Bathurst Heartbreak for Moffat
Wilson Security GRM driver James Moffat had a heartbreaking finish to the Bathurst 1000, after looking set for a podium result.
Moffat and team mate Richard Muscat proved to genuine front runners throughout the Mount Panorama classic, but late race contact curtailed their dream run.
“It was a pretty bitter sweet weekend really, as the car had good speed in both dry and wet conditions,” said Moffat.
“Obviously missing the shootout for causing a red flag in qualifying was pretty shattering, as the shootout at Bathurst is so special, but I was proud of the team that we showed enough speed to make the top ten.
“It was also really cool to be able to do a 2.04.9 lap around Bathurst in practice five, even though it only put us P9 for that session, but that just shows how competitive the championship really is.
“As for the race, well what can I say…. I gave it everything I had, and the wet conditions were really treacherous.
“The team gave us a great car and we were able to move through the field and be in contention towards the end of the race when it counted.
“I’m really disappointed that I threw it away as the team and Richard deserved a better result than what they got.
“I can’t thank the team enough for the effort they put in over the weekend.”
Following 20 races, Moffat now sits 18th in the point standings.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship continues in two weekend’s time on the streets of Surfers Paradise, with the final round of the Enduro Cup, the Gold Coast 600.
- Fine and warm conditions, with the Moffat/Muscat machine placed 15th in the opening hour-long practice session.
- Rookie team mate Muscat only managed five laps in the second co-driver only practice session before hitting the wall in the Esses.
- Hasty repairs by the GRM crew saw the car return to the track for the final session, where it recorded the 16th best time.
- Muscat recorded 21 laps in the one-hour co-driver practice session, before Moffat took the wheel for the final session, setting the ninth fastest time.
- In qualifying, Moffat provisionally registered the ninth fastest time, before contact with the wall at the Esses curtailed the session early.
- By virtue of being docked his fastest lap, Moffat was re-classified in 22nd position, with the penalty elevating his stable mate Garth Tander into the top-ten shootout.
- Another 60 minutes of practice track time saw Moffat/Muscat set the tenth best time.
- The final 20 minute warm up session netted Moffat and Muscat the 19th fastest time.
- Rain started falling as the cars rolling around to the grid, with the heavens opening for a substantial portion of the race, with the track never totally drying out.
- Moffat started the race, and steadily picked off competitors, climbing 20 spots in his first stint before pitting on lap 25 from second.
- Muscat climbed aboard for a double stint, with the track well and truly wet.
- The 34 machine pitted again on lap 47 from fifth and lap 65 from ninth.
- Moffat re-joined the action in 17th position, before pitting again on lap 75 from tenth under a safety car for fuel and tyres.
- After climbing back up to third, Moffat pitted on lap 88, once again under safety car, handing back to Muscat.
- Muscat held on to seventh place when he pitted on lap 111, with Moffat taking over while a brake pad change was completed.
- Charging back through the pack, Moffat sat in second place to Chaz Mostert for nine laps in the lead up to the final pit stop on lap 134.
- Resuming in third place on lap 136 behind Shane Van Gisbergen and Mostert, Moffat ran wide on lap 139 at McPhillamy Park and hit the wall.
- The day for the team ended after 141 laps, with hard wall contact at Sulman Park.