CASTROL GOLD COAST 600 - 2017 - V8 SUPERCARS WRAP UP
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
Gold Coast delivers roller coaster drama and Carrera Cup title to David Wall
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd said this year's Gold Coast 600 was certainly a meeting of contrasts, both with the weather and the fortunes of the drivers and teams fluctuating over the weekend.
"As usual, there were lots of hard luck stories, but for those who came out on top as winners, it was all good news," Mr. Boyd said.
"The Gold Coast is famous for its sunshine, but the rain arrived as predicted on Saturday to make the day a tough one for many and the previous day's practice data irrelevant.
"However, by Sunday morning Surfers Paradise was back to its best, with blue skies, an abundance of sunshine and everyone keen to hit the track," Brian enthused.
GRM Supercars Team has Mixed Results in Practice – Brian Boyd
Brian said the first 30 minute practice session on Friday morning showed promise for Garry's GRM team, with James Moffat in the #34 car recording a healthy ninth fastest time, while Garth Tander in the #33 car was further down the order in 18th.
"The second practice session was for co-drivers only and James Golding in the #33 Commodore recorded an impressive ninth fastest time. Richard Muscat was 24th," he said.
Brian Boyd noted the final practice session was unfortunately marred by James Moffat's crash that brought out the red flag while the car was trucked back to the pits for an assessment of the damage.
"There was considerable damage to the front end and the race was on for the team to have the car repaired in time for Saturday's qualifying.
GRM Team Undertake Mammoth Challenge to Repair #34 – Brian Boyd
"The GRM guys all pitched in to undertake what was a mammoth task and it was only through an extraordinary effort through the night and early hours of Saturday morning that the work was completed around 6.00am," Brian Boyd commented.
Brian said that when Garry returned to the garage at 7.00am, he discovered an 'as new' #34 car ready for the track.
"He was full of praise for the skills and effort that went into the repairs, especially not having access to the full range of parts and equipment if they were back in the Melbourne workshop."
As Garry said: "All the guys did their bit and it is moments like this where true teamwork is required as crews from both sides of the garage galvanise as one to get the job done."
Wet Track Qualifying Session made Car Setup Challenging– Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd remarked Saturday's qualifying session was held on a wet track and the GRM team were not able to come up with better settings to overcome the lack of pace shown in practice.
"I thought Garth did well to manage 15th fastest and James Moffat was not far in arrears with a 19th spot and happy just to be back on the track," Boyd added.
"Chas Mostert did a great time in the testing conditions to record fastest time and sit on the pole for race one."
Wet Tyres All Round for the First Race Stint – Brian Boyd
Brian said the rain did not let up and as the cars gridded up it was clear it would be wet tyres all round for the co-drivers' first stint.
"All teams bar one elected to put their co-drivers in and run for at least the first 34 laps before pitting. The primary drivers then finished off the race, hoping for improved conditions," he said.
"Race time and James Golding got away well and looked comfortable behind the wheel as he made up a number of places and had the #33 car in 10th place by the time he pitted at the end of lap 34.
"Half the field elected to come as soon as the mandatory 34 laps were up and the balance followed soon after," Mr. Boyd continued.
Safety Car Offers a Bonus Pit Stop – Brian Boyd
"Lap 58 saw the Safety Car appear and most teams took the opportunity to pit for quick top ups and tyre changes.
"Mostert went on to win with Garth Tander holding onto his mid-field position in 14th and James Moffat in 19th."
Brian said Saturday night in Surfers Paradise is usually party time for holidaymakers, but not for the GRM crew who had to attend to a number of dings and scuffs, but nothing serious, before they could pull down the garage shutters for the night around 10.00pm.
Back to the Super Softs for Sunday Racing – Brian Boyd
"Sunday dawned sunny and with no sign of rain and the wet tyres were put away and it was back to the super softs," Brian Boyd regaled.
"Shane van Gisbergen won the Top Ten Shootout, but it was Paul Dumbrell partnering Jamie Whincup who led the field of co-drivers off the line.
"Our prospects weren't looking bright, with Richard Muscat back two positions due to a qualifying penalty on James Moffat and young James Golding turned around early and the job ahead of him to gain ground on the main pack, Brian Boyd enthused.
"The two GRM cars were unfortunately not able to match the race pace of the leading cars and the Tander/Golding duo had to settle for 17th place and the Moffat/Muscat pairing close behind in 19th."
Brian said the surprise winners were Scott McLaughlin and Andre Premat who started mid-field and made a good recovery working through the pack, aided by well-executed pit strategies.
GRM Team Never Give Up the Fight – Brian Boyd
"The weekend was not the result that Garry and the GRM team had hoped for, but they showed they never give up the fight and will put the same effort into the remaining races of the season, that's for sure," Boyd said.
"The GRM team continues to hold onto their 4th position in the Teams Championship and remain ahead of the Bathurst winners, Erebus. Garth also sits 10th in the Drivers Championship and although out of contention for a top three finish continues to fight each race, with a win his primary objective," Brian Boyd concluded.
The Supercars penultimate round is across the Ditch at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint on 3-5 November - 2017.
Go Team PAYCE!