty of speed in fighting back from the rear of the grid, after a wheel nut failure dented hopes of a strong showing in Round 2 of the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series at Winton.

Russell qualified the Go Karts Go Falcon in 14th place, and made good progress early in Race 1. However, while just outside the Top 10, the right-front wheel nut failed with seven laps remaining.

From Turn 1, Russell limped back to the pits to have a replacement wheel fitted and was eventually classified 28th.

Following Saturday’s disappointment, Russell fought back in Sunday’s second race.

From the rear of the grid, the 22-year-old gained six places on the opening lap, and continued his charge through the field to be 11th by Lap 9. Once there, though, Russell was on the receiving end in two separate incidents and dropped to 14th, where he finished.

The result left Russell 20th for the round, and he leaves Winton 13th in the standings.

The 2014 Dunlop V8 Supercar Series continues at Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia on 16-18 May.

AAREN RUSSELL – GO KARTS GO FALCON

“It was a weekend that could have been a lot better, if not for the wheel nut failure on Saturday. We had good race pace, so it was really frustrating for something so small to have such a big impact on us.

“We’ve had a look at everything and we think it was an instantaneous failure, almost as though the nut has split in two, which is very unusual. We checked the locks that were holding it in place, and they still work, and there wasn’t any damage to the hub.

“Sunday’s race was a good finish to the weekend, but I would’ve liked to have started where we were running on Saturday – just outside the Top 10 – rather than at the back, with the speed we had.

“We had a fast car, especially in clean air, and I got up to 11th pretty quickly. But then I copped a couple of hits and lost three places, while something was bent in the car in the process.

“The race pace we had was really positive, though, so we’re already looking forward to Barbagallo and hopefully a more straightforward weekend.”

Novocastrian Motorsport is proudly supported by Go Karts Go, Hunter Kitchen King, Valvoline, Century Batteries and Steve Koulis Smash Repairs.