2015 V8 Supercars Championship | ITM 500 Auckland
Article and Images by Rhys Vandersyde
V8 Supercars | ITM 500 Auckland Saturday
Another stunning day greeted fans at Auckland’s Pukekohe Raceway for the second day of V8 Supercars action. The day featured two qualifying session with races 28 and 29. Race 28 would be run on the hard Dunlop Tyre while Race 29 would be of the soft.
Qualifying for Race 28
Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Racing Australia) made the most of the first 10 minute qualifying session, locking in the fastest time with a 1:03.3203. David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing) ended session second fastest to line up alongside on the front row.
The second row of the grid for Race 28 will feature Scott Pye (DJR Team Penske) and Shane Van Gisbergen (Team Darrell Lea).
Meanwhile further down the order, Cameron Water (Pepsi Max Crew) made contact with Ash Walsh (Erebus Motorsport) is closing moments of the session. The contact damaged Walsh’s stopping him for setting a lap time in the second qualifying session. Waters received a four place grid penalty for his role in the accident.
Qualifying for Race 29
With teams switching over to the soft Dunlop tyres for second 10 minute qualifying session, David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing) benefited the most by setting the fastest time, a 1:02.4690. Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia) also benefited greatly, jumping up the order to set the second fastest time.
Scott McLaughlin (Wilson Security Racing) and Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Racing Australia – Holden) make up second row of the grid for Race 29.
Race 26 was a short sharp 21 lap hit out in which Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Racing Australia) lead from start to finish. Whincup’s race was almost without issue, just a small excursion off the track that reshuffled the order behind him. Shane Van Gisbergen (Team Darrell Lea) used Whincup’s mistake to sneak past David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing) to claim second for the race. Reynolds ended the race in third.
Behind there was plenty of action with Fabian Coulthard (Freightliner Racing) and Will Davison (Erebus Motorsport) coming together at the hairpin on the opening lap. Coulthard would continue a lap down, while the incident ended Davison’s race.
Scott Pye (DJR Team Penske) and Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia) battled it out battle in the closing laps with Pye having to concede the position to Lowndes after gain advantage straightening the chicane.
Images by Rhys Vandersyde
Jason Bright (Team BOC) ended his race in pit lane after suffering engine issue. Bright also missing the second race of day whilst his team replaced the engine in preparation for Sunday’s race.
Meanwhile championship leader Mark Winterbottom could only managed to finish seventh which resulted in losing more points to major rival Lowndes.
Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia) made the most of his front row start to launch past pole sitter David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing) to take the early lead in the race.
However Lowndes would suffer a catastrophic tyre failure at the midway through the race, throwing his car into the wall before Turn 1. Lowndes would emerge from the crash ok, but the Red Bull Racing Australia crew have a significant repair job to complete overnight.
As a result of Lowndes’s crash Reynolds emerged the leader although he spent most of the race fighting off Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Racing Australia) who took several cracks at stealing the lead in the dying laps.
Reynolds would hang on to cross the line in first place with Whincup taking out second. Local New Zealand hero Scott McLaughlin (Wilson Security Racing) moved his way into third place before the end of the race.
In the post-race press conference, David Reynold’s joked about his championship chances. “I’m not really interesting in taking the No. 1 off to another team.”
V8 Supercars action continues tomorrow with another qualifying session before a 69 lap race featuring both hard and soft Dunlop tyres.
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