Strong SCOPS Debut for JSH, Heartbreak for Sam
The V8 SCOPS Premier Series made its way to Watkins Glen International for the next round of the series. With brothers Dayne Warren and Ethan Warren out for the week and karting in Gippsland (more on that later), this left Altus to be represented by new recruit Jackson Souslin Harlow and Sam Blacklock to fly the flag.
Race 1 would be a case of two tales, with the pair sitting alongside on the grid just outside the top 10 however Sam was just tagged and caught out in a major crash heading up the hill for the first time. It's been a dreadful run of luck for Sam who has been caught out in many incidents this season, several of them as the innocent bystander.
For JSH however, he would escape the accident unharmed and have a very strong race indeed, expertly slicing through the field and with a solid strategy, was able to hold onto 8th place with last year's race winner Jake Burton hot on his heels at the line.
Race 2 was as though the fortunes were reversed. JSH was caught out on a first lap incident which would drop him to last place and a slightly damaged car, whereas Sam would have a clean run, opting for a major overcutting strategy with a short run on new tyres to finish the race on. Both drivers did an excellent job of keeping pace and moving up the order, and after Sam's stop after leading for several laps, he would come out in 10th place and on fresh tyres. The pursuit of those in front of him would commence however a similar strategy was employed by a pair of fast ERT cars. Unfortunately for Sam, he was the innocent party in not one but two small incidents that had big consequences, spearing Sam into the inside wall with one lap to go. Both parties received penalties, however was little consolation for Sam, a Top 10 ended in DNF. For Jackson, he was able to drag his wounded Falcon from last place to 20th place in an excellent comeback under trying circumstances.