That's a Wrap, Darwin

Published: 17 June 2018
JC in the setting sun in Darwin.
JC in the setting sun in Darwin.

Pictured: JC in the setting sun in Darwin.

James Courtney finished 11th, and Scott Pye 20th in race 16 of the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in Darwin.

JC just needed a fraction more pace to push into the top 10, but for Scott, a front right puncture in the closing laps while passing for 12th ruined his charge forward.

Car 25’s day started off on a positive note, setting the second fastest time in qualifying, which meant advancing through to the top-10 shootout.

Unfortunately, all three sets of fresh tyres were used in order to make the shootout, which in turn, meant used tyres for his flying lap, which was good enough for ninth.

Pye just didn’t have the same balance as qualifying in yesterday, setting the 19th quickest time.

It was a wild opening few laps throughout the field, with both cars gaining and losing positions at various stages.

After the field settled, JC was battling on the brink of the 10, while Scott was punching out strong numbers in clear air.

Both cars went the long-stop option today, which seemed to work well.

After the final round of stops, JC popped out in 13th and Scott 16th, and immediately began to move forward.

A late safety ruined the fresh tyre advantage that we had over most of the field.

With six-laps to go, as Scott moved up the inside of Mostert for 12th, they made contact, resulting in Mostert’s exhaust cutting the sidewall of the front right, forcing another stop.

JC battled with Lowndes until the end, but just needed that last little bit of pace to pick off the cars in front.

Not the results we had hoped for today, but still a lot of positives to take from the weekend, including Scott’s fourth place finish yesterday and JC’s qualifying pace today.

Next stop, Townsville.

James Courtney

“The last safety car didn’t help us that’s for sure. We had fresh tyres compared to most of the cars in front, but that advantage went out the window which was a shame.

“The real positive was the speed in qualifying this morning. The guys did a good job during the session to improve the car and get me in the shootout which is always nice to be involved in.

“We didn’t finish as high as we all wanted to but it there was still a lot to take from it. Roll on Townsville.”

Scott Pye

“Today was looking okay until that puncture.

“Qualifying we didn’t get the balance right, but the car was good in the race, which was why we were able to move forward.

“It was looking after it’s tyre well and the balance felt good.

“It certainly wasn’t ideal, but at least we had the speed to be moving forward.

“Yesterday was still a real positive, and another step forward this year.”