A broken alternator belt has robbed Troy Bayliss of a start in the L&H 500 at Phillip Island today with the three-time World Superbike Champion now set to make his V8 Supercar endurance race debut at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Bayliss, who last month was enlisted to race alongside Dean Fiore in a Paul Morris Motorsports prepared Commodore, did not even get the chance to step inside the Kitten Car Care Products sponsored V8 Supercar after it stopped during the pre-race sighting lap with Fiore behind the wheel.
While disappointed with the outcome, Bayliss remained philosophical and said his first V8 Supercar race meeting as a competitor provided him the opportunity to learn more about the competitive motor racing category since making the successful transition from two to four wheels.
“I guess the whole weekend was a bit of a learning process and even up until the start of today’s race, I felt like I was progressing well,” Bayliss said, “We were taking a lot of good steps leading up to the race and even during the warm up when I went out with a full fuel load I was doing some good lap times.”
“Dean [Fiore] went out on the sighting lap for the race when the car suddenly stopped and we were unable to compete in the race. It was a shame, I felt like I would have learnt a lot throughout the race and the whole deal with me competing this weekend was to get some miles under my belt before Bathurst.”
Despite missing out on the main 500 kilometre race today, Bayliss still took to the grid for his first ever V8 Supercar race yesterday and was 29th at the end of the 14 lap sprint race for co-drivers.
“Yesterday’s race had been a long time coming, not only for myself but also for Dean [Fiore] and it was a relief to finally be on the grid,” said Bayliss who is the current World Superbike Champion.
“I did get caught up in a bit of a bingle when somebody speared off, hitting me and the car took quite a heavy hit in the side. With it being my first actual race I did learn a lot, especially during the pit stop and also having a lot of the main championship contenders coming through the pack.”
The SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will take place at the iconic Mount Panorama circuit from October 8 – 11, 2009.