Winton SuperSprint Saturday Wrap

Published: 20 May 2017
James Courtney picked up 19 spots before being turned around.
James Courtney picked up 19 spots before being turned around.

Pictured: James Courtney picked up 19 spots before being turned around.

What an eventful 120 kilometres.

After a disappointing qualifying session, Scott Pye started out of 21st, and James Courtney 23rd for the 40 lap race.

After both cars got a good start, Courtney was turned around into turn four in the opening laps, putting him dead last in 29th.

With the whole field ahead of him, he pressed on. The team decided to leave him out while most others stopped early, instead coming in on lap 27.

That gained him 11 places and left him with tyres that were 22 laps fresher than most of the field.

He put the headlights on and went on the charge, picking off car after car, before finding himself right on the bumper of Percat for 10th.

After jostling for position for three laps, JC got underneath on the final lap, only to be tagged in the left rear corner, sending him firing off into the gravel and ending his race.

As for Scotty, he sustained some minor damage in the opening lap argy-bargy, which he would carry for the rest of the race.

He did a great job to pick up seven spots over the course of the 40 laps, bringing it home in 15th.

Not the day we wanted, but the positives were the car speed of JC. To drive from dead last to 10th without a safety car, while looking after the tyre really well is something to work with.

We will regroup tonight, and go again tomorrow.

From the cockpit

James Courtney

“It didn’t end the way we wanted that’s for sure.

“The start wasn’t bad, but I got fired off on lap 1, and was hundreds of metres behind anyone.

“We really put our head down, pressed on and got some nice consistent laps; went long on the strategy, and had good tyres at the end.

“Everyone was pretty normal until I got to Nick, who was driving like a bit of a goose, and we all know what happened next.

“It’s disappointing. We’ve pressed on and tried real hard to get back up the front and then something like that happens.

“We are fighters, we will keep going.”

Scott Pye

“Qualifying wasn’t great for either of us. We made some progress during the race though.

“We pitted early and tried going long at the end. The opening laps were pretty tough and I picked up a little bit of damage.

“The positive thing was both cars tried different things on the set up, and seeing James’ car and how it was behaving, hopefully we can translate that to mine tomorrow.”