View Full Version : Drama at Sydney Supersprint

23-08-17, 12:35 PM

It was Jamie Whincup’s weekend as he secures a podium and a win for HRT Red Bull, while Shane Van Gisbergen’s bold move in Race 17 paid no dividends, and slides him down to 4th position in the overall championship.

Race 17 on Saturday was seemingly a tyre strategy driven race, until Todd Kelly’s rear left tyre exploded and the safety car came out at the halfway mark. At the restart, Shane Van Gisbergen caught Scott McLaughlin napping in his Ford, outmuscling him down the straight and into turn 1. However Holden’s leading position was short lived, as they made contact on Turn 2, and Scott spun van Gisbergen out and dropped him to the back of the pack.

Photo by J_Hui Design/Photography

Fabian Coulthard made the most of the mess and seized the lead, followed by McLaughlin and Mostert, charging up from 7th position to 3rd. Whincup and David Reynolds suffered front end damage during the incident, but Whincup managed to hang on to 4th place for the rest of race, resulting in a podium after the race marshals imposed a 15sec penalty on McLaughlin for the earlier incident.

However, an investigation after the race saw a further 18 second penalty imposed on McLaughlin, as it was deemed ‘purposeful’ based on his opened throttle position when compared to other drivers at Turn 2. Van Gisbergen also received a 33 second penalty, as he was judged to have passed McLaughlin before the green flags were out. This dropped McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen to 21st and 23rd position, respectively.


Jamie Whincup took Race 18’s win, his 106th ATCC/Supercars’ career win and further cementing his position as a top touring car driver. Shane van Gisbergen managed to secure 3rd place after a thrilling battle between Mostert, McLaughlin, and Couthard. The promised pit stop battles of Saturday were realized as fuel and tyres played big roles in determining the top 5. First, Mostert stormed into 1st place despite another pole position by McLaughlin, who dropped to fifth as Van Gisbergen, Whincup and Coulthard took advantage of his poor start.

Unable to get pass Coulthard, McLaughlin pitted for fuel on the 9th lap, and soon everyone jumped back into the pits, thanks to a Safety Car lap triggered by Rick Kelly’s blown tyre. The order was immediately scrambled at the top, due to differing fuel loads. Whincup led Mostert, McLaughlin, van Gisbergen and Coulthard, and he galloped away thanks to a lighter fuel load than the rest.

Van Gisbergen overtooked McLaughlin before they both pitted, and the rest of fore runners saw this opportunity to fuel up and get on some fresh tyres. Whincup pitted 2 laps later and nearly lost his place to Van Gisbergen, but ran wide at turn 2 and lost his position nonetheless.


Once up to speed again, Van Gisbergen was getting swarmed by his own teammate. Coulthard and Mostert was soon snapping at the heels of the top three after their pit stops with fresher tyres. With the championship leaderboard in mind, Van Gisbergen let Whincup through and fended off the challengers from behind. Coulthard eventually passed Van Gisbergen and McLaughlin, who then resumed their battle from yesterday, with Van Gisbergen coming out on top. Mostert brought up the top 5, not being able to find a way through the pack.

Whincup’s victory meant that he’s now only 12 points behind McLaughlin on the championship board, compared to 129 points before the weekend’s races.

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