9th July 2017
MCLAUGHLIN HEATS UP IN TOWNSVILLE
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m12.0731s - New Lap Record)
Top 10 Shootout – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m11.990s - New Lap Record)
Race 14 – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m12.9522s - Under Old Race Lap Record)
RECAP: McLaughlin was dominant in qualifying again today, starting the race from pole position. He kept the race lead until the first round of pit stops when he took more fuel than Whincup, with a 2s gap maintained across most of the next stint. Whincup was then able to maintain the lead after the second round of stops. McLaughlin pushed hard and, despite the combined handicap of a cool suit failure and 60-plus degree cabin temps, finished only 1.4s behind Whincup for a solid second place at the end of the 200km affair. He has kept the championship lead.
QUOTE: “I lost my cool suit at the end of the race there, which was tough. But well done to Jamie, it was only a matter of time that he was going to win a race. Thanks to all my guys at Shell V-Power Racing, great to get another podium and continue the consistency.”
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
2.Jamie Whincup 1602
3.Fabian Coulthard 1450
4.Shane Van Gisbergen 1377
6.Mark Winterbottom 1173
7.Craig Lowndes 1104
8.Garth Tander 1080
9.Cameron Waters 1063
10.David Reynolds 1059
TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1.Shell V-Power Racing Team 3093
2.Triple Eight Race Engineering (Whincup/Van Gisbergen) 2979
3.Prodrive Racing Australia (Winterbottom/Waters)2271
4.Garry Rogers Motorsport 1968
5.Erebus Motorsport 1560
6.Brad Jones Racing1449
7.Walkinshaw Racing 1440
8.Nissan Motorsport (R. Kelly/T. Kelly)1413
9.Nissan NISMO (Caruso/De Silvestro) 1329
10.Prodrive Racing Australia (Mostert)1257
8th July 2017
MCLAUGHLIN ON HIGH UP NORTH
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m12.0731s (New Lap Record)
Race 13 – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m13.1279s (New Race Lap Record)
RECAP: McLaughlin continued his run of dominant qualifying pace today, taking his 8th pole of 2017 in a new lap record time. He lost the lead of the race off the start, but quickly regained it and then gapped the field to maintain the lead for the length of the race. It was an emphatic win, and has elevated McLaughlin to the Championship points lead for the first time in his career.
QUOTE: “It’s fantastic for the guys at Shell V-Power Racing, had a great battle with Jamie Whincup early in the race, and was able to get by him and then get a gap. It’s very cool to take the Championship lead. We’ve still got a long way to go, though. We came here hoping to get a couple of podiums and maintain out place in the Championship, and we’ve done more than that, so I couldn’t be happier.”
7th July 2017
SOLID START IN TOWNSVILLE for McLaughlin
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 – 13th (Fastest Lap: 1m13.3774s)
Practice 2 – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m12.4275s)
RECAP: McLaughlin worked on race pace and initial chassis set-up through Practice 1, before switching to a qualifying focus in the second session of the day. He made a small error on his fastest lap late in Practice 2, and ended the day second on the time sheets, only one and a half tenths off the fastest time of the day.
QUOTE: “The car was good all day, we just stuck to our program so I’m pretty happy with things. The car got better with each tyre set we put on it, tomorrow I think it will be good. I’ve just got to put a lap together, and the goal will be to put it on the first couple of rows of the grid.”
18th June 2017
MCLAUGHLIN DOMINATES IN DARWIN
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m05.6806s)
Top 10 Shootout – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m05.7233s)
Race 12 – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m06.6747s - New Lap Record)
RECAP: McLaughlin was fast all day, taking provisional pole, and then pole position in the Top 10 Shootout by over three-tenths of a second. He then dominated much of the race to take the win. He had a poor start, but worked hard to recover. He jumped Whincup in the pit stops, reset the lap record and then maintained the gap to take his fourth win of the 2017 season, elevating himself to second in the points behind Coulthard.
QUOTE: “What an awesome team I’ve got here behind me at the Shell V-Power Racing Team. I was so stoked to get pole earlier today in the Shootout - I love qualifying as it’s everyone’s maximum. Everything they’ve got. I didn’t get a great start today, but good strategy helped me get it back. I drove as hard as I could, and we got the win. I couldn’t be happier.”
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
3Jamie Whincup 1314
4Shane van Gisbergen1152
6Mark Winterbottom 924
TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1Shell V-Power Racing Team 2685
2Triple Eight Race Engineering (Van Gisbergen/Whincup)2466
3Prodrive Racing Australia (Winterbottom/Waters)1848
4Garry Rogers Motorsport 1614
5Brad Jones Racing 1314
7Nissan Motorsport (R. Kelly/T. Kelly) 1236
8HSV Racing 1206
9Nissan NISMO (Caruso/De Silvestro) 1116
10Prodrive Racing Australia (Mostert) 1026
21st May 2017
TOUGH SUNDAY RACE FOR MCLAUGHLIN
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m19.0721s)
Race 10 – 5th (Fastest Lap: 1m20.3239s)
RECAP: McLaughlin had pace to burn again today, taking the pole position by over three-tenths of a second from the Triple Eight cars. His race did not go to plan, with a shift-cut issue causing slow shifts across the length of the race. He battled as hard as he could at the front of the pack, but played it smart to bring the No.17 Shell V-Power Ford home in a solid 5th position.
QUOTE: “It was a tough day out there today, and disappointing to not be able to capitalise on our pole position and the pace in the No.17 Shell V-Power Ford. The shift cut issue meant I had to use the clutch for every shift, which in a game of milliseconds makes all the difference. I’m happy we finished in the top five considering the day we had. Thanks to the team for the fast car. We’ll come back firing in Darwin.”
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1 Fabian Coulthard 1060
2 Jamie Whincup 1056
3 Scott McLaughlin 1032
4 Shane van Gisbergen 1023
5 Chaz Mostert 861
6 Garth Tander 804
7 Mark Winterbottom 798
8 Craig Lowndes 726
9 David Reynolds 717
10 Cameron Waters 703
TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1 Shell V-Power Racing Team 2127
2 Triple Eight Race Engineering (Van Gisbergen/Whincup) 2079
3 Prodrive Racing Australia (Winterbottom/Waters) 1536
4 Garry Rogers Motorsport 1416
5 Nissan Motorsport (R. Kelly/T. Kelly) 1116
6 Erebus Motorsport 1086
7 HSV Racing 978
8 Nissan NISMO (Caruso/De Silvestro) 942
9 Brad Jones Racing 942
10 Prodrive Racing Australia (Mostert) 861
20th May 2017
MCLAUGHLIN SCORES 3rd Straight win
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 3 – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m19.5923s)
Qualifying – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m19.3807s)
Race 9 – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m20.8783s)
RECAP: McLaughlin was the fastest man in every session today, finishing first in final practice, taking pole position and leading the race from start to finish. He was able to maximise the car’s performance, and control the gap back to second place finisher Whincup with cool, controlled driving. He is now second in the championship, with the team nearly 100 points in front of the teams’ points.
QUOTE: “I’m really happy. I was super pumped after qualifying, as we made it hard for ourselves. The car is fantastic; I’ve been working on my starts for a while and I got a good one today. I got the lead and was then able to control it. The team did a fantastic job in the pit stops, and we took advantage of our opportunity today. Hopefully we’ll get another one tomorrow.”
19th May 2017
WET AND WILD IN WINTON
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m43.3667s)
Practice 2 – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m29.2059s)
RECAP: McLaughlin was fast all day in all conditions. Practice 1 occurred in torrential rain, wet from start to finish and he was at the top for virtually the whole session. Practice 2 started wet, and dried as the session wore on. Slicks were bolted on for the final few minutes of the session, where he finished 2nd.
QUOTE: “The car was really nice in the wet today, and those were really full-on conditions. It also felt nice in the second session as the track dried, and was fast when we bolted slicks on. I didn’t get all of it on my final flyer, so all up I’m very happy with the car, and know that the pace is there for tomorrow.”
7th May 2017
TWO WINS IN THE WEST FOR mclaughlin
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 54.5730s – New Lap Record)
Race 8 - FIRST (Fastest Lap: 57.3546s)
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
RECAP: McLaughlin was the dominant pace man in Perth today, taking the pole in a new lap record time. He led the race from start to finish, only dropping back when pitting but always remained effective leader. He took the victory by 4.6s, able to control the gap back to 2ndplace winner Chaz Mostert.
QUOTE: “I came into this weekend with a plan to take as many points off the leaders as possible, and it’s been a perfect weekend in that aspect. Two wins and a pole is amazing, especially with Roger here at the track as well. I feel like I’ve kicked off my year now, with two wins under the belt and great pace, we’ve got plenty to look forward to for the rest of the year.”
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
2Shane Van Gisbergen 783
3Jamie Whincup 780
6Mark Winterbottom 648
TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1Shell V-Power Racing Team 1608
2Triple Eight Race Engineering (Van Gisbergen/Whincup)1563
3Prodrive Racing Australia (Winterbottom/Waters)1227
4Garry Rogers Motorsport 1113
5Nissan Motorsport (R. Kelly/T. Kelly) 900
7Nissan NISMO (Caruso/De Silvestro) 798
9Prodrive Racing Australia (Mostert) 771
10Brad Jones Racing699
6th May 2017
MCLAUGHLIN LEADS SHELL V-POWER RACING 1-2
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 3 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 54.6893s)
Qualifying – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 54.7013s)
Race 7 - 1st (Fastest Lap: 56.9000s (Under old race lap record)
RECAP: McLaughlin was up front on pace all day, topping practice before running second to teammate Coulthard in Qualifying. He got a sensational start to jump Coulthard off the line, and then they raced together to build a massive gap back to the rest of the field. It was a dominant display by the No.17 Shell V-Power Ford driver, taking his first championship win for DJR Team Penske in the process.
QUOTE: “That was awesome – I got every element of that race right. I got a great start, and put all the pieces together. I’m so happy to get my first win for the team. Fabs has got a couple, and I’m stoked to get one myself now, especially with Roger here. Our car pace was incredible, and the tyre life was good too. What a day!”
23rd April 2017
another TOUGH DAY AT PHILLIP ISLAND FOR SHELL V-POWER RACING TEAM
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m29.0621s – NEW LAP RECORD)
Race – 14th (Fastest Lap: 1m31.2142s – NEW LAP RECORD)
RECAP: McLaughlin’s pace has been record breaking all weekend, resetting the lap record in both qualifying and races on Saturday and Sunday. Today he started from pole, but could not capitalise. The team’s strategy through the second round of pit stops didn’t play out as expected, and loose bodywork that required repair at his final pit stop also pushed him down the order. He finished the day 14th.
QUOTE: “I feel really good, the car is performing incredibly well. We’ve just had a few things that are costing us. It will come. The main thing is we’re still getting good points, and still up the top in the Championship. It could have been much better after taking two poles this weekend, and then the loose bodywork cost us a few positions as well. At the end of the day I’m happy that the speed is there, and things look good for the rest of the year.”
DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
2.Shane Van Gisbergen 561
3.Chaz Mostert 531
4.Jamie Whincup 522
5.Scott McLaughlin 471
6.Garth Tander 444
7.Cameron Waters 427
8.Mark Winterbottom 342
9.Craig Lowndes 378
10.James Moffat 366
TEAMS' CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1.Triple Eight Race Engineering (Whincup/Van Gisbergen)1083
2.Shell V-Power Racing Team 1074
3.Prodrive Racing Australia (Winterbottom/Waters)879
4.Garry Rogers Motorsport 810
5.Nissan Motorsport (R. Kelly/T. Kelly) 654
7.Nissan NISMO (Caruso/De Silvestro) 630
9.Prodrive Racing Australia (Mostert) 531
10.Brad Jones Racing462
22nd April 2017
Tough race day at Phillip Island for McLaughlin
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 1m29.3632s – NEW LAP RECORD)
Race – 10th (Fastest Lap: 1m31.5867s – NEW LAP RECORD)
RECAP: McLaughlin started from pole position after a blistering lap record setting effort in qualifying, and led laps early in the race before being penalised for crossing out of the fast lane at pit entry. He, and many other competitors, received 15-second penalties during their second pit-stops, dropping them down the order. Scott drove hard and smart through the back half of the race, resetting the lap record in the process. He finished the day 10th, and remains 4th in the Drivers’ standings.
QUOTE: “After starting pole, it definitely wasn’t the day I was expecting, but it could have been much worse. The penalty is one that surprised me, as I’ve never heard of it before and have run the same line for many years here. Now we know, and it won’t happen again. We had great pace, and the Shell V-Power Racing Team gave me a fantastic car. Thanks so much to them, and congratulations to Fabian. It was great to see him take the win.”
21st April 2017
SOLID PRACTICE AT PHILLIP ISLAND 500
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 - 9th (Fastest Lap: 1m31.2877s)
Practice 2 - 3rd (Fastest Lap: 1m29.9165s)
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
RECAP: The No.17 driver took his time to adjust to his car and the new tyre on the high speed Phillip Island circuit. He didn’t get a full flying lap in at the end of Practice 1, ending the session 9th. In Practice 2, Scott and his engineers worked to prepare for qualifying tomorrow morning. He ended the day 3rd, nearly four-tenths of a second under his old lap record.
QUOTE: “For me, it’s a matter of getting used to this tyre at a track like this, without overstepping the mark. Obviously today we saw some tyre failures with Fabian, Shane and a big one with Lowndesy, and we don’t want any more of that. The car feels nice, we just need to fine tune a few areas. We’re an easy third place today, and tomorrow we’ll come back to try for first.”
9th April 2017
VICTORY FOR SHELL V-POWER RACING TEAM IN TASSIE
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 58.6678s)
Race 4 – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 51.5862)
RECAP: McLaughlin was flying in the very wet conditions in qualifying, and started the race second. His car was clearly faster in wet conditions than dry, so his ultimate pace was compromised as the track dried. A minor coming together with Jamie Whincup damaged a tyre, but McLaughlin could continue and take a very strong second place finish behind his team mate Fabian Coulthard to cap a very special day for the team. McLaughlin leapt up the Drivers’ Championship standings, and is now fourth only 54 points off the lead.
QUOTE: “I’m stoked, just so happy for everyone at Shell V-Power Racing Team. It’s a pretty special day, for me, for Fabian, Dick, Ludo and all the team. When you get a call at the back of the podium from Roger Penske, you’ve had a pretty good day! We’ll move on and move forward from here. This is a special day, and we’ll never forget it.”
8th April 2017
MCLAUGHLIN TAKES POLE IN CRAZY DAY OF RACING IN TASMANIA
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 3 – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 51.6333)
Qualifying – FIRST (Fastest Lap: 57.4178)
Race 3 – 13th (Fastest Lap: 1:05.4026)
RECAP: McLaughlin experienced a day of highs and lows, taking first in both Practice 3 and Qualifying, starting the race from Pole Position. A poor start dropped him to third, before regaining a position to be 2nd when the multi-car crash blocked the track. A miscommunication on the radio meant McLaughlin entered pit lane under red flag conditions, which dropped him to 14th when the race restarted under Safety Car.
QUOTE: “That was the weirdest race I’ve ever been a part of. I completely missed the crash, and was blown away when I saw it. I’m glad everyone got out of it OK. I was stoked to get pole, and the boys gave me a great car and we have something to fight with tomorrow.”
7th April 2017
TOP THREE FOR Scott mclaughlin IN TASSIE PRACTICE
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 - SECOND (Fastest Lap: 51.0883 )
Practice 2 - THIRD (Fastest Lap: 50.9552)
RECAP: McLaughlin had a solid day, finishing Practice 1 in second place before moving the focus to race simulations in Practice 2. He ended the day third behind teammate Coulthard, and will look to fine tune his approach for qualifying and racing tomorrow.
QUOTE: "I focused on a race run at the start of the second session, and felt strong. The car was nice, and then when we switched to a qualy run it took a little getting used to. There’s still more in both me and the car, and I’ll have a good look at Fabian’s data tonight and see where he’s quicker than me so I can improve for tomorrow."
26th March 2017
Shell v-power racing team 1-2 at the australian grand prix
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Race 4: 17th (Fastest time: 1m58.0147)
WEEKEND POSITION: SECOND
RECAP: McLaughlin was up against it from the start, with a last place grid position due to a qualifying penalty. He was then hit with damage in a lap one, turn one incident which he couldn’t avoid. He battled on, and had surprising speed which allowed him to salvage a good result, and finish the weekend in second place to complete a one-two finish for Shell V-Power Racing Team.
QUOTE: “I’m just stoked for Shell V-Power Racing Team, it’s one of those things where I’m so happy to get a one-two. We were up against it, we had a difficult time today, and I got some damage early on which seriously hurt the car. I had to soldier on, I had about 90 degrees of lock going down the straights, and right-handers where horrendous. We continued on and managed to get a one-two result for Shell V-Power Racing.”
25th March 2017
another podium at the AGP for mclaughlin
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Race 3: THIRD (Fastest time: 1m57.1121)
RECAP: Scott had a solid day, starting the race third, and finishing in third. He tried to get by Whincup at turn 1 on lap 1, however pulled out so he didn’t contact his teammate and leader Coulthard. He then settled into a solid rhythm, and pushed to consolidate his second place in the points for the weekend.
QUOTE: “The car was really good early, and I thought I had Whincup’s pace, but we just lost our way a little bit. We managed to stay in front of Mostert, which was good. Starting last tomorrow, so we’ll try a few things and I’ll just have to come through the field and have some fun.”
24th March 2017
a win and a second for mclaughlin on Friday at the AGP
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Race 1: FIRST (Fastest time: 1m57.0198s)
Race 2: SECOND (Fastest time: 1m56.8703s)
RECAP: McLaughlin took the first race win for the team in its guise as DJR Team Penske, and his first for the team after debuting for the squad at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide three weeks' ago. He overtook Jamie Whincup early to lead the race, opening his winning account with the team. Scott took a solid second place in race two behind Fabian to complete a double 1-2 result.
QUOTE: “It's two great results for the team. We’ve been working hard for a result like this, and now we’ve got to make sure we carry it on. I’m pretty happy with how I’m settling in with the team, and it’s really fantastic for Fabian and I to both get a win. Today, coming in with two front row starts that was the ideal scenario.”
23rd March 2017
FRONT-ROW Starts for mclaughlin AT AGP
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice: 25th (Fastest time: 1m59.4369s)
Race 1 Qualifying: SECOND (Fastest time: 1m54.6478s - Under Old Lap Record)
Race 2 Qualifying: SECOND (Fastest time: 1m55.0132s)
Race 3 Qualifying: THIRD (Fastest Time: 1m55.0441s)
Race 4 Qualifying: 26th (Fastest Time: No Time)
RECAP: McLaughlin had a troubled start to the day, with an engine misfire in practice. Despite the engine issue, he came out of practice happy with the car chassis balance. He qualified second alongside Coulthard for races one and two and third for race three, before exceeding the track limits in the qualifying four. This infringement saw his fastest lap deleted, and he will start race four from the back of the grid.
QUOTE: “It’s wicked [having two front row lock-outs], great for the team and great for Shell V-Power. It’s awesome to have Fabs there as a bit of a yardstick for me. He’s gone a semi different way with the set up and I’ve gone my way, and maybe I need to try more of his stuff, because that’s the one that’s working at the moment. But it’s great to have two Shell V-Power cars up there. I think I’m overdriving a little bit. I am still trying to find myself a bit in the car. Over all I am stoked but I am disappointed I wasn’t up there in the fourth session with Fabs. I didn’t quite get the best first sector and I just tried to make it up. There were mistakes on my part. I tried to find a bit too much in myself and overstepped the mark.’’
5th March 2017
MCLAUGHLIN TAKEs PODIUm AT CLIPSAL 500
Shell V-Power Racing Team drivers Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard have cemented themselves at the front of the 2017 Supercars pack after a stellar weekend at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
Starting on Friday, the drivers jumped out of the blocks quickly with top five times in practice one and Scott going fastest in practice two. In qualifying on Friday they were similarly quick, with Scott taking second – beaten by Shane van Gisbergen by a miniscule one ten-thousandth of a second! - and Fabian sixth ensuring both would appear in Saturday’s Top 10 shootout.
The shootout on Saturday afternoon saw Fabian step up to earn a front row start alongside Holden’s Shane van Gisbergen. Scott made a small error in his lap, which meant he would start sixth.
Saturday’s first 250km leg saw Fabian take a hard-fought second place. The #12 Shell V-Power Ford driver started second on the grid after his great run in the Top 10 Shootout earlier in the day, and led for a solid portion of race until pit-stop strategies were fully realised. He held off a determined James Courtney, and ended up being bested only by Shane van Gisbergen.
Scott McLaughlin had a tougher day, starting from sixth and making his way forward until an error under Safety Car saw him take a pit lane drive-through penalty, which pushed him down the order. The #17 Shell V-Power Ford finished the day in 17th position.
Sunday was a brand-new day, and would be a great one for the team. Both drivers again earned a place in the Top 10 Shootout, Fabs taking another fantastic front-row start, with Scott improving to start third.
In excellent signs for the team, both Fabian and Scott lead early after getting a strong start and passing pole sitter Shane van Gisbergen. The No.12 and No.17 were nose to tail at the front of the pack until McLaughlin took the first pit stop of the race. The call was the right one, with McLaughlin jumping the pack to maintain the lead for much of the race.
Fabian settled into fifth position after the final round of stops, and spent much of the race working with his engineer Phil Keed to learn about the car and take a valuable haul of points and information to the next event, the Australian Grand Prix.
Scott worked hard to maintain his lead, however a fast-closing Van Gisbergen managed to squeeze up the inside at turn nine with only a handful of laps to go. Scott gave it his all, and was rewarded with a podium on his debut event with the team.
When combined with Saturday’s strong results and Fabian’s second place, the team is second in the Team’s Championship, with Fabian second and Scott seventh in the Driver’s standings.
No. 17 - Shell V-Power Racing Ford - Scott McLaughlin
Race 1 Finishing Position - 17th
Race 2 Finishing Position - Second
Championship Position - Seventh
"I am ecstatic in regards to how the team has gone. For the Shell V-Power Racing Team is has been a fantastic weekend, I feel that we're in a really good spot at the moment. Obviously it's only the first race, but the team camaraderie and the way everyone got around each other, not only me and Fabs, but the boys in the pit stops and all that and it's a cool place to be. I think this will only make us stronger. I really thought that today was probably the daywhere we could have got that first win, but there's a lot of promise there. I'm kicking myself, but it is what it is."
"There's things to take out of it, we'll have debrief on Tuesday, and work it all out. I stoked with how it's gone, and how competitive I was out of the box, but there's more to come from me, Fabs and I think we're on the right track at the moment."
21st February 2016
2017 sydney motorsport park official supercars test wrap up
4th December 2016
GARRY'S RACE REPORT SYDNEY 500
The final round in what has been one of my most enjoyable seasons in the 53 that I have been a part of. Sure, the year from our point of view has been challenging off the track, but I am so proud of all the boys and girls at GRM with the manner in which they have attacked the work required to see us have what I see as a very, very good season.
Joe Sullivan left in the Volvo Globetrotter FH16 700 on Tuesday morning for Sydney and proudly joined the car park on the Monash Freeway. Joey took a little detour on his trip travelling via the Blue Mountains. As mentioned in earlier reports Joe’s Motorsport career began back in 1970 with a trip to Bathurst with Murray Carter and he was caught by the bug. Joe was mesmerised by Motorsport, particularly the Ford GT Falcons. In 1971 he met a driver by the name of Bob Skelton who drove a Brian Byrt Ford sponsored XY GT HO. Joe admired Bob and on his trip to Sydney this year he visited Bob who is now in a senior citizens home located in the Blue Mountains. We are really proud of Joe and the fact that he takes his time (and ours!) to make somebody feel special. Well done Joey!
The Sydney Street Race at Homebush was the last to be held at the Olympic venue and next year we will be racing in the streets of Newcastle. It is unbelievable how quickly the time passes as this was the 8th time the Sydney 500 was raced at Homebush. Over the years this venue has certainly provided me some fond memories. It was the place where Lee Holdsworth won in 2010 and in 2012 it was the place where Scott McLaughlin first drove for GRM following his win earlier in the day in the 2012 DVS Championship. We had to find a driver because Alex Premat had suffered heat exhaustion on the Saturday and was unable to drive on the Sunday. For a brief moment I considered putting the helmet on myself, but was briskly reminded that my beliefs far outweighed my ability! I had watched Scott throughout the year in DVS and was particularly impressed with the manner in which he handled the final round when either Percat, Mostert or he could win. Scott was the one with the cool head and I thought “let’s give him a go!”
Four years on and this time we are saying good bye to Scott and both he and the Team have plenty to play for over the weekend. From a driver’s point of view Scotty has 21 points to make up on Craig Lowndes to finish 3rd in the Championship and from a team’s perspective we are 37 points back from HRT who sit second behind 888 in the Teams Championship.
Friday and following the 2 x 40minute practice sessions the Volvo’s were 6th (McLaughlin) and 21st (Moffat). Van Gisbergen continued his incredible form and topped the time sheets. Sydney this time of year is very humid, but the day was also incredibly hot with the temperature reaching 37 degrees. The weather for Saturday was predicted in the mid 20’s and as such much of what you have been trying to achieve on the Friday becomes irrelevant. The cars behaviour in regards to grip level and power is influenced by the temperature and what works on a hot day won’t have the same impact on a cooler day and vice versa.
Friday night and our very good friends at Volvo trucks had some customers in town and Barry and I headed into the city to have a much needed cold beer with them. We really enjoy talking to the truck customers and listening to their stories of adventure and it really motivates me when you have a transport company that started with one truck and a bloke who drove, invoiced, packed, unpacked, serviced the truck, washed the truck and worked their backside off and today may run 200 plus truck and trailers.
This year was the first year that we have raced on the Dunlop SOFT tyre only. For both Saturday and Sunday we are allocated a total of 6 sets. During the 20 minute qualifying session each of the sets is used to complete an out lap, qualifying lap and in lap. It’s vital that the driver has a really good go, but also important that they do not lock a wheel and flat spot a tyre. A wheel is more likely to lock when the tyres are not up to temperature. The driver weaves side to side and brakes hard to generate temperature in the tyre. Back in the pit garage the Engineers can monitor internal tyre temp and advise the driver if more aggressive weaving is required. Scotty as he has done throughout his time with us produced an excellent qualifying lap and finished 3rd, Moff improved from Friday practice but was back in 14th. Van Gisbergen was on pole and looking to secure the Supercar title.
The 250 km race required a minimum of 2 pit stops. During these two stops each car must take on at least 140 litres of fuel which flows at 4 litres per sec and a wheel change is also undertaken. The fuel usage around the 3.4km circuit is a little over 3litres per lap.
The aim with #33 was to stay in front of Lowndes and with the #888 car next to Scotty in 4th a good start was important, but it was Lowndes who jumped into second off the line behind Whincup. Scotty was close behind in third and Moff had begun well and was inside the top 10 by lap 11. Van Gisbergen turned Winterbottom around on lap 9 and was dealt a drive through penalty. Following the completion of the first round of pit stops and the race settled back down Scotty had jumped in front of Lowndes and was third. Moff also was racing well and having taken on a larger amount of fuel at his first stop was well placed to move well inside the 10 after the second round of stops. Unfortunately for Moff he experienced engine problems that required him to pit on several occasions during the final half of the race, hence ruining any chance of a worthwhile result. As a consequence of the engine problem Moff finished 9 laps down. In the meantime Scotty kept his nose clean while keeping an eye on Lowndesy and eventually finished 4th with the 888 car in 8th. The four place difference saw Scott move to third in the Championship, behind the two other 888 cars. Upfront, Whincup won from Tander and Van Gisbergen put in a sensational drive to finish third after the early pit lane penalty. This result secured the Championship for Van Gisbergen with Whincup second. With a nine point gap between Scott and Lowndes the equation was simple, stay in front of Lowndes and achieve third in the Championship.
Sunday’s qualifying is followed by a Top 10 shootout. Scotty made the 10 qualifying fifth, but Moff was unable qualifying 17th, 6/10ths off the quickest car which yet again was Van Gisbergen. The shootout was highlighted by Garth Tander who had qualified 8th, but set a scintillating lap when he was the third car out. With only Van Gisbergen to go Tander was still on pole and as hard as Shane tried he could not go quicker than Garth’s time, missing by 1/100th of a second. Scotty put together a good lap but was 3/10ths off Tander and ended 6th.
Again Scott was conscious of Lowndes’ position in the field and from the start things looked good as Lowndes had qualified back in 14th. It was important for Scott to not get too worried about what Lowndes was doing and Krusty (Richard Hollway) kept his focus on the job at hand while giving him the occasional update on Lowndes’ position.
The race was a repeat of yesterday, 250km (74 laps). Off the start Tander made the most of his pole position and led from Van Gisbergen, Scotty was away well and 5th. Moff as he always seems to be able to do was making up ground in the early laps and had moved inside the top 15 by lap 5.
On lap 19 Van Gisbergen passed Tander for the lead and he went unchallenged from there and as the Champion it was worthy to see him win the final race of the season. Scotty pressed on well and was in a battle with Courtney, Whincup and Reynolds for third. It was getting quite exciting and with a handful of laps to go Krusty advised Scott of Lowndes’ position back in the pack and coaxed him to back off and ensure that he finished as a DNF as result of a crash would have handed 3rd in the Championship to Lowndes. Reynolds held off Whincup for third and followed Van Gisbergen and Tander home. Moff battled well and finished 10th.
Well, the year is over and as a Team we are proud to have finished 3rd in the Teams Championship and have the #33 Scott McLaughlin finish 3rd in the Drivers Championship. Of course we all compete to win and congratulations to the 888 Team and in particular to the #97 Shane Van Gisbergen and his crew, a very worthy Champion.
To Scotty I am very proud of the manner in which you have represented yourself, our sport, our sponsors and our Team. We will all miss having you around, but cannot wait to 2017 when we will all be out trying to beat you!
Thank you to all of you out there that follow what we do and give us support and feedback that drives us to keep doing what we do.
See you next year, I can’t wait!
2nd December 2016
SYDNEY 500 WEEKEND PREVIEW
6th November 2016
PUKEKOHE SUPER SPRINT WEEKEND REVIEW
4th November 2016
PUKEKOHE SUPERSPRINT WEEKEND PREVIEW
23rd October 2016
gold coast 600 weekend review
20th october 2016
Gold Coast 600 weekend preview
10th october 2016
Bathurst 1000 2016 weekend review - Scott's view
I love this race, it’s the Bathurst 1000, ‘The Great Race”. It was where I watched many of my heroes make history and win this race. But I also hate this race just as much as I love it. This year was no exception to why I felt like this.
Let me get this straight, my job is amazing, I get to drive an absolute animal of a Supercar at speeds well in excess of 300kph at a track unlike any other in the whole world. I also do all that in front of 200,000 of the most hardcore of hardcore fans, which is an absolute bonus. I know I am a very lucky 23 year old and feel privileged to even be in this position.
This job though is how I and 25 other drivers (52 if you count the co drivers) earn our living like any other everyday person in the world. When we get to Bathurst though something changes, its not a job anymore for us its more like a dream. When you get here you understand the passion, the pressure, the commitment from everyone in your team not just from yourself, which goes into winning this race.
You feel not only you have to win this race for yourself but also you need to win this race for your whole crew, sponsors, fans, family and friends. IF you win this race, it might, no actually it wont just might, it WILL change your life and career forever.
I normally get to Bathurst on a Tuesday afternoon, every time I drive into the place and see that ‘Mount Panorama Bathurst’ sign on top of the mountain I get Goosebumps.
This year I was doing something different off track, I was actually staying at the track in a motorhome. I guess you could say I was ‘Glamping’, this was hands down the best thing I have ever done.
Wednesday arrives; really this day is just a teaser for us drivers, lots of media commitments, driver’s parade in the Bathurst CBD (which was fantastic to see so many people there!), we walk the 6.2km circuit with the team and complete one final Pit Stop Practice with the guys before official practice gets underway Thursday morning.
Thursday morning; it’s the first day of practice for the Bathurst 1000, it’s the one practice all year where before practice 1 I am slightly nervous. All the preparation done by the team and myself for this race comes down to this moment, the Bathurst 1000 week is starting.
Luckily for us the first day of practice went really smoothly, the car was pretty nice straight out of the truck, although I felt a little too twitchy across the top which we needed to fix because it would be a long weekend hanging onto a bucking bronco across the top for 161 laps come Sunday afternoon.
The track seemed pretty fast and at the end of practice it looked set to be a record breaking weekend at Bathurst, we ran a set of new tyres at the end of practice, we ended up P4 about 6 tenths off the pace, we had a fair bit of work to do. The #88 car seemed quick straightaway which confirmed all our predictions heading into the race that those lads would be the ones to beat if we wanted to hold up the Peter Brock Trophy come Sunday afternoon.
Friday, its qualifying day at Mount Panorama, for me it’s the best qualifying session of the year. 4 sets of new Dunlop Hard Tyres at our disposal to pull the trigger around this amazing place and try put your car in the shootout or even better on provisional pole for the Greatest Race in Australia.
David Wall completed his co driver session in the morning and said that the changes we made over night helped a heap to stop the twitchiness across the top, so it was over to me for the last practice before qualifying.
In this session we focused on qualifying simulation runs for most of the session, we felt by the end of this session we ended with a competitive balance and felt we could challenge for provisional pole in the afternoon, once again the #88 car was still very quick.
The qualifying session for me went real smoothly, until the end. We were looking at saving a set of tyres for the race Sunday but it looked like we needed to do a run to guarantee our spot in the shootout. I thought no dramas, I’ll just go out and find a gap, knock a time down and put us in there, little did I know it was going to be a little harder than that.
As I headed up mountain straight after coming out of the pits, ‘Krusty’ my engineer informed me I had 10 seconds up my sleeve to get around quick enough so I could get a lap in before the Chequered flag fell to end the session. So I had to hustle around, rush my warm up lap and use the tyre more than I wanted to, to make sure I got a lap in at the end.
I got round just in time to start my lap. Before this lap started I said to myself “ok, this is the shootout, lets do it!”. I let rip, I got through the first sector ok, slightly quicker than my best first sector time. Over the top I got it the best I did all weekend, I scraped the wall slightly on the exit of the ‘metal grate’ at Reid Park (which was a little hairy, I don’t recommend doing that!), after coming down the hill and out of Forest’s Elbow I looked at my Dash and my predicted lap time said I was on for a 2:04!
I tightened the belts down Conrod and had a massive go into the chase, I went slightly wide through here and cost myself some time. I got through the last corner cleanly looked down at my dash and bang it was a 2:05.1 we jumped to P2, 1 tenth of #88 but it was the fastest I had ever been around Mount Panorama.
I wasn’t fastest I know but it was such a cool feeling to nail a lap at this place especially under a little bit of pressure!
Going to bed that night knowing I was going to be competing in the Top 10 Shootout at Bathurst Saturday afternoon again was a very cool feeling.
Saturday rolled around; we had one practice in the morning. This session for the first half, Krusty, David and myself focused on a race balance before switching strategies for a shootout simulation at the end. We felt strong in both scenarios by the end of practice. We now had a 6-hour wait before it was just Mount Panorama and I, also I might add about 3 million eyeballs fixated on my every move at 5:45pm.
I was nervous, real nervous actually, I always get nervous for this lap, but Garry always says, ‘Nerves are a good thing mate’.
I rolled out for this lap, obviously doing my best too warm the car up to give me optimum temperature in my brakes and tyres before I started my lap, but I couldn’t help but look around at the crowd as I made my way around. It was the biggest crowd I had seen at the mountain for a shootout, it looked like a Sunday crowd, I can assure you this didn’t make me feel any less nervous!
I didn’t get the best start to my lap; I didn’t have enough pressure built up in my tyres for the first two corners, so I was playing catch up for most of the lap. I came out of Forest’s elbow pretty much on exactly the same time as Chaz Mosterts’ benchmark of a 2:05.5; I had to make up for my mistake on Friday at the Chase to be within any shot at beating his time. Lucky for me I got it perfect and got provisional pole with 1 car left in the Shootout, the #88.
Jamie’s lap was messy but very committed and he got me by .06 of a second, I was gutted, but at the end of the day we were on the front row of the Bathurst 1000 for the 2nd year in a row, with a real shot at winning with the package we had. It wasn’t all that bad.
I can’t really sleep Saturday night at Bathurst but I got about 5-6 hours in, good enough for me!
Sunday, Happy Bathurst Day people, it’s here, The Great Race. First up was warm up, this session is a bit of a system check for everyone, couple of driver changes, few slow laps just to warm you and the car up for what was hopefully going to be a successful day ahead. Everything went smoothly and we were ready to go for the Bathurst 1000.
Just before the race, we get to go around the track for a quick ‘Driver’s Parade’ I love this part of the weekend, so many people hurling good wishes, occasionally get abused but that’s all apart of the fun! It was so cool to see so many New Zealand flags around the place supporting all us kiwis at the race I might add.
We decided I was going to start the race, its important to get off to a decent start so when you can come in, you can hand over to your co driver and they can get into their groove pretty easily without to much traffic around them. Not to say David couldn’t start the race well, it’s just a less risky strategy and something that most teams decided to do.
Jamie and I got off to a pretty even start, I just wanted to slot into 2nd, I did that and basically straight away started saving some valuable fuel that I might need towards the end of the race, little did I know this would help me a bunch towards the end of the race.
I got to Lap 24 and pitted with the #88 car and handed the car over to David for his first stints of the race, we were planning at this stage to double stint him with the idea of getting me back in for one more stint before he would jump back in to finish off his compulsory 54 completed laps.
This all happened pretty well, and we sat in a pretty comfy 6th place with a very straight car, we had a few balance issues, we both needed more turn out of the car to keep the pace in the car across the race. We managed to successfully tune this into the car and the car was very nice to drive when I got back in.
A safety car fell at a perfect time for us, David had completed his laps and I was able to jump back into the car for a triple stint to the end of the race. A lot of cars around us weren’t in this position so we were lucky at this stage and I had to make the most of making some track position by passing a few of the co drivers.
By the time I did this I was in 4th place on the road and needed to save some fuel. I had Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander and Mark Winterbottom ahead of me doing exactly the same thing. We were all trying to save enough juice to get us to the end and make the job easier for our engineers.
I was hitting my number really well, saving more fuel then I actually needed to, so Krusty came on the radio to me and said I could do 3 laps at ‘Full Noise’ to try pass Mark Winterbottom for effectively 3rd Position. I did this at the chase on the last of my Full Noise laps and we were in 3rd, with a pretty quick car, but unfortunately we needed to keep fuel saving.
The next safety car fell at an awkward time for all. WE thought we could make it to the end, well we didn’t think we could we KNEW we could but it would take a little bit of luck and some big fuel saving from my end, but I was confident in doing this. A few cars jumped me in the stop including Fabian Coulthard, I was about 5th in the queue, we got around to the pit entry on the that lap and they all dived into the pits except myself and Fabian in front of me, the boys asked me to pit to be safe but I was already past the line to get into the lane. So that was it we were committed to this and I was up for a bit battle.
It was obvious from the restart, Fabian and DJR - Team Penske thought he couldn’t make it so he high tailed it and tried to build a gap. I was at the opposite end of the scale, I was saving fuel as much as I could, I COULD make it but it was going to take some big fuel saving and defending Jamie and Garth behind me pretty aggressively to keep track position from them. 1 safety car would set me free though, I would then be able to push at full noise and I felt I had the car pace to win this race.
So here I am saving fuel like a mad man, hitting the correct number, with a 6 time Supercars Champion and 4 time Bathurst winner hot on my heels, with probably the most aggressive racer in the category and a 3 time Bathurst winner himself Garth Tander right behind him, if I was going to win my first Bathurst 1000 I was definitely doing it the hard way!
Lap 150 of 161, I made a small mistake at Forest’s Elbow, Jamie was right on me coming down Conrod, I had to block, I did in to the Chase, Jamie dived which he is 100% entitled to do, but I was going to attempt to hold my line around the outside. Jamie locked his rears and spared into me pushing me off at the chase.
This is where it got pretty hectic, I came back on the track expecting to rejoin behind the pair of them, little did I knew Jamie was trying to readdress the situation but trying to hold Garth behind him. I came back on the track gathered it up and as Garth went right to go around Jamie unfortunately we interlocked wheels and we were done both catapulting towards the fence. Both our days were done, Jamie carried on.
I don’t blame Jamie for having a go, he believes the move was on, I believe it wasn’t as he wasn’t under control of the car at the point of impact. I’ve had some awesome battles with Jamie and have a lot of respect for him and this incident doesn’t change my opinion.
This is why I hate this race; it can be in the palm of your hand and suddenly from a freak incident being ripped away from you like you wouldn’t believe. I will never know whether I could’ve won that race, got on the podium, I will never know what could’ve happened. If there was a safety car, did I have more pace then those two to hold them off, what would the race have been like for everyone at the track and at home? We will never ever know.
When the mountain bites, it bites hard, harder than any track in the world. But that is why we love it so much.
One thing is for sure, we will be back, I’ll be back and one-day if or when I win this race I will always look back at this race as the one that got away.
Although in conclusion I would like to say sorry to Garry Rogers, the team at GRM and also our fans for not getting the job done for you, nothing would’ve satisfied me more then to win that race for Garry or even just to get on the podium, I felt it would almost be my thank you to him for giving me my shot in Supercars, at a race that means so much to him.
He put me in the spotlight when no one else would, I wouldn’t be in this position without him and the people at GRM and I will be forever grateful for that.
That will eat at me forever.
Bring on Gold Coast and the rest of the year!
5th october 2016
bathurst 1000 2016 weekend preview
18th september 2016
sandown 500 2016 weekend review
15th september 2016
sandown 500 2016 weekend preview
13th september 2016
retro livery revealed for the Sandown 500
Garry Rogers Motorsport has stepped back 30 years unveiling our livery for this weekend’s Wilson Security Sandown 500.
The Volvo S60s have gone back to 1986 with a livery inspired by the Volvo Dealer Team Australian Touring Car Championship winning 240 Turbo.
“To be honest I was a little sceptical of the retro round and this was mainly due to the cost and interruption to our business. But, as a result of the enthusiasm of our sponsor group particularly John McMellan from Wilson and their contribution I was convinced that it was a good idea, I am very pleased that they did convince me because the cars look great. The Wilson Security Sandown 500 is an iconic event in our championship and it’s a place that provides me with many fond memories having first raced there in my early model (FX Holden) in 1967 and several years later launching my EH Holden off the causeway and into the dam!
I remember clearly Robbie Francevic invading our shores with the Volvo. It’s ironic that 30 years later we still have a Kiwi behind the wheel of a Volvo. Robbie achieved some remarkable results with the Volvo in 1986 and as much as I am not a superstitious person I pray that the 1986 livery provides us with some success
Both the Volvo S60s, #33 of Scott McLaughlin and David Wall and #34 of James Moffat and James Golding will be sporting the new livery for the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
29th august 2016
sydney motorsport park 2016 - weekend review
25th august 2016
Sydney motorsport park 2016 - weekend preview
25th July 2016
ipswich supersprint 2016 - garry's race report and review
They say that time flies when you are having fun. Well, I must be having a great time! This time last year I was surprised by the display that was put on of some of my old race cars (I didn’t even know that many existed) for my 70th birthday, and here we are again at Queensland Raceway. That was a great day, but we must move on and we all need to continue to work hard as we strive to do the very best that we can. Following this round we have five weeks off before the run home to the end of the season, including the all important Enduros.
This year has certainly been trying for all of us at GRM, but I have been incredibly proud of the attitude of all of my people and their single mindedness to keep pressing on and striving for success and the results that we have managed to achieve are certainly something that we can all be very proud of.
But, there is still a lot more to do and our intensity needs to step up another level if we want to be a contender for the Championship. Over the past couple of rounds we generally have not found the speed required to race at the front early in the weekend. But, as the weekends have unfolded and with the hard work of our mechanics and engineers we have managed to salvage what would be considered a reasonable result on the Sunday.
This weekend started with a session for the enduro drivers on Friday. Both Bieber (James Golding) and David Wall completed the half hour session and did a very good job finishing in 2nd and 6th. Sure, speed is important but the aim is to spend time in the car and for the drivers to familiarise themselves in readiness for the endurance races. This session was particularly important for Bieber who has been racing in the Development series where the racing is all on the hard tyre. This year for the first time Sandown will be raced on the soft tyre as will the Gold Coast and only Bathurst on the hard Dunlop tyre. It’s important for Bieber to get a feel for the soft tyre and the extra grip and later braking that results in its use.
Moff and Scotty had 2x1 hour practice sessions later in the afternoon. As usual these sessions have a dual purpose. Obviously the main purpose is to find a car set up that the drivers are comfortable with and what provides the best out of the car, and the second is to “test” any development parts that we have been designing and making between race meetings. If you want to be successful in this sport you can never be complacent and think that you have perfected everything. Somebody is always moving forward and if you don’t want to be left behind you also must continue to develop and test things. In some cases a lot of money and time can be spent thinking and doing things that you believe will improve the car only to find that you have taken a step back. This doesn’t mean that you give up on the idea, you may need to develop the change further and that is evolution in our sport.
At the end of Friday practice Scotty was 7th and Moff 11th.
Friday night and I was “knackered”. I believe that the day was the hottest July day in Ipswich for a very long time (and possibly ever), 30 deg. I apologise to all my fellow Victorians and other southern Australia residents about this ideal weather as they were all freezing down there!
Barry and I stopped in at the local Leagues Club (Brothers Leagues Club) for a parma and pot for dinner, I really enjoy seeing and talking to the locals in their environment. Coming from Victoria we don’t have Leagues Clubs, but the history, atmosphere and camaraderie of these places really makes me feel good.
Saturday morning and a short 15 minute practice session prior to qualifying for race 16 of the Championship. For today’s racing we are given two sets of Dunlop soft tyres and both sets are used during the 15 minute qualifying session and again in the race which requires at least one mandatory pit stop. Both Scotty and Moff were not 100% comfortable with the car’s performance and didn’t put together the best lap possible. It was tremendous to see Chris Pither top the times to achieve his very first pole position in Supercars. Moff was 13th and Scotty next to him in 14th.
Race 16 and Pither was first off the line, but was being pressured by Mostert (Prodrive), followed by the three Triple 8 cars. By the end of lap 1 Whincup led from Lowndes and Mostert 3rd. Moff was 11th after a solid start, but Scotty thinking the inside line into turn 1 was the safe bet was swamped on the outside as he was held up and lost several places after what looked like a very positive start to be in 15th. Moff drove with great aggression and by lap 6 after passes on Courtney and Coulthard (Penske) he was positioned 8th right behind the pole sitter Pither. On lap 7 Krusty called Scotty in for the mandatory stop. This was a little earlier than what had been planned pre race, but Scott was being held up as he battled in the mid pack. The plan in these instances is that he rejoins the race and puts together a sequence of “quick” laps and when the group that were racing around him pit he passes them while they are stopped. The risk is if you push too hard on the new tyres that they degrade too quickly and come the final laps of the race you are a sitting duck. In this instance Scotty didn’t see any benefit and finished 15th. Moff pitted on lap 17 and following all of the stops found himself in 9th and that is where he finished.
Out front the 888 cars dominated with the hard charging Van Gisbergen passing both Lowndes and Whincup in the closing laps to win. Again, it illustrates the importance of qualifying particularly for these 120 km. (39 laps) races. If you qualify mid field you are likely to race and finish mid field.
The positive out of the race today was both Moff and Scotty felt they had a good race car and their race speed was certainly comparable to all bar the runaway 888 cars. It’s quite obvious but we need to again unlock that qualifying potential that particularly Scott has shown over the past 3 seasons.
Sunday and another beautiful sunny Queensland day. Thank goodness we have a sponsor ride day on Monday so as I can delay heading back to the wind and rain in Melbourne.
Qualifying for today’s 200km (65 laps) race is over 20 minutes and we have three sets of soft tyres per car to use for qualifying and racing. The sequence of events in these sessions is the car goes out with “old” tyres on to warm up the brakes and re-enters pit lane and the guys put the first set of green tyres on. The driver then does completes an out lap and one or two flying laps then returns to pit lane. This sequence is repeated three times during the 20 minute session. At most tracks the fastest laps are done at the very end of the session as more rubber is laid on the track and the drivers push harder and harder.
Sometimes though if the air and hence track temperature is rising rapidly that the quickest time can occur earlier in the session. This was the case here with the quickest run being the second one. Triple 8 continued their dominance of yesterday locking out the front row with Whincup and Lowndes. Scotty improved from yesterday to be 10th and Moff 13th. Again the times were incredibly close and so as you can visualise this if Moff had have been 1/10th of a second quicker he would have been 6th. On track that is only 4.4 metres, so between 6th and 13th you need to jam 8 cars in 4.4 metres, nowhere else do we see such close competition.
Over the years at the Supercar meetings we often have fly overs and other activities. Of course the fighter jets feature at many events and still frighten the living daylights out of me, but here in Ipswich where the Amberley RAAF base is located we had the pleasure of seeing a large fighter jet refuelling jumbo gracefully fly overhead. The size of this plane and the way it appeared to slowly travel along pit lane at what appeared to be no faster than walking pace was a sight to behold.
Anyway we were here to race and not look up at the sky, although I often look up and say my prayers during a race!
Race 17, as usual the Sunday race required a minimum of two stops over which 120 litres of fuel must be put into the car. Flowing at approx. 4 litres per second this equates to a standing time of approx. 30 seconds over two stops. The plan was to stop Scotty somewhere between lap 15 and 20 and this would depend on what others around him did. As much as you want to run your own race it’s important to react to others so as to eliminate the risk of being undercut. The amount of fuel put into his car at the first stop would be between 15 and 20 seconds (60-80 litres) and this would depend on where we needed to slip him back into the race. The engineers are constantly monitoring the time gaps and if you can get an extra second or so of fuel in without losing a position then you do it, but if an extra second means you are going to exit pit lane in the middle of a pack of cars you will short fuel. It all looks easy on television but decisions like this can have a huge influence on the end result.
On the other hand the plan with Moff was to run him longer and put the majority of the required 120 litre fuel drop in at his first stop and as much as you would lose track position early it isn’t such a concern when you are racing mid pack as you should pick up those positions later in the race when your stop should be considerably shorter than others. The plan was to also run him longer through the middle stint and put his final set of tyres on later than most which would hopefully give him the opportunity to pick up spots as others lost pace.
Off the line Lowndesy got the jump on Whincup who was chasing his 100th career win and Scotty drove aggressively yet smartly to force his way to 8th by the second lap. Moff again showed that he is one of the best off the line and was in the top 10 by lap 4. On lap 9 with Coulthard pressing hard from behind and giving Moff a little nudge as they headed onto the main straight Moff didn’t give an inch and fought hard with the Penske car down the main straight. In the meantime both Cameron Waters (Prodrive) and Todd Kelly (Nissan) snuck in behind Coulthard and Moff lost 3 spots. It’s easy in retrospect to suggest that maybe he should have given the spot to Coulthard and dropped in behind him, but he chose to “drag race” him down the straight without considering the others coming from behind. On lap 12 the engineers reacted to the Nissan garage who called Caruso in who was two spots in front of Scotty at the time and called #33 in. With the professionalism of the teams we often take it for granted the ability of the guys during these stops. With brake temps. In excess of 800 deg. and noise and excitement everywhere the wheel changes and suspension adjustments happen in a matter of seconds. It then feels like a “lifetime” as the fuel goes in, but after 12 seconds he was on his way following Caruso down pit lane. Moff was the final car to pit for the first stop on lap 21 and as planned he took on a large amount of fuel (26 seconds) which put him back in the pack. The stint was going to be a long one for him and Moff would have to drive with controlled aggression so as to not ruin his tyres. Scotty spent the second stint in 6th behind Chris Pither. Like Moff and most of the field the middle stint is all about driving to a time and making your tyres last. In retrospect our approach with Scott may have been a little conservative as Pither was slightly slower and at certain parts of the track and was compromising the speed of #33. If Scott had have fought early in the stint and got past Pither without too much tyre degradation he could have kept in touch with the leading group.
The race upfront continued between Lowndes and Whincup. Following the final stops Caruso (Nissan) had done a great job to pass Winterbottom for third. Scotty was in 7th but a hard charging Mostert was coming from behind on the freshest of tyres amongst the lead group having stopped on lap 42, 7 laps after Scott. Mostert made the most of his fresh rubber to finish third behind Lowndes and Whincup and Scotty paced himself well to finish 6th just ahead of Tim Slade (BJR). Moff took his final stop on lap 43 and made the most of his tyres and raced from 16th to 11th in the final 20 laps.
Overall a satisfactory result without being exceptional. The positives are our race pace, reliability and team work are all very good, yet our qualifying performances have been subpar over the past 3 rounds. We all have work to do and that is what we will be doing between now and Sydney Motorsport Park (Eastern Creek).
I look forward to seeing our members and fans at Eastern Creek on the 26th of August.
21st july 2016
Ipswich Supersprint 2016 - Weekend Preview
10th july 2016
Townsville 400 2016 - Garry's race Report
As a team located in the southern state of Victoria, heading to Townsville is certainly something that we look forward to in the depths of our winter. Townsville is a very picturesque place and the climate throughout winter is clear blue skies and temperatures in the mid to high 20’s. The city is located on the coast and is highlighted by an area known as “The Strand” which is a long tropical beach with palm trees and manicured sand, a wonderful place to lie in the sun and watch the world go by. As much as I love racing our cars, this seemed a very viable alternative!
The Townsville 400 comprises of 2 x 200km races around a street circuit of 2.86klm in length which has 13 corners. The cars reach a top speed of 250+ kmh down the front straight and the track lends itself to overtaking. The layout of the Townsville street track is excellent for the fans with many grass mounds and other elevated areas that provide great viewing. Fans are even able to stand adjacent to the start/finish line only metres from the cars as they grid up and watch the start from the closest possible vicinity of any track in Australia.
Our week began in Mackay on the Tuesday where myself, Barry and the drivers met Joey and Simon (our DVS truck driver) at Crokers Truck Centre, one of Volvo’s major truck dealers in the country. The passion that we see from Volvo staff and customers at such visits is certainly something that inspires me to keep going. On Wednesday morning we headed to Townsville. This is certainly a drive I would recommend. A comfortable 5 hour drive where you pass through the beachside town of Bowen and see the Whitsunday Islands in the distance. The highlight of course is stopping and having a photo with the Giant Mango. We stopped in Bowen for lunch and the little beach at Horseshoe Bay is somewhere that you could sit for hours. But we had to press on to visit the Volvo Truck Dealership in Townsville later in the afternoon.
On Thursday the boys had all arrived and the truck was unloaded and the pit area was set up. The cars were rolled out and the build up for the weekend was in full swing.
Friday comprised of 2 x 40 minute practice sessions. Again, these sessions are used to fine tune the car for the circuit and the conditions, but to also test any changes that the engineers back at work had come up with. Following these sessions both Moff and Scotty were reasonably happy with the car set up. Scotty was 6th and Moff 14th. Yet again it was mere tenths that separated the majority of the 26 car field. Saturday qualifying and for the first time in recent memory Scotty didn’t quite get it together in the session and qualified 18th. He wasn’t unhappy with the car and didn’t encounter any on track issue that caused this result, he was first to admit that he “stuffed” it up. On the other hand Moff did a very commendable job to qualify 9th and I was very happy to see him get some reward for the effort both he and the #34 crew were putting in. The front row was taken up with the 88 cars of Whincup and Van Gisbergen.
Race time and with 70 laps and 200klm ahead it was important for Scott to be patient and not try and fix his qualifying disappointment in the first lap. When you qualify back there is fine line between being too aggressive and not aggressive enough. If you over drive the car you will take the best out of the tyres too quickly and are also likely to have misadventures with other cars. But, if you are too conservative you will be pushed around by those racing with you. Scotty got off the line well and had positioned himself well heading into turn 1 to have Dale Wood (Nissan) to try and slip in behind him and misjudge this move and he made contact with #33 left rear wheel with the Nissan’s right front wheel. Scotty radioed in saying he had damage and thought it was suspension component, he was directed straight into the garage only to find he had a flat tyre. The car then had to be pushed back out of the garage and under the pit boom for refuelling and tyre change. By this time the field had passed and Scott was lapped, any chance of a reasonable result were extinguished at that point yet it was important to press on and earn what ever Championship points that he could. Scott finished 24th.
Moff started well and hovered between 8th and 10th in the opening laps. Out front it was Whincup from Van Gisbergen and Courtney (HRT). The race required a minimum of 2 stops and at least 120 litres be put in the car during the pit stops. The plan was to stop Moff between laps 15 and 20, and as some began to pit at lap 13 we brought him in on lap 17. The risk of staying out when other cars around you have pitted is being “undercut”. Undercutting is when a car that is behind you on track pits before you and then puts together a succession of quick laps on new tyres while you are still circulating on “old rubber” and when you finally stop they pass you in pit lane because of the time they have made up. Of course if you stop too early and the initial effort on the new tyres will cause them to deteriorate earlier than those who pitted later. But, it is much easier to pass a car in pitlane than it is on the track. Following these initial stops Moff was still racing in the 10. Moff’s second stop came about a few laps earlier than what was planned as he was struggling with rear grip and it was deemed a ride height adjustment may help the rear grip and subsequent tyre wear. He pitted on lap 35 when he was 9th behind Lowndes (888). This turned out to be too premature as he then need to make it home to lap 70, unfortunately the changes helped a little but not enough and with a 35 lap stint required on the set of tyres Moff had no grip to race those around him and finished 17th. Whincup won from Van Gisbergen with Winterbottom 3rd.
To be honest not one of our best days at the track, but there were certainly signs that we could move forward on Sunday.
Saturday night and the atmosphere in Townsville and certainly at the track was fantastic with rock and roll bands playing and everybody generally having a good time. The behaviour of Supercar race goers always impresses me. Generally it is families and groups of people out to enjoy themselves and I have always found our crowds to be extremely respectful of each other and just enjoying a great time.
At the street race events the Sunday qualifying is followed by a Top 10 shootout. In recent years we have certainly enjoyed Scott’s qualifying ability and have been involved in many of these shootouts. First qualifying. Both Moff and Scott were confident of a good showing following Moff’s qualifying speed yesterday and Scott determined not to make the mistakes he made in qualifying again.
The first run looked good as both boys were at the top of the sheets, and as they headed out on their warm up lap for the second run Moff was crashed into by Bright (BJR) and the front right steering arm was broken. He limped back to the put and with four minutes of qualifying left the boys went straight to work and changed the arm in just over two minutes, but with the qualifying countdown clock down to 1.40 Moff was never going to get out of pit lane and around the circuit in time to complete a flyer. This was a real shame and no fault of Moff’s as Bright was later handed a three spot grid penalty.
Scotty’s determination paid off and he qualified 6th, a little over 2/10ths off the pole time of VanGisbergen, but in the all important Top 10 shootout. The shootouts are always exciting, particularly if a car that goes out early sets a good time and the crowd watch in anticipation as the following cars try and top the time. Qualifying 6th meant that Scott was the 5th car on track. A good position to have as he has had the opportunity to see a few go before him and be the beneficiary of the rubber they have put on the track, but also if able to put together a really good lap put pressure on those to come. Dave Reynolds (Erebus) was the early pacesetter and he headed the times as Scott came on the track. Scotty was right on his pace for the first two sectors of the lap and fell 8/1000’s short of Dave’s time. The final result was Winterbottom (Prodrive) who was 3rd last out did a tremendous job to out do the 888 cars of Lowndes, Whincup and VanGisbergen.
We certainly went into the race with spirits high. The engineers were confident that changes made to Moff’s car would help the issue with the wear and lack of grip that he was experiencing with the rear tyres on #34 car and if he could translate the speed that he had shown in qualifying and stay out of trouble a worthy result was expected. As usual the race start was frantic and off the 3rd row Dave Reynolds did unexceptional job to weave his way to second by turn 1, Scotty was also there amongst the top 3, but was positioned on the outside and had to give up a couple of positions to force his way back to the race line. Moff charged off the line and drove like a man possessed, clinically picking off cars lap after lap to force his way into the top 10 as the first round of pit stops began on lap 13. The race was led by Winterbottom from Reynolds and Whincup. Scotty pitted on lap 15 and Moff lap 18. The middle stages of a race are often a little confusing and mixed as teams often have different strategies pitting at different times. On lap 31 Kostecki (Team 18 - replacement for the injured Lee Holdsworth) had a coming together with the wall and the Safety Car was deployed. With 39 laps to go and the cars holding 109 litres when full and the fuel rate approx. 2.7 litres per lap the window was there to fill up and race forhome. The only issue would be tyre degradation over a 36 or 37 lap race to the line once the race restarted. The changes the boys had made to Moff’s car and his driving had seen him racing strongly and in 9th with 9 laps to go. Scotty was also making ground on Whincup who was 3rd. On lap 61 Heimgartner (LDM) came to a halt around the back of the circuit.
Earlier in the race Snake (Jacob Rayner) had discussed the option of a late tyre change and had put to the boys what would we do if a Safety Car came with 10 laps to go. The decision was made that we would stay out if those in front of us stayed out. This decision ended up being the right one for Scott who was 4th at the time but didn’t work for Moff who was 9th. Unfortunately for Moff one car in front of him came in, Courtney (HRT) and the remainder of the field behind him except for Tander who was 11th. In normal circumstances it takes three laps for a restart following a Safety Car in these circumstances. But, the officials towed the car from the track rather than putting it on the truck and the track was cleared within a lap. This is the right thing to do as it racing we want to see and not cars being pulled up on trucks, but the with 7 laps to race it was going to be tough to keep the cars on fresh tyres behind. Moff did his best and with only 5 laps to go he did what he could to hold his 8th position, but the fresh tyre train behind him swallowed him up and he finished 19th. Scotty had a little more protection with four cars between himself and the freight train coming. He pressed hard and after overcoming the lapped Pither (111) he pressured the back of Whincup, Courtney was leading the pack through and in the final two laps passed Scotty, Whincup and Winterbottom on the line behind the winner Van Gisbergen (888).
It’s easy to look back now and say that we should have pitted Moff. But, if Courtney had have been the only car to pit he would have looked silly going from 7th to last, but because the field then all came in behind Moff we were the ones that made the wrong decision. That is racing and we move on. I am disappointed for Moff and the #34 crew that they didn’t get the result that they deserved, but I am buoyed by the performance of them. For Scottygreat comeback following Saturday’s disappointment and I am confident that we can continue the push forward in two weeks time at QR.
Also over the weekend our two DVS cars were racing in Townsville. Both drivers performing well with James “Bieber” Golding in car #99 qualifying 8th for race 1 while Richard Muscat in car #99 qualified 5th and eventually finishing 5th, while James finished 9th. Sunday saw Richard start 6th again out qualifying James who started 8th. Richard finished 4th however was excluded from the race results due to a parc ferme breach after parking his car in the incorrect place at the end of the race, his exclusion bumped James up to 4th place.
A big congratulations to all concerned for the organisation of this event. The City of Townsville do an incredible job and the event is embraced whole heartedly by the entire community. If you haven’t been to Townsville either for the Supercars or for a family holiday, I would recommend that you do. I wish I was still there, I’m freezing!!
28th june 2016
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN TO RACE FOR DJR TEAM PENSKE BEGINNING IN 2017
DJR Team Penske today announced that one of the top rising stars in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Scott McLaughlin, will join the team beginning in 2017 to drive the No. 17 DJR Team Penske Ford.
Currently ranked third in the Supercars Championship standings, McLaughlin brings experience and an impressive level of success to DJR Team Penske despite being just 23 years old.
Now in his fourth full year competing in the Supercars Championship, McLaughlin has earned 8 race wins, 17 pole positions and 22 podium results. He has finished in the top 10 in the final championship standings in each of his seasons as a full-time competitor.
McLaughlin will be paired with Fabian Coulthard to lead a two-car DJR Team Penske program in 2017.
“There’s no question that Scott McLaughlin is one of the top drivers in the series and we’re excited to bring him aboard at DJR Team Penske,” said team founder Dick Johnson.
“With the combination of McLaughlin and Coulthard we look forward to chasing race wins next season in what really is the most competitive touring cars series in the world.”
McLaughlin has posted seven top-five results in the first 13 races this season, including a pair of victories from pole position in Races 6 and 7 at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint.
“We have watched Scott closely over the last few seasons and have admired his talent and his ability to get the best results out of his car week in and week out,” said Roger Penske.
“As we continue to raise the level of performance at DJR Team Penske we believe he will be a key addition to our Team on and off the track.”
A native of Christchurch, New Zealand, McLaughlin became the then-youngest driver to race a V8 Supercar when he competed in the championship’s development category, the Dunlop Series, at the age of 16 in 2010.
In 2012 he memorably won both the Dunlop Series with Stone Brothers Racing and captured New Zealand’s V8 SuperTourer Series championship.
Racing full time in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for the first time in 2013, McLaughlin produced two wins and finished 10th in the championship while also earning Rookie of the Year honours.
In 2014 he experienced his most successful season to date with four wins, 10 podiums and 10 poles to finish fifth in the season standings as well as winning the Barry Sheene Medal, awarded to the sport’s best and fairest driver for the season.
“This is a great opportunity for me to join one of the most accomplished Supercar teams in history and, hopefully, we can continue to grow together,” said McLaughlin.
“I want to thank two absolute motorsport legends in Dick Johnson and Roger Penske for believing in me. I’m really excited about the future with the organization.”
About DJR Team Penske
DJR Team Penske was formed in 2015 when two of the most successful teams in motorsports history came together. Both organizations have tremendous histories with Dick Johnson Racing winning seven Australian Touring Car / V8 Supercars Championships and three Bathurst 1000 victories while Team Penske’s U.S. motorsports entities are among the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, including NASCAR and INDYCAR, Team Penske has produced more than 430 major race wins, over 490 pole positions, 28 National Championships and 16 Indianapolis 500 victories during its storied 50-year history.
21st June 2016
Darwin Supersprint 2016 - Garry's Race Report
The Darwin event is my favourite Super Sprint event on the calendar. The atmosphere in Darwin is tremendous and the local community led by the Northern Territory Government really get behind the event. Also, heading to the top end from Melbourne in June is certainly a great improvement weather wise and you can be assured that it will be 33 deg every day. The Hidden Valley circuit is spectator friendly, in that you can locate yourself on the inside of the circuit and see much of the track. Spectators are able to get quite close to the action as the track is in an amphitheatre type setting.
Joey our transporter driver left our Dandenong South headquarters in his Volvo FH16 700 on Friday evening just before midnight and arrived into Darwin on Tuesday afternoon at 5.00pm. The trip to Darwin is 3850 kms and FH16 used 2150 litres of fuel. If we went back 10 years we used to use over 3000 litres of fuel, Volvo have certainly led the way in fuel economy when it comes to prime movers.
Joe is certainly well known along the route to Darwin as he is one of only a couple of guys that have driven Supercar race transporters to the top end since the first race in 1998. Joey, when time permits always spends time explaining what we do and “showing off” his truck. An interesting story unfolded on this trip to Darwin. First, we need to go back 12 months to the 2015 event and on the journey to Darwin while stopped at Tenant Creek Joe spent some time with an older couple and their daughter who were locals. Joe as “proud as a dog with four balls” explained to the people what we did and how good his truck was and so on. This year we were informed that the daughter of this couple had a baby the following week to this encounter with Joe, and the baby was a boy. So impressed by Joey the daughter named the baby Joe! FYI we did go back through Joe’s log book to confirm that he hadn’t been travelling in the area 9 months earlier. Well done Joey, you represent my Team in a manner that makes me very proud.
In recent years the Hidden Valley circuit has been one that we have not quite mastered and as much as we do our homework diligently before each event the engineers certainly focused on areas that we believed could improve our performance. Friday practice consisted on 2x1 hour sessions and following practice Scotty was 4th and Moff 7th. Whincup (888) was quickest.
The results of these sessions can sometimes be a little flattering if you use good tyres and others don’t. For Friday practice teams are able to use tyres from previous race meetings and each team is also given a new/green set which at the conclusion of the day must be handed back therefore cannot be used over the weekend. Teams that have a bank of “good” tyres because of previous race DNF’s may opt to hand the new tyres back and save them for another practice session. The aim in practice is to set the car up as close to what is perfect for the driver. This set up can be markedly different on a new tyre as to what it is on a used tyre. The engineers and tyre technicians go through the bank of tyres and choose the “best” that we have from previous race meetings and work up to putting the green set on when the driver is most comfortable with the car. The problem is that sometimes the dynamics of the car can change quite markedly when the new tyre is put on.
After all of this we were satisfied with our position following practice and believed only minor changes were necessary heading into qualifying on Saturday.
Friday night and the Chief Minister holds a reception for the Teams at Parliament House. This has become an annual event and is quite spectacular as it is located on the lawns of Parliament House overlooking the Port of Darwin and Timor Sea. Some very good news was announced this year with the Darwin Supercar contract being extended to 2030 and the potential for a night race in the not too distant future.
We all got to bed at a sensible hour on Friday night as we had to head to the track at 6.00am on Saturday as the boys had arranged a race around the circuit. I was on my toes and headed off while they were all waffling and was 2k’s into the 3k lap before the rest of the boys started. I was sure that this was my chance to “win” but as the sun began to provide early glimpses of morning light and I was halfway down the main straight to the finish line I was rounded up by the boys and disappointingly finished last. But, I will be back! Next time I will give myself a 2.5k head start.
Qualifying and the result for us was disappointing considering our practice form. Scotty was 15th and Moff 20th. Of course when a performance like this occurs when it appears that you have good speed you need to analyse why? The reason appears that we didn’t go “hard” enough in our first qualifying run. In the 15 minute sessions you complete two qualifying runs of 1-2 laps each. The fastest times are normally recorded at the very end more rubber is laid onto the track. Our approach is to be a little more conservative on the first run and give it 110% on the second. The engineers were watching the sky as there was cloud cover and it looked like thickening. This makes a difference to the car speed; the cars are always quicker when there is cloud cover as the track temp drop s slightly. The problem was the cloud cleared rather than thickened and opposite to most qualifying sessions it was the times set early in the session that dominated the top positions.
Back in 15th and 20th you certainly put yourself in a position of being caught up in either your own or other peoples scraps. With Scotty positioned well in the Championship, but also keeping in mind we are still relatively early in the season it would be important for him to not DNF and for Moff we are really looking for a result that we believe will give him the confidence and belief that he can run at the front. Off the line Moff certainly showed that picking up an incredible 9 places on the opening lap moving from 20th to 11th with Scotty in 13th. This all occurred after Lowndes was hit from behind at turn 5 as the cars concertinaed and Rick Kelly (Nissan) couldn’t avoid the rear of Lowndes’ car.
Unfortunately a couple of laps later Moff radioed in that his steering wasn’t feeling right and had to pit. It appeared that contact during these opening laps had damaged a power steering fitting. The race was led by Michael Caruso (Nissan) until he was passed by Van Gisbergen on lap 4. Scotty had driven smartly to work his way into the top 10 by lap 6. The race required one compulsory pit stop and all four tyres had to be changed. We also planned on a quick splash of fuel. Our plan was to bring Scotty in around lap 15 and other teams began pitting from lap 11. Following the compulsory stops Scotty was 11th, having lost a position to Winterbottom (Prodrive) during the stops. Following a late penalty for an infringement on an earlier Safety Car restart where Van Gisbergen came up alongside Caruso on the restart but passed him before the control line, Scotty moved up to tenth. Caruso went on to win from Whincup (888) and Mostert (Prodrive).
Overall quite an entertaining race and from our perspective I was disappointed for Moffat and pleased that Scott was able to salvage an “ok” result from the disappointment of qualifying.
Saturday night and the engineers and drivers spent considerable time analysing what they could from the day’s activities while the mechanics turned their hand to panel beating to straighten the battle damaged cars for Sunday.
One obvious point was it was difficult to pass on the circuit and tyre degradation was not extreme. Hidden Valley was resurfaced a little more than 12 months ago and is still relatively smooth. It is not until the aggregate on the track starts to come through that tyre degradation increases. A smooth track is great for lap times and the drivers like to drive on it, but racing improves in regards to passing when the track surface “roughens” up.
Qualifying for Sunday was a 20 minute session and the aim was to be inside the top 10 as this race features a Top 10 shootout. Scotty was at the top of times after his second of a planned three qualifying runs. Krusty (Richard Hollway) decided to save the tyres that were ready for the third run as he was confident that Scott’s time would keep him in the 10 and he would then have a new set that he could use in the shootout. This all worked out as Scott qualified 6th. Lowndes was quickest. Moff was 4/10ths off pole, but yet again as we see consistently 10ths of seconds equate to many grid positions. The top 25 cars were separated by a little more than 7/10ths.
The Top 10 shootouts are held from 10th to 1st. Scotty was 5th out and completed a solid, yet no brilliant lap. Tod Kelly, 10th qualifier and 1st man out did a tremendous job to set the second quickest time behind Van Gisbergen. Scotty ended up 7th.
Thankfully today there was a nice breeze and in the shade the day was pleasant. The Hidden Valley facility looked a picture with the track side signs all fresh and bright, the kerbs freshly painted and the new race control building on top of the garages only recently been constructed. The drivers parade was completed on the back of Harley Davidson’s and all was ready for the 200km (70 lap) race.
The lights went out and the race began. As the cars raced into turn 1, like yesterday it looked like there was going to be action in the chasing pack. As the cars went through turns 3 and 4 Lee Holdsworth shot off onto the grass and made heavy contact with the concrete wall on the inside of the circuit.
Moments later both Coulthard and Mostert came off second best with a tussle that included Courtney and Moffat and both cars were done for the day. The Safety Car came out and the entire field raced into pitlane. As with all of these early SC periods pitlane is mayhem as teams queue their cars for service. The reason for this is if you do not come in more time is lost staying out and pitting later, as much as one car has to wait you are normally better off. As Scott was in front of Moff he pitted first and the guys did a tremendous job to have Scotty released into pitlane with Moff only having to wait for a few seconds. As Scott went up pitlane on his exit he was blocked by Pither who was queuing for his pit bay and this allowed the cars in front of Pither including Courtney who started 20th to exit in front of Scott. The result was that having entered pitlane in 5th McLaughlin exited in 7th. Moff had done an extremely good job as he muscled his way in and around the mid pack carnage to keep the #34 car straight. After another smooth job by the boys in pitlane Moff rejoined the race in 13th. The Safety Car period went on for 5 or 6 laps as the track was cleared of the damaged cars. On the restart Lowndes (888) led the pack away from Todd Kelly (Nissan) and Winterbottom and Van Gisbergen.
As they approached turn 1 Winterbottom pressured Kelly while Van Gisbergen was menacing Winterbottom and the result was Winterbottom slammed into the back of Kelly who did an exceptional job to somehow not spear off, yet he lost several places. The front of Winterbottom’s Ford was damaged and required immediate attention and he pitted. His day got worse as he was also dealt a drive through penalty for the misdemeanour. In the meantime Scott and Moff were doing a very sensible job in 5th and 9th respectively. Late in the race Scotty was clearly quicker than Will Davison (Tekno) whom he was behind, but Will drove smartly to keep him at bay. Lap after lap Scotty would lurk up alongside him through turns 4, 5 and 6, but could not make a pass stick. By now Courtney (HRT) and Caruso (Nissan) had closed in on the back of Scotty.
McLaughlin kept at it and tried several different places to overtake and on lap 40 after all the lead guys had completed their final stops Scotty appeared to get passed Davison through turn 5 but was now positioned on the outside into the hairpin at turn 6. He desperately tried to find that car length to slot in front of Will, but couldn’t and was hung out wide and Courtney and Caruso swooped. Scotty was now 7th, where he eventually finished. Moff was in relatively clean air and catching this battle group in front and I was happy with his performance to finish 10th. Up front Van Gisbergen led from a late charging Tim Slade (BJR) who continued his form from Winton and Lowndes was 3rd.
It’s amazing when others suffer considerable damage and more particularly when somebody is hurt; as Lee Holdsworth was (broken pelvis) a little “poor” form on the track doesn’t seem quite so significant. But, we are a Team wanting to win. Each and every one of my boys and girls want to win and to that end we had an average weekend. But, we can pack our truck up, replace a few damaged panels and general “gravel rash” from a weekend of Supercar racing and prepare for Townsville in 3 weeks, others have much bigger challenges.
Thanks and I certainly can’t wait to make it to the streets of Townsville!
23rd July 2016
Winton Supersprint 2016 - Garry's Race Report
I know in my reports I often refer to Joey our transporter driver and again I can’t help myself. Joey is a most valued member of my team and at the risk of sounding biased Joe is the most organised, fastidious and caring truck driver in pit lane. To highlight my point Joey spends as much time on the “weather app” as he does caring for his Volvo Globetrotter FH16 700.
The unpack schedule for the round was at 3.30pm on Thursday, if I was driving the transporter I would head off from our Dandenong South Headquarters at 12.00noon that day. But Joey, having spent considerable time and effort to have his transporter and trailers absolutely gleaming and the truck being packed on Tuesday afternoon decided to head off Tuesday night to avoid the adverse weather that looked like coming over the following day. Thank goodness the sleeper cabin is so comfortable and Joey’s wife packs his meals! Thanks Joe, I always feel immensely proud when I arrive at a race track and see the transporter shining.
Winton is located approx. 220 kms north east of Melbourne near Benalla. Travelling to Winton always brings back many memories. It was the place in 1963 where I won my first ever race in an FX Holden and I have been hooked on racing ever since.
The Winton round was the Super Sprint format. That is 1x120 km (40 laps) race on Saturday and 1x200 km (67 laps) race on Sunday. The track was resurfaced earlier in the year and we had tested just following the resurfacing and again a month ago.
The test earlier in the year was not much help in regards to car performance and behaviour due to the very hot temperatures on the day and then amount of dust on the track as a result of the resurfacing works. To explain it simply as much as a particular race track is always the same in regards to layout, it can be totally different in regards to grip level depending on many variables. What works one day maybe the complete opposite to what works on another occasion. Certainly, testing at particular tracks familiarises the driver with the layout and they often discover little idiosyncrasies that are only discovered because of the volume of laps that they do. The Engineers must determine from the driver feedback what is required in regards to car set up to obtain the maximum performance out of the race car.
The year to date for Wilson Security Racing GRM has been extremely positive and the completion of this round marked the 1/4 mark of the season. Scotty has been very solid since the opening round at Clipsal and this consistency and back to back wins at Phillip Island has put him in a position near the pointy end of the Championship. For Scott and the Team this is a good stepping stone for the remainder of the year as in past years we have constantly been chasing from back in the pack. Moff has had a mixed start to the season, but has certainly shown that when things go right that he has the skill to be in the mix.
Friday afternoon and we had 2x1hour practice sessions. Prior to this there was a 30 minute session for the endurance drivers. As previously reported David Wall and GRM apprentice mechanic and Dunlop Series driver Bieber (James Golding) will compete in the Pirtek Endurance Cup. The idea of these 30 minute sessions is to give the guys track time in the cars. My advice to the boys in these sessions is to put consistent laps together and to drive as smooth as possible. During the endurance races it is vital that the drivers that support the “main game” drivers keep the car in good condition while been consistent with their speed. You don’t need a guy that can break a lap record one lap, and spear off into a sand trap (or worse) the next. If a so called co-driver can be steady and hand the car back to the lead driver in good condition that is what is needed. I was very happy with both boys performance on Friday.
Following the 2 x 1hour practice sessions in the afternoon Scotty was 5th and Moff 20th. Tim Slade (BJR) continued where he left off at the pre season test on top. The track was certainly quick with the first 18 cars all in the 1.19 bracket and at the same round last year the guys were doing 1.23’s. Obviously the track was very fast, but the track was impacted by the concrete dust that was brought back onto the track if a car went slightly offline. Unfortunately this would lead to a single racing line as the guys would be wary of going offline and being caught out by the dust that had been brought onto the track. In time this issue will rectify itself but it may require some further sealing works in and around the curbs and corners. To create really good hard and thrust racing the drivers need to be confident that they will have grip, when dust is on the track they will not choose a line other than the clean racing line.
Friday night and Barry and I were intrigued by the number of campers located opposite the pits. We went across and met up with some old and made some new friends. I was amazed by the number of campers and was particularly impressed by the family atmosphere and general happy feel in the camp ground and very appreciative of the kind people that offered us a cold beer. Of course Bathurst is famous for camping, but Winton should be commended on providing this opportunity for people to camp and watch the Motor Racing from their door step.
Saturday and I woke early after falling asleep with a piece of chocolate in my hand watching the footy on Friday night. I actually ate so much chocolate I had the guilt’s and decided I needed a good walk. I headed off from the motel in Benalla on the 10km walk to the track. If it wasn’t for all of the kind hearted people continually stopping and offering me a lift I would have made it, but was eventually picked up by Scotty and Barry as I neared the track.
Following Friday’s practice we were all well aware of how important this qualifying session was going to be. With the track being extremely difficult to pass qualifying well would most likely mean finishing well. Scott has a tremendous mindset when it comes to qualifying and he gets himself in a zone where he is able to blank out any outside influence and totally focus on that one important lap. Over the years I have had some very good drivers drive for me and I have observed some of our all time greats from close quarters and Scott is up with the best of them when it comes to making the very best out of what he has at his disposal.
We were struggling to find the exact balance in the Volvo that gave the driver the confidence to really have a go. But Scott was able to put aside the little doubts and negatives and do a tremendous job on qualifying 4th . Moff was unable to get the set up to a level where he was comfortable and was 7/10ths back in 21st. Tim Slade continued his Winton form, posting pole.
Starting from 4th Scotty had a blistering start ducking left and then right as they headed into turn 1. Scott had passed both Winterbottom and Waters (Prodrive) and followed Slade who led from pole. The race would require that all cars stop a minimum of once and change all four tyres. Unfortunately for the third time this season Moff’s race was done on the opening lap when he bent a steering arm as result of racing contact. I know this is said often but the only way to lessen the chance of this damage is to qualify further up where the racing is cleaner and less congested.
The leading cars began to pit around lap 10 and Scotty came in on lap 11. Following all of the stops Slade led from Scotty and Winterbottom with the Nissan of Rick Kelly in 4th, and that is how it ended.
Saturday night and as usual the engineers and drivers discussed the day’s activities. Without going into too much detail, the overall message was the guys were not totally comfortable with the car that only a few weeks earlier at the test felt great. The “head scratching” began and a direction on set up was required. The things that are discussed and mulled over in these discussions are “do we want to make big changes when we had a car that finished 2nd?”, “is the result and the fact that Scott did a really great job in “holding” the field behind him for 30 laps masking the fact that our cars weren’t quite right?”. All of these discussions take place and a conservative approach was taken. As there was no practice on Sunday morning and it was straight into qualifying, it was deemed too big a risk to make changes that potentially could be worse and then not have the time in a qualifying session to return the car to where it was.
Again Scott showed his qualifying prowess qualifying 6th, .18 off the pole time of Chaz Mostert (Prodrive). Moff, the same as yesterday was still 7/10ths back.
The 200km (67lap) race would require the mandatory 120 litre fuel drop over two pit stops where tyres would also be changed. Based on yesterday’s race and the fact that there was little tyre degradation due to the billiard table smooth surface it was likely that there would not be a lot of overtaking. Off the start Coulthard (DJR Penske) got a rocket like start and led Mostert off pole into turn 1. Scotty picked up one spot and was 5th.
During these 200 km races many strategies play out. The first thing that teams try and do is separate their cars. What I mean here is you want to put your two cars on different race strategies so as to avoid them having to queue in pit lane. In most circumstances you will allow the lead car (and in that I mean the one in front of the other on the track) to take the more conservative or traditional strategy based on a clean (no Safety Car) race and pit the second car around that. With little tyre degradation likely here many teams chose to pit early. Moff was caught up in traffic and he pitted on lap 5.
It was evident from the start that Scott lacked speed and he did a commendable job to hold 5th, with a gaggle of cars led by Caruso (Nissan) behind him when he stopped on lap 17. Unfortunately the lap following Scott’s stop the Safety Car was deployed for debris on the track left by the Plus Fitness car of Aaren Russell that had a puncture.
The Safety Car allowed the teams that had stopped in the opening couple of laps to again take on part of their 120 litres of fuel. As Scott had just stopped there was no room in the tank for anymore fuel. Moff also couldn’t benefit as the Safety Car fell a couple of laps short of what would have been required for him to put the mandatory fuel requirement in.
All of this led to Scott racing in a pack midfield. The race upfront had changed as Tim Slade put out consistently quick laps and by mid race he led from Winterbottom and Coulthard. Not much changed from here and that is how it finished. Scotty and Moff both battled, and finished 11th and 19th respectively.
Really big congratulations to the entire BJR Team and Tim Slade on a dominant weekend of racing. It is really tremendous to see a guy that has been racing and trying for many seasons to have breakthrough like this. Yet another winner this season, the racing although this weekend didn’t produce the excitement of Perth has been the best it has ever been and we all can’t wait to get to Darwin in a month.
With four weeks until Darwin it’s vital that we all take stock, prepare thoroughly for the next stage of the Championship. As previously mentioned as far as race weekends go we are only a little over a ¼ of the way through the season. As a Team we are in the mix and have certainly an opportunity to push further up the ladder as the season progresses. This won’t happen by writing or talking about it, we must all work hard do our little bit and those little bits will add to something bigger.
I look forward to reporting to you all after Darwin!
PS I won’t be going fishing!
10TH MAY 2016
PERTH SUPERSPRINT 2016 SUNDAY WRAP UP
9th MAY 2016
PERTH SUPERSPRINT 2016 SATURDAY WRAP UP
8th may 2016
perth supersprint 2016 friday wrap up
7th may 2016
perth supersprint preview 2016
1st may 2016
MCLAUGHLIN IMPRESSIVE IN STCC DEBUT
Scott McLaughlin, who stepped in for Prince Carl Philip this weekend, impressed by being on pace straight away at the Swedish circuit, being just two tenths from Dahlgren in qualifying in second position.
The Kiwi went on to finish second in the first race from fourth on the grid, below two seconds from race winner Dahlgren. But the second race saw him being taken out by Reuben Kressner in the hairpin on lap five after he had fought his way into the top three from ninth on the grid.
”I was hit from behind in the second race, nothing I could do about it. While that was disappointing, I am pleased with my pace in qualifying and to claim a podium finish. My goal was to break into the top three and that is what I have done,” said McLaughlin.
It was a shame that McLaughlin was eliminated in the second race, but he has delivered way beyond expectations and we are more than pleased with his efforts,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
25th April 2016
Scott Mclaughlin to substitute for Prince Carl Philip in the stcc
Scott McLaughlin will substitute for Prince Carl Philip at Polestar Cyan Racing in the opening round of the 2016 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship this weekend.
”I am looking forward to go to Sweden again for my second visit, this time I will be driving a race car which is exactly what I want to do,” said McLaughlin who visited the team in 2014.
Prince Carl Philip will miss the first STCC race of the 2016 season due to the 70th birthday of his father King Carl XVI Gustaf, as well as having become a father himself in the past week.
”Warm congratulations from all of us at Polestar Cyan Racing to Prince Carl Philip and while we are sorry to miss him for the first race, Scott is a young and promising racing talent who has done a great job in Australia. We are delighted to have him with us for the first race and he will certainly face a tough challenge with so limited time in the STCC car, but we are confident in his abilities to adapt,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
McLaughlin, 22 years old from New Zealand, is currently racing for Volvo Cyan Racing and Volvo Car Australia in the Australian V8 Supercars, one of the toughest touring car championships in the world, most recently claiming a double victory at the fast and challenging Phillip Island circuit.
McLaughlin will join regular STCC drivers Robert Dahlgren and Richard Göransson in Polestar Cyan Racing’s third Volvo S60 Polestar STCC at the Skövde Airport Race on May 1st.
”I am just looking forward to the challenge and will try to do a good job for the prince of Sweden who I am subbing in for. I am really excited to join my old team-mate Robert Dahlgren in the STCC with Polestar Cyan Racing. Hopefully we will come away with a podium, that would be great,” said McLaughlin.
17th April 2016
Sunday Report - Phillip Island 2016
Scott McLaughlin secured his best V8 Supercars weekend for Wilson Security Racing GRM and Volvo.
Racing at Phillip Island with two pole positions and two convincing victories, becoming the first multiple race winner of 2016.
"This means so much for me and the team. I couldn¹t have done it with a great team behind me and the fan support," said McLaughlin.
The young Kiwi started the weekend by recording the fastest ever V8 Supercars lap time around Phillip Island during practice and went on to
claim pole position for the first race.
McLaughlin headed the field from lights to flag in race one, a feat he repeated in race two, again starting from pole position and winning
despite a late safety car session with ten laps left.
"This has been one of those weekend when everything went right. Great car speed. Took pole twice. Won both races convincingly. It has been a tough
time but now I think we are finally back to where we belong," said McLaughlin.
Team mate James Moffat had a promising weekend, recording a new personal best for the team with fifth in qualifying and finishing race one in
The double victory has elevated McLaughlin to second place in the drivers championship, just 15 points behind multiple champion and current leader
The championship continues with the Perth SuperSprint in three weeks.
16th April 2016
Saturday Report - Phillip Island 2016
15th April 2016
Friday Report - Phillip island 2016
14th April 2016
Phillip Island Round 3 2016 Preview
4th April 2016
Report Tasmania 2016
20th march 2016
Report AGP 2016
Wilson Security Racing GRM’s Scott McLaughlin experienced a weekend of mixed fortunes at the Australian Grand Prix, after a promising start at the season opener.
McLaughlin finished fourth in the V8 Supercars Championship points at the close of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, however finished 12th in the standings at the AGP – an annual non-championship round for V8 Supercars.
While Car 33 proved to be racey across the course of the weekend, McLaughlin said the progress GRM have made with the S60 Volvo wasn’t illustrated at Albert Park.
Holding on to his fourth place in the Championship standing, McLaughlin is looking forward to attacking the Symmons Plains circuit at the second round on the Championship calendar: the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint.
“Tasmania is a track that hasn’t been good to us in the past, but hopefully that changes in a couple of weeks time,” McLaughlin said.
“The progress we made at the AGP was good, but I’m most looking forward to building on the gains we made as a team in Tassie and moving up the Championship ladder.
“ It was a disappointing end to the AGP this weekend after slowly making our way forward every race, but AGP is a track I’ve always been strong at, and I look forward to it every year.”
McLaughlin finished race one and two of the Coates Hire V8 Supercars Challenge in 9th, before DNF-ing in race three and closing the last race in 12th.
6th March 2016
sunday report clipsal 500 2016
A day that proved to be a case of 'what could've been'.
Scott McLaughlin proved that his Volvo S60 would be a championship contender throughout 2016 by showing a sensible and calculated performance under what was trying conditions today at the the Clipsal 500.
A race that was meant to be run by a total of 78 laps, was cut short due to unbelievably bad weather, where torrential rain and lighting, was the major player.
Scott managed to qualify the Wilson Security Volvo S60 in 4th position in what was a great spot to start from for a gruelling 250 Kilometre battle between the walls of Adelaide.
Rain started to fall prior to the the cars setting off from the grid for their warm up lap and it well and truly set in for the rest of the race. There was a brief moment where most cars were on slicks before another torrential downpour put a stop to any chance of this race being dry again.
Scott led for 50% of the race but unfortunately to complete his minimum fuel drop had to controversially pit on the last lap with V8 Supercar legend Craig Lowndes and relinquish the lead. Eventually finishing 12th at the finish. The race unbelievably only running 48 laps out of the scheduled 78.
A disappointing end to what was a great weekend, but a promising start to what could possibly be a serious tilt at the 2016 Championship.
5th march 2016
SATURDAY REPORT CLIPSAL 500 2016
A new season and new hope, but as we all know hope, wishes and dreams are fine but they don’t get the job done.
We came to Clipsal with mixed emotions after some fantastic results in the past but also the disappointment of 2015. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since Clipsal 2015 and we really wanted to produce a solid result.
Today Scott McLaughlin did a very good job after qualifying on the second row for both 125km races, he never put a foot wrong to finish 4th in both.
Overall a very positive start to the 2016 season and we look forward the tomorrow starting with qualifying at 11am followed by a Top 10 Shoot Out at 12.40pm and the race starts at 3.20pm (all local times).
4th March 2016
Friday report Clipsal 500 2016
Scott McLaughlin will start races 1 and 2 of the Clipsal 500 from the 2nd row, qualifying 3rd for both races.
20th february 2016
a touch of white for volvo and scott mclaughlin
Wilson Security GRM has lifted the covers on its 2016 Volvo S60s ahead of Monday’s first test of the year for the team at Winton Motor Raceway.
Scott McLaughlin and teammate James Moffat revealed the new look to fans at the team’s Dandenong workshop this morning as part of the festivities at GRM’s annual open day.
Since debuting full-time in the category in 2013, McLaughlin has quickly shot to stardom in Supercars and is looking forward to a solid season with Wilson Security GRM.
He is pleased with the tweak to the Volvo livery for this year.
“The cars look great, something a bit different for everyone – I think they’ll like that,” McLaughlin told v8supercars.com.au.
“It’s a bit different to what we’ve had, the colours have been changed around a bit.
“It’s definitely got that Volvo blue on it, but there are a few other things they’ve added to it that are pretty cool and change it up a bit.”
Monday’s test day can’t come soon enough for the young Kiwi, keen to get back in the driver’s seat.
“I just can’t wait to get back in the car,” he said
“I’ve done the 12 Hour now and had a good result there … I haven’t driven the V8 since Homebush so it’s going to be one of those things – same as everyone else, I’ve got to get my head around it again.
“I’m sure it’ll all come together pretty quickly but it’s good to have a fresh start, new livery, new suit – everything’s new, so it’s pretty cool.
“Obviously with ‘Moff’ as my teammate I’ll be able to see how he attacks corners – it’ll probably be one of the busiest test days for me for a long time, so it’s definitely going to be a really good thing for us.”
Team boss Garry Rogers – who was inducted into the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame last year – is enthused about the year ahead and is proud to have expanded to running four cars with his V8 Supercars Dunlop Series entrants James Golding and Richard Muscat.
He admits it took him time to warm to the white and blue combination on this year’s livery, but now he is a big fan.
“To be totally honest I wasn’t sold on the idea, but I must admit that the end product – with my own special touch on the numbers – has made me reconsider my earlier reservations,” Rogers said.
“Car liveries are very difficult as you are often damned if you do and damned if you don’t make changes.
“I believe that our Volvo over the past two seasons has looked great and has been easily identifiable, but I also understand that both the fans and the sponsors like to see and often expect a new look every season. I hope that there are more ‘likers’ than ‘dislikers’ – I’ll leave that to you all!”
Rogers thanked his team for their efforts in the lead up to the open day and Monday’s test.
7th February 2016
GROVE RACING WINS CLASS B AT BATHURST
STEPHEN Grove, Earl Bamber and Scott McLaughlin dashed to a comfortable Class B victory in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour today after a fundamentally hitch-free race.
Stephen Grove closed out proceedings in what was an outstanding performance by machinery, driver and crew alike. It is the second Class B victory for Bamber and Grove, whilst McLaughlin opened his Bathurst 12 Hour account in the best possible fashion with a class win on debut.
The responsibility of starting the race in darkness was handed to Stephen Grove. An inopportune early safety car period left the Grove Hire machine a couple of laps down, however a well-executed strategy and clean driving saw Grove hand the car over to Earl Bamber in the runner-up Class B position.
Bamber set the tone with aggressive driving during the early portion of his first stint. The reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans winner hauled the Grove Hire Porsche back onto the lead lap in heavy traffic and chased down the lead over the subsequent hour. Bamber would reclaim the ascendancy in a strong counter-attacking stint and handed over to Scott McLaughlin who further increased the lead as a couple of the contending Class B entries struck mechanical trouble.
From there, Bamber, Grove and McLaughlin traded
stints throughout the middle portion of the race and the lead had grown to over 10 laps approaching the halfway mark. Scott would go on to complete a long stint behind the wheel after the halfway point – setting consistently fast lap times during the early afternoon to extend the lead beyond 12 laps before making way for Earl Bamber in the latter stages.
Bamber consistently lapped in the mid-2min 10s during the penultimate hour of racing before passing the baton to Scott McLaughlin and Stephen Grove respectively to close out the race. Grove completed the final 15 minutes with minimal fuss to seal a 15-lap Class B victory and 12th place overall. Second in the all-Porsche class was the #6 SAFE-T-STOP entry whilst the #21 car completed the top three.
On-track efforts were complemented by the hard work of the entire Grove Racing crew – who thoroughly deserve credit for their crucial role in the victory.
In the outright race, the duel between the heavy-hitting manufacturers in GT3 racing was engaging from start to finish. Shane van Gisbergen held on in a tension-filled final hour to deliver Tekno Autosport its first Bathurst 12 Hour victory. In the Invitational Class, the #93 MARC Ford Focus of Aaron Seton, Morgan Haber and Jake Camilleri quite comfortably took the honours.
6th February 2016
SATURDAY REPORT: 2016 BATHURST 12 HOUR
SCOTT McLaughlin stuck the Grove Hire Porsche on the Class B pole position earlier this afternoon on the back of a stunning 2min 08.747 lap in qualifying.
The Volvo Polestar Racing driver made the most of the opportunity to qualify the #4B entry and didn’t hesitate to set the Class B pace during the early stages. McLaughlin’s first effort yielded a 2.09 flat and the kiwi looked set to immediately lower the benchmark with a superior first sector on the following lap. It didn’t materialise, however, and Scott withdrew the car to the pits.
Equipped with a fresh set of Michelin tyres, the kiwi proceeded to set our best time of the weekend with a 2min 08.747s, slightly underneath his benchmark in cooler conditions during final practice this morning. One more run was to follow, however the job was done with a comfortable pole position secured in the all-Porsche Class B.
The Grove Hire Porsche 997 entered the pits with a little over 20 minutes on the clock and wouldn’t be seen for the remainder of the session. Second in Class B was the WOTSO Workspace entry, whilst the Mobil 1 New Zealand Porsche 911 completed the top three in class.
“At the end of the day, we’re kind of in the way for the Class A contenders,” McLaughlin told Shea Adam after completing his final qualifying run. “I feel like we’ve done a pretty good time, but it’s a bit of pride this qualifying session”
“It’s a bit hard in terms of the setup – probably the biggest drama is the cross winds up the top of the mountain which makes it a bit hard through some of the corners. Sometimes you get a little bit of oversteer and sometimes you get some understeer. “
“Earl is teaching me a lot of things and he’s a cracker bloke. I’m looking forward to having a go tomorrow and seeing if we can take out Class B.”
Earlier this morning, Scott McLaughlin far exceeded our best time from practice three with a 2min 08.76s in the early stages. Both Stephen Grove and Earl Bamber also enjoyed short stints behind the wheel during the second half of the 60 minute session under clear skies.
Meanwhile, Shane van Gisbergen put McLaren on the outright pole with a stunning 2min 01.591s lap ahead of the Audi R8 of Rene Rast and the Objective Racing McLaren of Warren Luff.
We now look ahead to a long day of racing tomorrow with the 2016 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour scheduled to start in darkness at 5.45am. Coverage begins on 7mate at 5.30am AEDT with an eventual switch to Channel 7 after 11am. We’ll once again be providing regular updates throughout the race on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
5th February 2016
FRIDAY REPORT: 2016 BATHURST 12 HOUR
GROVE Racing’s 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour campaign got underway at Mount Panorama Circuit today with two and a half hours of valuable track time in fine conditions.
The Grove Hire Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car also set the quickest time in the all-Porsche class with a 2min 10.19s in the heat of the day during practice three.
Opening practice for the Grove team got underway just before 9am local time this morning with Stephen Grove the pioneer in the new-look #4B Grove Hire entry. All three drivers enjoyed short stints behind the wheel with a total of 24 laps completed over 60 minutes of uninterrupted running. Scott McLaughlin was last to hop in the car and proceeded to set a 2min 11.25s on his final flying lap - good for second place in Class B.
The second all-inclusive practice session went green just after 12.30pm. Stephen Grove was once again allocated the first laps; however his stint behind the wheel wasinterrupted by a couple of red flags in the early stages. After finding a groove, Stephen handed over to Scott McLaughlinwho wasted no time in sending the #4B machine
to the top of Class B with a 2min 10.19s. Earl Bamber would also make it into the 2min 10s before pulling into the pits for some handling adjustments in the latter stages.
The Grove Hire machine did not appear during the final session of the day with the team electing to work on setup heading into practice five and the all-important 60-minute qualifying session just after midday tomorrow. In terms of the battle for outright honours, a very close race is expected with just 1.1 seconds separating the top 11 runners. The Bentley of Steven Kane took out top spot in the final session of the day.
It all gets underway at 8.30am local time tomorrow before qualifying commences at 12.55pm. Be sure to keep across our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for updates throughout the weekend!
Image: Porsche Newsroom
3rd February 2016
PREPARATIONS IN PLACE FOR BATHURST ENDURO
GROVE Racing embarks on another busy season of racing this weekend with a fourth consecutive Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Class B start at Mount Panorama Circuit.
The burgeoning sports car endurance event will again attract plenty of domestic and international interest with another impressive entry list and comprehensive media coverage. Barring any unfortunate luck in the lead-up to the race, 40 cars will set off before dawn on Sunday morning including seven Class B Porsche entries and 24 Class A machines vying for the outright victory.
Grove Racing calls on the 2011-spec Grove Hire Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car for its third consecutive Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour start; however it sports a fresh look for the New Year. The team also welcomes aboard IVECO Trucks Australia and Melbourne Truck Centre to power our effort to haul the racing equipment around Australia in 2016.
In terms of the #4B driver lineup, 2015 Carrera Challenge runner-up Stephen Grove will be joined by two very familiar faces. Whilst Earl Bamber and Scott McLaughlin have both made several starts for Grove Racing, the talented Kiwi duo have yet to team up on the biggest stage in Australian sports car racing.
Bamber has excelled on both sides of the Atlantic since he last paired with Stephen Grove at Bathurst in February 2014. The kiwi was awarded with a lucrative Porsche factory drive last year and seized the opportunity with both hands – winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche 919 Hybrid
to back up impressive showings in last year’s United SportsCar Championship. Bamber makes the trip down under with very recent competitive miles under his belt coming off a GTLM class podium finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona over the weekend.
Scott McLaughlin most recently paired with Stephen Grove in last year’s Carrera Cup Pro-Am at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. The popular Volvo Polestar Racing pilot was right on the money in his last visit to Mount Panorama Circuit with a front row start backed up by a top-five finish in the 2015 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. McLaughlin makes his first Bathurst 12 Hour start this weekend and will be looking forward to throwing the Grove Hire machine around the 6.2 kilometre course.
The on-track action commences on Friday with four dedicated practice sessions throughout the opening day of competition. Teams are afforded a final opportunity to shakedown their machinery on Saturday morning before qualifying takes place early that afternoon. The main event begins before sunrise at 5.45am on Sunday morning. The race will be broadcast in its entirety on the 7 Network with additional coverage available online throughout the weekend.
Keep an eye on our social media accounts and grovegroup.com.au for live updates and detailed reports after each day of racing. We look forward to bringing you the action from the Mountain!