Softly, softly worked perfectly for Jack le Brocq as he survived immense pressure to score his first Supercars win at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The youngster in the Tickford Mustang led for the meat of the race and used two sets of soft-compound Dunlop tyres to scoop the final prize on the three-race weekend.
It was a massively memorable day for le Brocq as he scored his first Supercars victory after battling Andre Heimgartner and Todd Hazelwood, who were also desperate for their first main-game win, through the dying laps.
David Reynolds was also in the mix but ran out of grip as the Top 10 finishers all ran to the flag on soft-compound tyres.
Scott McLaughlin had a miserable finish to his weekend, trailing home in the pack and even overtaken by his Shell Mustang team-mate Fabian Coulthard, but was still the highest points-scorer for the weekend and extended his margin over his closest championship rival, Jamie Whincup, from 49 to 107 points.
Le Brocq’s win was the highlight of a strong weekend for the Tickford Racing squad, which he joined this season after a lacklustre start in the main game with Tekno, which included a podium for Lee Holdsworth and a near-miss for veteran James Courtney.
“I don’t know what to feel. It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” says le Brocq.
“That was awesome. Over the moon. The last five laps I was in trouble, so I was just hanging in there.”
Heimgartner started from pole and could have gone on from there, but used up his tyres too quickly.
“I’m a bit jealous that he (le Brocq) got his first win before me. (But) it give me a lot of confidence. It was just chewing the tyres up,” says Heimgartner.
For Hazelwood, who elbowed Reynolds aside for his podium place, third place was a great result and also proof that Brad Jones Racing does its best work when the Supercars formats are shuffled.
“The devil eyes were on. I was giving it everything. To get my first podium is bloody unreal,” Hazelwood says.
- Tyre wear sees a large number of early pitstops, the first on lap 10 of the 32-lap distance. All the stops were done by Lap 18.
- Whincup is the best on hard tyres at the finish, but only eighth.
- Andre Heimgartner’s pole position is fantastic for himself and Kelly Racing, which had the most catching-up to do after switching from Nissans to Mustangs over the off-season.
- The starting grid is split 50:50 between soft and hard-compound tyres, but almost everyone is making the best of what they have left.
- Scott McLaughlin under-performs on his technical chief Ludo Lacroix’s expectation for eighth place, but he had already had a win and a third over the weekend.
RACE 12 – 32 LAPS
|1||Jack Le Brocq|
SERIES POINTS – DRIVERS
|7||Shane van Gisbergen||539|
|13||Jack Le Brocq||424|
|15||Anton de Pasquale||395|
SERIES POINTS – TEAMS
|1||Shell V-Power Racing Team||1256|
|2||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||1234|
|3||Tickford Racing (5 & 44)||1060|
|4||Brad Jones Racing (8 & 14)||1000|
|5||Tickford Racing (6 & 55)||993|
|6||WAU Racing Pty Ltd||976|
|10||Brad Jones Racing (3 & 4)||596|
|11||Matt Stone Racing||533|