V8SC | Ford team mates do battle in Townsville

2015 V8 Supercars Championship | Castrol Edge Townsville 400

Article and Images by Rhys Vandersyde

V8 Supercars – Castrol Edge Townsville 400 Saturday

Another sensational Townsville day greeted teams and fans in Townsville for the second day of V8 Supercars action.

A short practice session in the morning allowed teams to trial changes before the 20 minute qualifying session that would determine the grid for Race 16 of the Championship.

Qualifying

Qualifying had been extended as part of V8 Supercars’ SuperStreet format which allowed teams plenty of time to set a fast time on new rubber.

With only three sets of hard tyres to use across the weekend and another qualifying session tomorrow, most teams elected to two runs at setting a fast time.

Tim Slade encountered starter motor issues during the session in his Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore which left him stranded in pit lane while the rest of the cars were out on track.

The issue was quickly resolved though it left Slade with little chance of improving his time.

Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom at the end of the session had once again locked out the front row for Pepsi Max Crew (Prodrive Racing Australia).

David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing/Prodrive Racing Australia) and Scott McLaughlin (Wilson Security Racing/GRM) kept the Ford duo under pressure and will make up the second row of the grid.

Shane Van Gisbergen was struck with a post qualifying penalty, relegated to the back of the grid for the race. The Tekno Autosport crew wrongly fitted Van Gisbergen’s car with two marked warm up tyre and two new Dunlop tyres during the session.

Race 16

Race 16 would be won on strategy with teams required to complete two pit stops to use both hard and soft Dunlop tyres during the 200 kilometre race and refill with a mandated 120 litres of fuel,

With the race underway, Winterbottom and Mostert made the most of their front row start clearing off to an early lead with Reynolds close behind.

Keen to put on a good show this weekend, Red Bull Racing Australia’s Jamie Whincup made a great start to settle into fourth.

With most of the field starting on the softer tyre, the first pit stops would fall within the first 15 laps of the race to switch the harder compound and leave the softer faster tyres for the sprint to the end of the race.

The race settled into a familiar pattern with the final round of pit stops starting at lap 30 which saw some teams notching up 50 laps on the soft tyre compound.

Race Result

One such driver to push his luck was Mostert who pushed his tyres too hard and fell from a top two finish to eight by the end of the race.

However his Ford team mate Winterbottom managed his tyres perfectly with enough in reserve to fight off Reynolds to take the win and give Ford a first and second finish.

Fabian Coulthard (Freightliner Racing) in his Holden Commodore crossed the line in third by putting together a consistent race with some clever fuel and tyre strategies.

The pace of the S60 Volvo returned for McLaughlin this weekend to be the best of the other manufacturers finishing just behind Coulthard in fourth.

James Moffat (Nissan Motorsport) was the best Nissan Altima’s in eleventh, narrowly beating out the Mercedes of Will Davison (Erebus Motorsport) who finished in twelfth.

Post Race Press Conference

In the post-race press conference Winterbottom confirmed We pushed the limits on the tyres and there was nothing left in the end”.

While Reynolds added that “My car was preforming pretty well, we held on for a 1-2 finish so it’s perfect for the team”.

Race 17 (Sunday)

V8 Supercars action continues with more day of action in Townsville tomorrow. There will be another qualifying sessions and a top ten shoot out before the 200 kilometre Race 17 of the championship.

Weekend Coverage

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

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