The action kept coming today at the Sky City Triple Crown in Darwin. Two 100km races faced the 28 car grid and the tricky Hidden Valley layout ensured the big crowd was treated to some wild and woolly racing. The DJR / Wilson Security duo of Chaz Mostert and Tim Blanchard had mixed results in the two qualifying sessions, the best time finally falling to Mostert in P13 for the first race. Race 18 started with an aggressive dice between veteran Russell Ingall and Chaz with Ingall right into the back of the #12 Wilson Security Falcon. Chaz was shuffled back a few spots and sat in 17th as the pit stops began. Blanchard was making good progress passing Moffat and moving into the top 20 on lap 10. With pit stops over the race settled down. Mostert was locked between Tander and Bright in 14th, but his tyre life was fading and he dropped back on the final laps to 17th. Blanchard was able to claw back two spots after his stop to finish 24th.
The Sky City Triple Crown in Darwin exploded into action today with the 60/60 Sprint format delivering action a plenty under the hot NT sun. Qualifying did not deliver the results both Wilson Security drivers were hoping for, but there was a clear belief that the DJR Falcons would be good over the race distance. Chaz Mostert lined up in 19th and teammate Tim Blanchard started in 25th. The first leg of the 2 x 21 lap races was only a pre cursor to the action that race two would deliver. Chaz & Tim made progress in the race with both cars showing good race pace speed. Mostert made it up to 17th at the 'half time' break but Blanchard was overtaken in the final laps by Moffat's Nissan and Holdsworth's Merc to finish in 26th. Tim's car was locking brakes in to the Turn 6 hairpin and made him vulnerable in the final portion of the lap during the closing stages. Chaz was also struggling with tyre pressures higher than the Wilson Security Team had envisaged. The second leg was run under the rolling start format and most pundits believed that turn one would be where the problems would occur. Proving them wrong the field held out until the hairpin at turn six before all hell broke loose. FPR driver Will Davison was hit by Tander who had been hit by Lowndes and the following cars were banging and crashing their way through. Chaz managed to scramble though, but Tim was clouted by one of the Erebus Mercedes' and in turn hit Moffat's Nissan instantly breaking the steering of the #17 Falcon. Mostert pressed on at the restart and made a sensational run up the field. Bursting into the top 10 as the Safety Car peeled off, the young #12 Wilson Security Falcon pilot made his way to a career best seventh place and DJR's best result of 2013. #12 Chaz Mostert - Wilson Security Falcon "In the first leg, everyone was pretty sensible and we did make some ground. Our tyre pressures ended up a bit high so the last five laps were sort of in survival mode. In the second leg I had a good double file restart and made up a bit down into turn one. I think the drivers themselves made the carnage at Turn 6, not the double file restart. There were just too many guys trying to make up spots on the first lap. It starts at the front and obviously comes right back down the field. After that I did a bit of a 'Bradbury' and jumped up a heap of spots. We made up a few more with some drivers being a bit feisty and brought the Wilson Security Falcon home in seventh. I was happy for all the DJR guys to give them a solid Top 10." #17 Tim Blanchard - Wilson Security Falcon "Well, a tough day ending up with a DNF. In the second leg, I thought the restart was OK, and I actually made some spots by running down wider into turn one. Everyone went wild at the hairpin and I was stuck in the middle of a three or four car sandwich. The banging from both sides broke the steering so it was game over on the spot. In the first leg the car had a front end problem so it was frustrating to give back the spots we had made up. For Sunday we will have to make some big decisions on set up as we really have not done enough race miles. Hopefully we can get back in the mix."
The 2013 V8 Supercars Championship has moved from Texas to the top end of Australia for the Sky City Triple Crown in Darwin. Practice today was held in preparation for three races at Hidden Valley Raceway over the weekend. With a two-week break since the last round in Texas, DJR / Wilson Security Racing has been working hard at their Queensland base to further develop the two FG Falcons, in particular looking for more weight savings in the new for 2013 V8 Supercars. With temperatures reaching 32C, drivers were faced with oppressive conditions and a track with little grip as the cars rolled out for their four practice sessions. The day became a story of tyres with DJR running all sessions on 'used' Dunlop rubber, while many drivers elected to run one set of brand new tyres dramatically changing the overall times. Both Wilson Security drivers were encouraged by the progress in each session, although the time sheets saw both cars towards the rear of the field. It was a day of working on the set up for qualifying and racing, whilst using a tyre which was well past its best performance. Mostert and Blanchard will have will have 8 soft and 12 prime Dunlop tyres to use over the weekend, and Darwin is known as one of the hardest-wearing circuits given the heat and abrasive track surface. The DJR team will face qualifying on Saturday morning before the opening race of the weekend - a 60/60 Super Sprint format which is split into halves and the second featuring the new look double file rolling restart. Two 100km, 35-lap races will be held on Sunday #12 Chaz Mostert - Wilson Security Falcon "We were fairly tyre limited today by what we chose to run. I was surprised at just how abrasive the track was. The flooding they had here has not helped the track surface. We had our best set of practice tyres for the last session but I managed to clip the tyre barrier coming onto the main straight which bent a steering arm. I didn't get the most out of the car but tomorrow everyone will be on the same tyre so we will see where we end up." #17 Tim Blanchard - Wilson Security Falcon "We made some good progress in the final session in the #17 Wilson Security Falcon but we were on fairly worn tyres all day. I saw that some of the guys who were close to us did pop some new rubber on and bolted up the times so it does mean that we should move up. Chaz & I were close at the end of the day but the track conditions were very hard. It almost felt like you were driving on a wet track it was so slippery.'
DJR / Wilson Security Racing have embarked on a new look driver line up for 2013 filling all four seats with some of the best young talent in V8 Supercars. After an impressive debut for the Wilson Security backed team in Perth, Chaz Mostert will be teamed in the #12 Falcon with Dale Wood. A seasoned Dunlop Series campaigner, Wood has the most Bathurst starts of any of the four DJR drivers this year and is a perfect partner for rookie Mostert. Wood has also enjoyed support from Wilson Security in his own Dunlop Series program.
The 2013 V8 Supercars Championship has wrapped up its first venture into North America playing to a crowd of nearly 69,000 enthusiastic fans at the Austin 400. The teams, drivers and officials have labelled the event an outstanding success, well in front of any other major fly away event undertaken by the Australian series. The final two races were again run over 100kms each, with tyre stops defining many teams strategies. DJR / Wilson Security Racing drivers Chaz Mostert and Tim Blanchard were both hoping for a little more out of Qualifying for the final races. However after not quite getting the result they wanted, would once again prove to have competitive race distance cars underneath them.