V8Supercars Entertain at the Australian Grand Prix

2015 V8 Supercars Championship | Australian Grand Prix – V8 Supercars (Qualifying + Four Races)

Article and Images | Rhys Vandersyde

While the V8 Supercars appearance at the Australian Grand Prix was not for championship points, bragging rights were still up for grabs with teams looking to use the four races across the weekend to build momentum for the rest of the championship.

Nissan Motorsport took the opportunity to debut their new car for Michael Caruso, after the damage his previous car sustained at the Clipsal 500.

Prodrive Australia also brought a newish car to Albert Park, with David Reynolds Bottle-O Racing car being upgraded to the Ford Falcon FGX body work.

As a result of suffering burns to his foot at the Clipsal 500, David Wall was replaced with Dunlop Series driver Chris Pither who was called to steer the No. 34 Volvo S60 for this non-championship round.


There were two 30 minute practice sessions in the lead up to qualifying, however being a non-championship round, teams chose to use older tyres for practice with timing not being indicative of what would be set during qualifying.

With brand new tyres on during qualifying, times began to fall with everyone back in the pits by the 15 minute mark for fresh tyres and to make adjustments. With less than eight minutes left in the session, cars started to head back out onto the track for one final run.

When the chequered flag fell to end the session, it was the Pepsi Max Crew out in front with both Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert locking out the front row.

Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney continued his strong performance this year taking third place on the grid with the Prodrive FGX Falcon of David Reynolds in forth position.

Scott McLaughlin was the best of the Volvo’s in sixth with Todd Kelly the best of the Nissan’s narrowly beating his brother Rick for tenth. Will Davison managed to get his Erebus Mercedes onto 15th on the grid.

Race 1

The V8 Supercar races for the Grand Prix weekend would be 12 lap sprint races, using a special double file rolling start to kick off the races.

The Pepsi Max Crew duo of Winterbottom and Mostert used their front row advantage to get a clear start from the field however it would only be a few corners before the Safety Car was called to bring the race under control.

Marcos Ambrose (DJR Team Penske), Tim Blanchard (Cooldrive Racing) and Ash Walsh (Erebus Motorsport) had a coming together with Ambrose managing to resume the race however Blanchard and Walsh were not so lucky.

When the race resumed, Winterbottom pulled away into the lead with Mostert creating his own gap back to the rest of the field and that’s how it would stay for the remainder of the race. Winterbottom crossed the line to give the Ford FGX Falcon its first win, Mostert took out second while Holden’s James Courtney finished in third place.

Rick Kelly was the best of the Nissan Altima’s in eight while both Mercedes and Volvo struggled with their own issues falling well down the order.

Race 2

With the grid determined by the results of the first race, the second race had a very similar start with Winterbottom and Mostert clearing away from the field until the Safety Car was called on again.

This time the Safety Car was for the recovery of Dale Wood’s GB Galvanizing Commodore who had an incident with the Volvo of Scott McLaughlin resulting in Wood crashing heavily into the wall on the back part of the Albert Park circuit.

The race resumed again but with end of the day approaching fast, the race would be cut short by three laps to nine. Winterbottom would again take the win with Mostert second with Shane Van Gisbergen (Team Darrell Lea) making the most of Courtney’s a mistake to take the final spot on the podium.

Race 3

Saturday saw the third race of the weekend for the V8 Supercars field. The grid was again determined by the results of the previous race which saw Winterbottom and Mostert lead from the front while McLaughlin was relegated to the rear of the grid as a penalty for his accident with Wood in race two.

The rolling start would again let the Pepsi Max Crew duo clear the field while Van Gisbergen would battle to keep Courtney and Tim Slade (Supercheap Auto Racing) behind.

McLaughlin’s run of bad luck would continue with his Volvo S60 suffering a mechanical failure before the end of the first lap. Parking his car clear of the track, McLaughlin climbed the safety barrier to spend time with the fans watching the race.

Winterbottom would take the chequered flag making it three from three with Mostert second, Van Gisbergen in third with a string of Holden Commodore’s behind. Rick Kelly was the best of the Nissan’s in eighth, while Will Davison continued to improve in his Erebus Mercedes finishing 14th. Chris Pither on debut in Volvo S60 kept out of trouble to finish in 19th.

Race 4

The rolling starts had proven uneventful in the previous races, but the final race had barely started before there was carnage. Drivers back in the pack had jumped the start causing a collision before the start/finish line.

Nick Percat (Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport) and Marcos Ambrose (DJR Team Penske) both hit the pit straight wall heavily while Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia), Jason Bright (Team BOC) and Will Davison (Erebus Motorsport) also ended the final race early.

When the race resumed, Winterbottom again cleared the field, with Mostert dicing with Van Gisbergen to keep him behind.

With the race once again cut short, Winterbottom and the Pepsi Max Crew team proved too strong making it a clean sweep to win all four races for the weekend. Van Gisbergen was the best of the rest with three third places.

Best of the Nissan’s was Rick Kelly finishing seventh overall with Volvo and Mercedes had a shocking weekend and will be looking to rebound when Championship points are back on offer.

The V8 Supercars Championship continues in two weeks with second round of the championship at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains Raceway.

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