Andre Borell and Master Electricians Racing suffered a cruel twist of fate at Darwins Hidden Valley Circuit at the weekend, which cost the team an almost certain haul of points.

Friday practice went to plan, with the team and driver both learning the circuit and testing different suspension settings in the two sessions. Qualifying also began well on Saturday, with Borell putting in an impressive 1:13.179 on only his second flying lap, just over a second off Formula Ford veteran Nick Percat’s pole time. As the tyres began to fade in the stress of the Northern Territory heat, Andre came in to pit lane to discuss the situation with his engineer. A split second decision led Andre to go out and try for one more quicklap; a decision the team would live to regret. “On my out lap I was chasing down the car in front to get a good slipsteam off them for the start of my hot lap. At Turn 10 I lost the rear big time, unfortunately there’s no run-off there and I hit the wall. It was a driving error, I could tell you the tyres were not up to temp or the cars alignment was a bit out from hitting a curb, but at the end of the day it was still my fault” said Borell.

The situation that followed illustrated the highest of high’s and the lowest of low’s that only come from motorsport. Amazingly the car came back to the garage with no visible damage. Everyone in pit-lane was sure the 160kph impact would have destroyed the right hand side of the car, but there was nothing to be seen. “We were stoked, it was the escape of the century! What we didn’t know is that something must have been damaged in the electrical system by the 10G deceleration, which brought on a misfire in Race 1. That was the story of the rest of the weekend, we just couldn’t find it and couldn’t fix it” said Andre.

Race 1 saw Andre get the start of the year to go from 13th to 7th by Turn 1. “That was the perfect getaway, unfortunately that misfire reared it’s head later on that lap and I was already back down to 13th by the end of the first lap, eventually it meant finishing in a lowly 15th”.

Race 2 and 3 on Sunday saw the misfire worsen, despite the team putting in an all night effort to replace almost the entire electrical and fueling system on the car. “I think we got about 3 hours sleep. Going out for Race 2 in the morning and having it miss again was the most heart-breaking feeling. We need to get the car on a dyno and find what the problem was, not just fix it, but pin-point it. Then we need to get some testing under the belt and hopefully finally realise our potential at Sandown. We’re a team, we’re togther on bad weekends like this, and one day we’ll win together” explained a disheartened but not broken Borell.

Master Electricians Racing and Andre Borell would like to thank all the other teams and category officials who offered their support and assistance in trying to find the problem.

Andre Borell is supported by Master Electricians, Extreme Safety, simPRO, PM Lubricants and X-treme Racing. For more information please visit www.andreborellmotorsport.com.au