Hard Charging for Moffat in Townsville

Wilson Security GRM driver James Moffat registered his second-best result of the season, with a flying seventh place result yesterday on the streets of Townsville.

The result was his fourth top-ten finish of the year in points paying races, and was a solid comeback after another top-ten result was taken away from him on Saturday following a post-race penalty.

Following 14 races in season 2017, Moffat sits 11thin the season point score, with the Championship continuing at Queensland Raceways from July 28-30.

Friday

  • Typically fine and warm conditions, which continued throughout the weekend.
  • Moffat finished the first 40 minute practice session in 14th, and the second outing in 19th.

“We had a few gremlins in our car today, the most notable being a vibration that we couldn’t really get on top of which cost us some track time,” said Moffat.

“Having only two 40-minute practice sessions is shorter than usual, and we were mainly chasing a lack of rear grip in the car coming out of the corners.

Saturday

In the 20 minute qualifying session for the opening 200km race, Moffat set the 19thquickest lap.

  • From the race start, Moffat largely steered clear of the carnage in the second turn, emerging in 14th place after the opening lap.
  • Pitting for the first time on lap 16 from seventh position, Moffat returned to the action in 20th place, before settling in 11th.
  • A late final stop for the number 34 machine saw the car enter the pits from the lead on lap 43.
  • On the run to the chequered flag at 70 laps, Moffat was a feature in a major battle with drivers such as Lee Holdsworth, David Reynolds, Garth Tander, Craig Lowndes and Fabian Coulthard.
  • Moffat was initially classified in tenth position, but post-race was issued a 15 second penalty for his part in the second corner concertina, which relegated him to 13th in the final run down.

“We couldn’t get that car to hook up well enough in qualifying, as we were still suffering with rear grip from Friday," said Moffat.

“Having said that, the times were incredibly close throughout the mid field but it was a little disappointing to qualify 17th.

“In the race the car looked after its tyres nicely relative to the cars that we were around us, and we were able to cross the line in tenth position, which I felt with the strategy we elected to run was close to the maximum we could have achieved.”

Sunday

  • Twenty minutes of qualifying on Sunday morning netted Moffat the 16th starting position for the race.
  • Yet another strong start saw Moffat complete the first circuit in 13th position.
  • A long first stint saw Moffat eventually make his first pit visit on lap 23 after leading the field for three laps.
  • Another long second stint saw the 34 Holden return to the pits on lap 44 after leading a further two circuits.
  • With strong car pace throughout, Moffat held station in seventh position on the run to the chequered flag, with both races running safety car free.

“Qualifying again didn’t really go the way we wanted it, and I was pretty frustrated to be 16th as I knew we had a good race car, and starting further up the field would only help our chances of a strong result in the race,” said Moffat.

“We decided to go with a different strategy compared to Saturday, and try and spilt the race up into three even stint lengths on the tyres.

“I was really happy with the speed and consistency of the car in the race, and combined with our strategy we were able to move through the field and finish seventh, so that was pleasing.”

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