V8SC | Frosty proves his number one status twice!

2015 V8 Supercars Championship | Coates Hire Ipswich

SuperSprint Saturday – Queensland Raceway

Article and Images by Rhys Vandersyde

Queensland turned on some fantastic weather for the second day of action at Ipswich’s Queensland Raceway.

The day would feature two short qualifying sessions, before two 20 lap sprint races that would make up Races 18 and 19 of the 2015 championship.

There was a short but action packed 15 minute practice session prior to the day’s two qualifying sessions. James Courtney suffered what appeared to be engine issues during his opening lap.

However Holden Racing Team’s Adrian Burgess would later confirm “The car threw an oil line” which was quickly repaired for qualifying.

Courtney wouldn’t be the only one to suffer issues with the Nissan Altima of James Moffat suffering a rear wing failure on the back straight. Moffat kept the car off the walls and nursed the car back.

The Nissan Motorsport crew replaced the wing and had him back on track before the end of the session.

Qualifying Race 18

A short sharp 10 minute qualifying session on Dunlop’s hard tyre would determine the grid for the 18th race of the V8 Supercar championship.

Qualifying was a Ford whitewash with the Falcon FG/X setting the fastest three times in the session. Leading the Ford charge was Chaz Mostert (Pepsi Max Crew) who leads his teammate Mark Winterbottom.

Super Black Racing’s Andre Heimgartner was the surprise packet claiming the third fastest time. Best of the rest of the field was the Volvo of Scott McLaughlin (Wilson Security Racing GRM) in fourth.

Race 18

Winterbottom made the best of his front row start to clear off to an early lead as Mostert struggled with his start from pole position tumbling down the order before the first turn.

Behind there was plenty of action with Todd Kelly (Nissan Motorsport), Jason Bright (Team BOC) and David Wall (Wilson Security Racing GRM) in trouble, shooting off onto the grass off the first corner.

Bright’s race would be over while Wall would have to pit for repairs putting him a few laps down.

Winterbottom easily took the win for Ford over McLaughlin with Lowndes crossing the line in third.

Tussles continued throughout the field for next few laps, with everyone jostling for positions without making much gain.

However out in front Ford’s Winterbottom had a clear lead over the Volvo of McLaughlin (Wilson Security Racing GRM).

The fight for the final place on the podium provided plenty of entertainment with Shane Van Gisbergen (Team Darrell Lea), Mostert (Pepsi Max Crew) and Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia all in contention.

On the final lap Mostert challenged Van Gisbergen for third, but Van Gisbergen cunningly kept him behind although he hadn’t accounted on Lowndes taking the opportunity to pass both of them with two corners to go.

Winterbottom easily took the win for Ford over McLaughlin with Lowndes crossing the line in third.

Race 18 Post Race Driver Interviews

After the race Winterbottom conceded “I’m still struggling with the car though, hopefully we can tune it (set the balance) for the next one.” Van Gisbergen, lamented about what could have been “I did all I could to hold him off, I just had no tyres left at the end.”

“It was an awesome race. It was a shame Craig (Lowndes) got us at the end, but it was good fun” added Van Gisbergen.

James Moffat (Nissan Motorsport) was the best of the Nissan’s in eighth, while Will Davidson (Erebus Motorsport) represented Mercedes in tenth.

Images by Rhys Vandersyde

Qualifying Race 19

It was a short turn around between qualifying sessions however teams rushed to tune their cars to the Dunlop soft tyre for second 10 minute qualifying session for the day.

Making the most gain between sessions was Red Bull Racing Australia’s Craig Lowndes who set the fastest time in the second session to claim pole for Race 19.

Pepsi Max Crew (Prodrive Racing Australia) backed up their earlier qualifying with Winterbottom and Mostert setting the second and third fastest times.

Winterbottom and Mostert setting the second and third fastest times.

McLaughlin (Wilson Security Racing GRM) will again complete the second row of the grid with the fourth fastest time.

Race 19

With the sun setting on the day, Race 19 got off to another busy start with Winterbottom and Lowndes toe to toe through the opening corners.

Van Gisbergen couldn’t get off the line, when his gearbox failed leaving him stranded on the grid.

The midfield came to blows in at Turn 3, with Nick Percat (Repair Management Australia Racing) suffering heavy damage, ending his race. With Van Gisbergen and Percat stranded on track, the safety car was call out to pick up the field before the end of the first lap.

When the race resumed, Winterbottom took control of the race lead again with Lowndes close behind while David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing) and Mostert fought it out for the remaining place on the podium.

Winterbottom held out to take out the win, his second for the day over the Holden of Lowndes. Mostert finally got passed Reynolds on Lap 8 to claim third place in the race.

Race 19 Post Race Driver Interviews

In the post-race press conference Lowndes confirmed “We tried to pressure them (Ford’s Pepsi Max Crew) as much as we could, He (Winterbottom) made a couple of little mistakes but not enough to get past him, it’s a credit to Frosty, he’s been strong all weekend.”

The best of the other manufacturers was Nissan’s Todd Kelly (Nissan Motorsport) finishing in the Altima in sixth just in front of the Mercedes of Will Davidson (Erebus Motorsport) in seventh.

It’s a credit to Frosty, he’s been strong all weekend!

Scott McLaughlin (Wilson Security Racing GRM) put his Volvo into the top ten, finishing in ninth.

Weekend Coverage

V8 Supercars action continues at Queensland Raceway tomorrow with another 200 kilometre race. Keep tuned into MyDrive for updates across the weekend.

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