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Mixed Fortunes For Fast Forecaster

Australia's fastest weatherman has had a mixed weekend in Adelaide, in the opening round of the 2006 V8 Supercar series.

Grant Denyer, whose #81 Dick Johnson Racing Falcon is sponsored by JAX Tyres, was competing in the first round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar series, in two races which were "support acts" at the Clipsal 500.

After qualifying seventh, the Seven Network weatherman grabbed third place in the first race of 24 laps, keeping his nose clean while many others around him faltered.

But in the second event, a mid-race altercation put paid to his chances of a podium placing for the round.

After a strong but conservative start to the second 24-lap race, Denyer was caught up in a four-car battle for third position.

On lap 11, the Denyer machine was punted into a spin by another Ford driver, while a brake lock-up a few laps later further delayed the Sunrise star. He finally had to be content with 12th on the road and seventh outright for the opening round.

"We had a good strong package so this was frustrating to say the least," Denyer says.

"I was really trying to stay out of all the drama (on the track) because my tyres were good, and I knew we could come forward as the race went on - that was my plan but it didn't work out that way.

"At least we have some points but it is very disappointing when you get taken out (of contention) by someone else."

Still, it was a far better result than this time last year. Denyer was involved in a big crash on the Adelaide street circuit in 2005, during his first race in Supercars. He suffered a broken hand and minor injuries which took a few weeks to recover from, but says his ego was more badly damaged than the rest of him.

Denyer had dashed to Adelaide last week after covering Cyclone Larry in North Queensland, but did not have time to relax before or after his races - he still had to put in several hours of practice off-track for his role in the Seven Network's Dancing With The Stars, in which he is competing.

March 2006