ALBURY V8 driver Matt Chahda returned from his first foray in the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Cars Series last weekend with a mixed bag.
Held at Mallala in South Australia, Ryan Simpson dominated the event and set a lap record for the class in his comprehensive overall weekend performance, but had luck gone his way, Chahda could have upset Simpson’s applecart.
Starting second on the grid, Chahda led the field for several laps before a loose wheel pushed him back through the field and eventually into retirement.
His last to third drive in race two and sixth to third in race three earned him the Hard Charger Trophy, which was struck on the day especially for Chahda and his Falcon.
Simpson, who headed home Justin Ruggier in each race on Sunday, heads to the second round of the series at Winton next month with a 20-point lead.
South Australian veteran Chris Smerdon finished third overall in his return to the category, with Chahda clinching fourth for the weekend — a personal best result.