Mark Laucke is one of the most relieved drivers in the Australian Prototype Series (APS) after finally finding a solution to ongoing car issues that have been haunting him all season.
After finishing eighth in the opening round at The Bend Motorsport Park and third during the second round at Sandown, Laucke’s car has been unable to replicate the same form that won him the 2017 series.
With the issue also continuing from last year’s final two rounds, the problem was finally identified as a faulty electronic igniter, which was continuing to break down towards the end of race meetings.
For Laucke, while he would always start strong, the fall away by the end of each meeting was a challenging experience.
“We couldn’t track the issue down at the start because we couldn’t see it in any of our data analytics,” Lauke said.
“At Sandown, I had real problems so I just had to keep the car going and it sounded very bad, I didn’t think I was harming anything, I just wanted to finish and preserve some points.
“Essentially we ruled out lack of fore pressure, ruled out fuel blocks out filters, until we finally figured out that it was the igniter. As it was getting hot, it was breaking down.
“It’s been somewhat frustrating but then again that is what happens in race cars. All race cars are constantly under a large amount of stress.”
Under the maintenance of Aaron Steer, the car has undergone significant numerous tests now the issue is fixed, which according to Laucke is showing positive results.
With the third round of the APS to take place at the upcoming Shannons Nationals, Laucke is currently fourth in the standings, with the engine fix coming at a good time.
“It ran very smoothly during testing and although that doesn’t mean it’s fixed completely, it’s a really good sign,” Laucke said.
“I might finally have an uninterrupted race at Queensland so I am really looking forward to it.
“With the issue sorted, I think I have more of a chance against the better cars and potentially to get in front of them.
“Queensland Raceway is similar to Sandown, where my car showed positive signs despite having issues.
“I don’t think I will be midpack, I think I will be in the pointy end – I am hoping that anyway, if I’m not, then it’s probably my fault.
Despite his engine situation now no longer holding him back and allowing Laucke may push for strong results, he remains realistic about the potential to win the series.
“I don’t think I can win this year,” Laucke explained.
“There are other cars in the group better and faster than mine. My car is the best I can develop it to now, but they have more potential.
“I am hoping for whatever I can get.”
The Australian Protoype Series kick off with a qualifying session on the Saturday morning before the first 20-minute race later in the day, with the final two races taking place on Sunday.
The Shannons Nationals takes places at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich on 27-29 July, with live coverage of Sunday’s session once again to be available for viewing via motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au.