V8 Supercars | Cool Calm & Collected Davidson Wins The Day

2015 V8 Supercars Championship | Third Round – Perth Super Sprint

Article and Images by Rhys Vandersyde

Another sensational day in Perth greeted fans for the final V8 Supercars race at Barbagallo Raceway. With the longer race today and the option of running the faster soft tyre, strategy and tyre management would be key to a good result today.

During the morning’s True Colour Track Walk with Shane Van Gisbergen (TEKNO Autosports) said “The team and I decided to sacrifice yesterday afternoon’s race by using the one set of tyres.”

“This gives us an extra set of new tyres for the longer race today” Van Gisbergen continued.”

Qualifying for Race 9

It was action a plenty in the 20 minute qualifying session that would set the grid for Race 9 of the championship.

Within the first two minutes of the session, Walkinshaw Racing’s Lee Holdsworth at turn six parked his car on its passenger side doors after a rather gentle roll over in the sand. This caused the first red flag of the session and ending Holdsworth’s qualifying without setting a lap time.

The session resumed shortly after but Holdsworth wasn’t alone when Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard also found the sand at turn six causing another red flag which pushed him to the back of the grid.

In a repeat of yesterday’s performance, Mostert and Winterbottom (Ford Pepsi Max Crew) proved too fast.

Mostert took his second pole of the weekend with lap of 57.13 seconds to edge out Winterbottom with a time of 57.28. Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team) was also extremely fast posting a time of a 57.32 which was only good enough for third place on the grid.

Race 9

With the sun shining down, the cars took their place on the grid for the ninth race of the V8 Supercars Championship. The Pepsi Max pair elected to use their soft tyres at the start of the race to edge out an early lead.

Mark Winterbottom again got the best the start trumping his younger teammate and relegating him to second place. Prodrive Racing Australia’s stable mate David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing) also had an excellent start launching his way into third.

Electing to run a three stop strategy, Winterbottom and Mostert pitted early to offload their soft tyres and switch to the harder compound. A number of drivers including Holden’s Garth Tander decided to stay out longer to bridge the early lead of the Fords.

In a qualifying copycat manoeuvre, Ash Walsh (Erebus Motorsport) on lap 47 had also fallen victim to the sand trap at turn six which signalled the safety car.

With the safety car picking up the lead group of cars, pit lane turned into complete chaos as teams scrambled for the final tyre stop. Teams that chose to run hard tyres at the start of the race were now in prime position to gain track position with the faster soft tyres.

The Pepsi Max Crew elected to recycle their used soft tyres which inevitably spelled disaster. Craig Lowndes used this news as motivation to push out into the lead once the safety car drove back into the pits.

However Erebus Motorsport’s Will Davison wasn’t going to allow Lowndes to notch up his 100th victory, pushing past Lowndes to take the lead with five laps to go.

Images by Rhys Vandersyde

In a tense and nail-biting battle to the end, Will Davidson held out Lowndes to claim his first victory for Mercedes AMG and Erebus Motorsport.

Lowndes will fight again for his 100th win crossing the line in second place with Fabian Coulthard (Freightliner Racing) having one of the best race of his V8 Supercars career to finish third after starting from the last row of the grid.

A bitterly disappointed Mostert was the best of the Ford’s holding on with well used soft tyres to finish fourth. Moffat was the best of the Nissan’s in seventh with Volvo continuing to struggle with McLaughlin only able to salvage 18th place.

Post-Race Press Conference

It was all smiles for Will Davidson in the post-race press conference, he said “Our strategy was simple, the team elected to use the hard tyres early hoping for a late safety car, before jumping to the soft tyres”

“The race played out perfectly, it was just one of those perfect races” Davidson added.

Championship

At the end of the weekend, Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia) has emerged the championship leader with 717 points. A solid points hauls by James Courtney (Holden Racing Team) and Mark Winterbottom (Pepsi Max Crew) has moved them up to second and third respectively.

Join us again for the next V8 Supercars event, Winton Supersprint in Victoria from the 15th – 17th May, 2015.

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For details on the V8 Supercars Championship, click > www.v8supercars.com.au

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