2015 V8 Supercars Championship | Gold Coast 600
Article and Images by Rhys Vandersyde
V8 Supercars | Castrol Gold Coast 600 – Sunday
With clouds threatening to ruin the V8 Supercars party on Saturday, today the Gold Coast turned on its best weather for the final race of the Pirtek Enduro Cup, a 300km sprint and the last race of 2015 to feature co-drivers.
Scott McLaughlin (No 33. Wilson Security Racing) made the most of the 20 minute qualifying session that would determine the grid for Race 27. McLaughlin with a stunning lap put his Volvo S60 on pole position with a time of 1:10.7628. Craig Lowndes (No. 888 Red Bull Racing Australia) was fast enough to line up alongside on the front row for Holden.
Yesterday’s winner Shane Van Gisbergen (No. 97 Team Darrell Lea) and Jamie Whincup (No. 1 Red Bull Racing Australia) make up the second row of the grid.
Pirtek Enduro Cup contenders, Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen (No. 5 Pepsi Max Crew) and Garth Tander/Warren Luff (No. 2 Holden Racing Team) for HRT started the race from fifth and seventh respectively.
Steven Richards (No. 888 Red Bull Racing Australia) launched into an early lead with Frenchman Alex Premat (No. 33 Wilson Security Racing) slotting into second place before the first chicane.
By Lap 6 the Safety Car was called into action would be called upon after Chris Pither in his Volvo (No. 33 Wilson Security Racing) ended up stranded on the circuit after he made contact with the No. 111 SuperBlack Racing car of Ant Pederson and then the wall. The No. 111 car would receive a penalty for their part in the incident while the Pither’s Volvo retired.
Another 48 laps would pass before the second Safety Car would be called upon to allow marshals to clean up debris on the circuit. Most of the field would dive into pit lane to fill up on fuel, but they still wouldn’t have enough to make it to the end on the race.
When the race resumed it was Craig Lowndes (No. 888 Red Bull Racing Australia) in the lead, over Scott McLaughlin (No. 33 Wilson Security Racing) and Shane Van Gisbergen (No. 97 Team Darrell Lea).
Strategy played a key part in the final result of the race with a number of teams not stopping under the safety car but fuelling inside the fuel window to make it to the end of the race.
Images by Rhys Vandersyde
James Courtney and Rick Kelly would be the big benefactors by not having to stop for a splash of fuel in closing laps.
James Courtney and Jack Perkins (No. 22 Holden Racing Team) would hang on to take the win over the Nissan of Rick Kelly and David Russell (No. 15 Jack Daniels Racing).
Garth Tander and Warren Luff (No. 2 Holden Racing Team) made the most of a quick and early call to splash fuel in the car to make it to third, while others stopped later in the race.
At the post-race press conference Courtney confirmed how happy he was with Perkins “Jack’s done a great job filling in for me, he’s really stepped up … we need him back next year and we need him to do this every year.”
Pirtek Enduro Cup
Third place in the final race of the Gold Coast 600 was enough for Garth Tander and Warren Luff to take out the Pirtek Enduro Cup for the Holden Racing Team.
A successful weekend for Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia) on the Gold Coast has helped him close the gap to championship leader Mark Winterbottom (Pepsi Max Crew) to just 258 points.
David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing) and Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team) also closed the gap to Winterbottom with consistent results on the Gold Coast.
The V8 Supercars Championship continues in two weeks time in Auckland, New Zealand 6th – 8th November, 2015
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