WILSON SECURITY SANDOWN 500 RACE MEETING IN MELBOURNE - 2017 - BRIAN BOYD - V8 SUPERCARS WRAP-UP REPORT
- PAYCE Headquarters, Sydney NSW.
The 2017 Wilson Security Sandown 500 meeting billed as a 'Retro Theme' round and the first of three endurance race meetings.
"The Retro Theme is always a big hit with the motorsport fans and eagerly awaited by the teams, celebrates the heritage of Australian Touring Car Racing over the decades," offered Mr Brian Boyd - PAYCE Motorsport.
"The whole paddock embraces the nostalgic spirit of the day where liveries inspired by the sponsors and their teams take centre stage".
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd said this year's Wilson Security Sandown 500 meeting brought back many memories and created many more that will last for years to come.
"The meeting had some great racing, some spectacular crashes and some history-making performances that will no doubt become part of the memories associated with Sandown and the series," Mr. Boyd said.
Retro Theme Popular with Fans of all Ages – Brian Boyd
"It was great to see how many teams and fans embraced the ''retro' theme and the line-up of liveries on many of the Supercars was much enjoyed by all.
"Garry Rogers and the team did not disappoint and the #33 and #34 cars were among the favourite liveries.
"Many of the younger generation had only heard or read about the cars and their liveries but nevertheless appreciated the opportunity to see some well-known and loved liveries from the past," enthused Brian Boyd.
Rain Hampers Setup for Endurance Race – Brian Boyd
"As was predicted, the rains hung around on Friday and Saturday before the skies cleared for a dry track throughout Sunday.
Brian Boyd said he wet conditions made it difficult for teams to set the cars up for the long endurance race to come.
"But it did bring some surprise results, including a good result in the second practice for the Wilson Security Racing GRM team, with Garth Tander putting in a strong second fastest time and James Moffat eighth fastest," Mr. Boyd said.
"Rick Kelly produced the best result to top the times before the session was cut short due to Fabian Coulthard's crash at turn six."
Brian Boyd noted the co-drivers practice sessions on Friday gave an early indication of how the boys in the GRM team would go.
"Both Richard Muscat and James Golding were in the top ten in the last session of the day with 3rd and 10th fastest times before conditions deteriorated and times blew out," Boyd said.
Qualifying a Busy Period with Rain and Incidents – Brian Boyd
"Saturday saw the rain persisting and after a short practice session, the teams were kept busy through the day as qualifying and grid positions were determined by separate races for primary drivers and co-drivers."
Brian Boyd said he thought the #33 Commodore duo performed well with James Golding and Garth both posting 8th finishes, while Richard finished 17th in his race and Moff 16th.
"Dave Reynolds did a great job in the initial qualifying to top the times and give Erebus a boost," Mr. Boyd offered.
Brian Boyd noted the co-drivers race was marred by a terrible incident involving Todd Hazelwood.
"Probably one of the worst crashes possible with the car barrel-rolling several times before coming to rest with virtually all its body panels ripped off the frame," he said.
"It is a credit to the very strict safety rules and specifications of these cars that Todd could walk away, shaken but not injured and even more remarkable he could front up for the Super2 race less than an hour later and take a podium spot.
"The main driver race was won from the second row of the grid by young Cameron Waters, who put the field on notice that he would be hard to beat on Sunday," completed Brian Boyd.
Brian Boyd said that by Saturday evening, Garry and the team would have been feeling they did a good job and, with some tweaks still to be made to the car and strategies to work through, could have been reasonably confident of a good performance in the long race to come.
Field Elects Co-Drivers to Start the Race – Brian Boyd
"Race time on Sunday and the GRM team elected to start the t co-drivers in #33 and #34, as did most of the field.
"Both cars got away well but it only took one lap for the safety car to come out when Taz Douglas fell foul of turn 6 and hit the barrier. The incident then brought out the red flag as extensive repairs were needed to rebuild the tyre barrier," recalled Brian Boyd.
"With nearly one hour lost through delays, the race length was reduced from 161 laps to 125 laps. When racing resumed both GRM co-drivers were impressive with their moves through the field and by lap 18 James was inside the top 10 in 9th and Richard was close behind in 11th."
Brian Boyd said the GRM crew were in top form with the pit stops as a result of lots of practice at every opportunity paying off.
"By lap 54 when the co-drivers were due to complete their stints, James Golding was in 6th place and Richard in 7th," Brian enthused.
Garth Drove a Most Impressive Race - Brian Boyd
"Tyres became an important consideration if there was to be another safety car and the team strategised to maximise the opportunity, but as it turned out the race was completed without further interruption.
"Garth drove a most impressive race, especially towards the end and was in contention for a podium after swooping on Coulthard to take 4th spot but ran out of time.
"Car #34 also travelling well right up to the chequered flag and came home a credible 7th with James at the wheel," finished Brian Boyd.
Team Comes Away From Sandown with Two Good Results - Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd added that all the hard work put in by the team is coming to fruition and although the cars still lack some qualifying speed compared to the front runners, the package they have for both cars is working well for them in the endurance races.
"It was pleasing to see them come away from Sandown with two good results in the shape of top10 spots and importantly with straight cars that require minimum work before Bathurst," Mr. Boyd said.
"Overall, a fantastic job by all the team and congratulations to the co-drivers James and Richard for their roles. With the pressure on to keep the cars in good shape during their stints they handed over the cars without problems and well-positioned for the primary drivers," noted Brian Boyd after the event.
"Also congratulations to Cameron Waters and Richard Stanaway, as exceptional winners of the Sandown 500.
Team Quietly Confident for Bathurst 2017 – Brian Boyd
Bathurst is next in the Pirtek Enduro Cup round and what a promising weekend that will be with Garry, Barry and the team quietly confident of a strong result – dare we say win even, because on the form shown at Sandown it is a distinct possibility," Brian Boyd concluded.
Current Drivers Standings - 2017
Current Teams Standings - 2017
|Wilson Security Racing GRM||4th|
Go Team PAYCE!