Race 26: View From The Couch

Race 26: View From The Couch

Tyre troubles and a terrible pitstop tore a big bag of points out of Jamie Whincup’s challenge for the Supercars championship in the second race at The Bend.

As Whincup struggled for speed, and eventually trailed home in a lacklustre 17th place, Scott McLaughlin was able to sit comfortably in third position and build his buffer.

“Big picture stuff today. It was all about getting points,” said McLaughlin.

His margin after Race 26 in the Shell V-Power Mustang is now 201 points, with 700 still in play before the finish of the grand final at Bathurst.

“Got a good start and we were away and pushing hard. (But) We had an issue with the stop, which was basically our day,” Whincup reported.

As if his tortured rear tyres were not bad enough, he was stationary for 12 seconds after the air-jack system failed.

“Not good championship-wise,” Whincup admitted.

The Supercars contest looked more like a Formula One grand prix as a tyre war dominated the action through the second race in hot conditions at The Bend.

No-one wanted to punish their Dunlop tyres too hard or too early, but when they pulled the trigger it was early leader Shane van Gisbergen who had the best aim as he jumped both Chaz Mostert and Scott McLaughlin after his pitstop and eventually cruised to a win with his Red Bull HRT Commodore.

“Cool race. What a turnaround from yesterday,” said SvG.

Andre Heimgartner pulled a brilliant opportunistic move on McLaughlin and also drove well to bring his Mustang into the runner-up spot.

“I’m very happy with that. Luckily the tyres held on,” he said.

Mostert didn’t even make the Top 10, as Cam Waters and Nick Percat were easy pickings for Anton de Pasquale, Rick Kelly and David Reynolds in the closing laps.

Race 26: 24 laps

1.  Shane van Gisbergen

2. Andre Heimgartner

3. Scott McLaughlin

4. Fabian Coulthard

5 Anton De Pasquale

6. Rick Kelly

7. David Reynolds

8. Cam Waters

9. Nick Percat

10. Jack Le Brocq