The high pressure challenges resulted in time penalties for several contestants, while Craig Dontas (33) and UK young gun Adrian Campfield (24) kept their cool to emerge as top point scorers for the second week in a row.
Craig and Adrian also scored maximum points for their respective teams, each comprising four rookies headed by Ford Performance Racing’s V8 Supercar drivers Will Davison and 2013 Bathurst 1000 winner Mark Winterbottom.
As the eight contestants move into the second half of the award-winning series, the countdown to the finals is weighing heavily as they focus on the ultimate prize – a testing contract with FPR plus a drive in the Dunlop Series in a Shannons-sponsored V8 Supercar.
In episode five, the V8 rookies’ ability to work quickly and efficiently in pit stops – as both pit crews and race drivers – was put to the test against the clock and under the glare of team captains.
The Tyre Change Challenge required each team to change four wheels on a car, working in pairs to change two wheels each using a simple wheel brace.
Craig’s cross-threading of a wheel nut earned a 10-second penalty for Team Winterbottom while Adrian’s premature delivery of a replacement wheel earned the same penalty for Team Davison.
The extra time had no effect on the outcome though, with Team Davison clear winners.
The Pit Stop Challenge – which carried crucial driver points – required each of the V8 rookies to get behind the wheel of the Shannons Fastrack Racing Challenge Car at Calder Park Raceway to see how they coped with the pressure of driver changes. In V8 Supercars, these can win or lose a race.
Against the stop watch, the V8 rookies had to complete one lap of the course before entering pit lane without speeding or hitting marker cones. They then had to switch off the engine, get out and circle the car before strapping themselves back in, starting the engine and exiting pit lane.
This time their team captains were sitting alongside for the ride, so the immense pressure to beat the clock and impress their mentors led to numerous mistakes.
Dan and Chelsea made a mess of their seat belts, Todd forgot to switch the engine off, Macauley had to close the driver’s door with an out-stretched foot and reckless teenager James frightened team captain Winterbottom with his wild driving and penalties for pit lane speeding and hitting cones.
With one challenge week remaining, Craig’s top score for Team Winterbottom in the Pit Stop Challenge has all but guaranteed him a start in the finals while Adrian’s second win for Team Davison moves the Englishman within striking distance of his team’s top scorer, Tim Macrow.
Don’t miss the next nail-biting episode of the Shannons Supercar Showdown when the four finalists will be decided. Plus there’s the chance to WIN a Ford Falcon XR6 Ute valued at more than $42,000 including 12 months of Shannons insurance. To enter this great competition, log onto: Shannonssupercarshowdown.com.au