CLIPSAL 500 MEETING IN ADELAIDE - BRIAN BOYD WRAP-UP OF V8 SUPERCARS
- PAYCE Headquarters, Sydney NSW.
Team PAYCE in 2017 features a crop of young rising stars, experienced racing drivers and, in the case of John Bowe, a true Australian motorsport legend.
The full roster of Team PAYCE drivers competed in the Clipsal 500 across 4 categories – V8 Supercars, Dunlop Series, Porsche Carrera Cup Australia and Touring Car Masters (TCM).
PAYCE's Managing Director, Brian Boyd said this year's Clipsal 500 meeting provided loads of encouragement for Team PAYCE members for the season ahead.
"Team PAYCE had seven drivers across four categories putting in some strong performances at what was again a great season opener," Brian Boyd said.
"There were many challenges to contend with – new cars and team combinations, new tyres and new rules and of course, the weather. "Drivers and teams had to battle sweltering conditions over the first three days of the four-day program, before temperatures dropped to the mid-20s on Sunday and brought some relief," continued Mr. Boyd
Brian Boyd said all Team PAYCE drivers were on track with the exception of James Golding, who will participate later in the season as a wildcard entry in selected Supersprint events and as co-driver to Garth Tander in the endurance races.
"The Wilson Security Racing GRM team presented two immaculate Holden Commodore VFs for James Moffat and Garth Tander to contest the opening round, as well as two equally immaculate Holden Commodore VFs for Richard Muscat and Mason Barbera to run in the Dunlop Super2 championship," Brian Boyd said.
"Macauley Jones and his Brad Jones Racing team also wheeled out a brand new Holden Commodore VF sporting a refreshed PAYCE livery.
Brian Boyd said it had been a long break since last year's championships wrapped up at Homebush.
"David Wall had a great year in his return to the Carrera Cup where he finished third in the championship, and John Bowe was chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel of the #18 Holden Torana SL/R 5000 to defend his championship title for the second year running," enthused Brian Boyd.
The Team PAYCE V8 Supercars at the Clipsal 500 in 2017 - PAYCE Drivers Familiar with Track - Brian Boyd
The first round of the season got off to a good start for the Wilson Security Racing GRM team, with both James Moffat and Garth Tander and their engineers using the practice sessions to continue to set-up their new cars and evaluate the new tyres introduced this year.
Brian Boyd said both drivers were very familiar with the track itself, particularly Garth who had competed in all 18 previous rounds in Adelaide.
"As the latest recruit to the Supercars team, Garth brings heaps of knowledge and will no doubt be a positive influence on the younger members of the team with his depth of experience," Mr. Boyd said.
"Times for all teams in Friday's first practice session were close, as had been the case in most rounds last year, with less than a second separating the top 18 cars."
James posted a best 15th fastest and Garth a 20th fastest after losing time with an excursion off track. Practice 2 had both Team PAYCE drivers improving their times and well into the 1 minute.20 seconds bracket and only tenths of a second off the fastest times.
James was Unfortunate with Power Steering Problems – Brian Boyd
With race one and two of the round decided, the team was shooting for a solid result in the final qualifying heat. The aim was the top ten shootout. James' qualifying session was unfortunately disappointing, first missing a corner then being enveloped in smoke and out of contention with a power steering breakdown.
GRM Cars Show Potential for 2017 – Brian Boyd
The first qualifying session late on Friday to determine grid positions for race 1 on Saturday along with the top 10 shootout line-up gave the first indication of how the teams stacked up at this early stage of the season. Both Garth and James improved on their practice times following further changes to the cars, but again with all times so close, they had to be satisfied with 15th and 19th spots respectively on the grid for race 1.
Brian Boyd said :"To his credit, James put in a good time in practice 3, posting sixth fastest time and signalling the potential of the GRM cars."
Race 1 - GRM Racers Gain Positions in Thrilling First Race – Brian Boyd
Both cars got off their marks cleanly in the first 250 kilometre event, with Garth in the #33 Commodore pitting on lap 9. That dropped him well down the order from where he worked his way back to improve three positions from his grid spot, achieving a well-deserved 12th place by race end. James in the #34 Commodore was on a different strategy and stayed out till lap 19 and then pitted for his second mandatory stop on lap 47 while leading the field. He worked hard to regain positions and at the chequered flag it paid dividends when he took his first top 10 finish in 10th spot – a gain of nine positions.
"Overall, a great effort by both drivers and the team in the opening race of the season to bring both cars home in the first half of the field and unscathed," Brian Boyd said.
The race was won by Van Gisbergen from Coulthard and Courtney.
Brian Boyd - Sunday Qualifying Shows GRM Team in Great Form
Qualifying on Sunday morning for the second 250 kilometre race later in the afternoon brought loud cheers from the GRM team and fans when Garth made it into the 10th spot of the shoot out on his final lap just before the session ended. James narrowly missed out on a top 10 start by around three-tenths of a second. Both drivers were into the one minute 19 seconds bracket adding to the confidence of the team. In the shoot-out, Garth gained two positions to place the #33 Commodore 8th on the grid, while James was 14th.
Race 2 – A Great Result for the GRM Team - Brian Boyd
Both GRM cars got away well, with James pitting on laps 13 and 42 and Garth staying out nearly the longest of the field to lead for six laps before pitting on lap 23 and later on lap 46. Both cars put in strong performances with Garth just missing out on a top 10 result to finish 11th after being tagged in the right rear by Todd Kelly and James coming home in 16th position. The race was run without a safety car intervention, which besides being very rare, made for an exciting race.
A great result for the Wilson Security Racing GRM team who now prepare for the non-championship round at the Australian F1 meeting (23-26 March), then on to Symmons Plains in Tasmania (7-9 April) for the second round of the championship.
|Garth Tander||141 points|
|James Moffat||135 points|
Go Team PAYCE!