Day 1 of the Darwin Triple Crown is in the books, with the first of three races complete.
It was an up-and-down day across both sides of the garage, highlighted by Chaz Mostert moving up 13-places during the race to finish seventh.
The day couldn’t have started better for the Mobil 1 Appliances Online No. 25, with P1 in Practice 1, and P2 in Practice 2.
Bryce was chasing balance all morning, which is challenging in the two-day compressed format, with limited time between all sessions to make the required changes.
A snapped tail-shaft put a halt to Chaz early on in Q1, as he lost all drive coming across the line after his first flying lap. It meant he would have to sit out the remainder of the session.
The car balance on Car 2 wasn’t there for Bryce, struggling to get the Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing No. 2 turned in, putting him in 21st.
Chaz 7th, Bryce 21st
It was chaos from the opening lap, but Chaz was the big mover in the field, picking up a massive 13-spots across the race, all on the hard tyre. Three of those in front ran softs at some stage.
For Bryce, it was a tough afternoon all round. He fought back well late in the race to move to 17th, but a 15-second penalty for contact with Jacobson put him back down to 21st.
The opening safety car period on lap 5 saw the field all pit, which meant a double-stack for Bryce, while the second safety car on lap 24 is when the engineering group decided to put fresh rears on car 2 for the last few laps.
Both cars avoided the carnage to keep them both straight, ready for two races tomorrow.
“It was a tough start to the race to start P20 after the tail-shaft failure, but I was really happy with practice. We made the car better, and found some good direction with it from SMP so I was gutted how qualifying ended.
“Normally the racing the has been pretty hard this year, so I didn’t expect to gain too many positions in the race, so to come away with P7 after starting 20th is pretty outstanding.
“It was a big haul of points, and I think we have a pretty strong car, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing if we can have a bit more luck.”
“Tough day today, we struggled with the car from the initial get go, and the hardest part about these weekends is you really don’t have much time to fix it. All day we have been wanting to change some things but we haven’t had time, so we had to race with what we had today.
“I was relatively happy with how I got on in the race. I made a mistake and hit Garry, which I apologised for straight away, I just misjudged it, so sorry to Garry and his team.
“Lucky we’ve got tomorrow now, we’ve got a bit of time to think about it, and relish the opportunity to make some pretty big changes… tomorrow will be a new day.”