Penalties and spins cloud results for WSR at Sydney Motorsport Park 400.
Wet weather arrived just as the Sydney Motorsport 400 roared into life today and not surprisingly added a new element into the mix. The V8 Supercars Championship had not run a ‘points’ race in full wet conditions since Sandown in 2011, some 93 races ago! Therefore many of the younger drivers lined up with very little wet track experience.
Practice and Qualifying were held in dry conditions for races 26 & 27 of the Championship and the Wilson Security Racing duo of Scott Pye and David Wall were aiming at improving the recent good form of the DJR Falcons. Pye was the best of the two with a P15 and P16 starting position with Wall not getting the best out of the short 10 minute sessions in P21 and P25.
As the cars nosed out of the garages for the first 26 lap race, the rain arrived! A change to wet weather tyres was in order for all 25 cars and the field was off in a blinding spray. Predictably, a Safety Car was called quickly after Reynolds and Slade were off the road at Turn 3. Both DJR Falcons were in the grass to avoid the melee but got through to join the line behind the Safety Car. At the restart Pye was under pressure from Ingall and Todd Kelly dropping him back to P19. Wall was able to improve a few spots before a second Safety Car was called mid race.
For Pye in the #16 Wilson Security / PAYCE Falcon, the second half of the race came to life. He was immediately on the move picking off FPR drivers Winterbottom and Mostert, and then had a big charge at Percat into Turn 6. The two came together and Percat was off the track. The run to the flag was just as exciting for Pye who was banging wheels with Holdwsorth on the main straight grabbing 10th on the finish line. A fine comeback drive for Scott who at one point was in P19. However, the V8 Supercars stewards passed judgment on Pye giving him a 30 second post race penalty for his clash with Percat dropping him to P20.
Wall was in a race long battle with Wood and Perkins, and was jumped by the #18 Falcon of Perkins with only a handful of laps to run. He was to finish inside the Top 20 in P18.
The rain continued to fall as the grid lined up for the second 100km sprint. Pye had to avoid a slow starting Jason Bright but made up two spots on Lap 1. Once again a Safety Car was called as both Volvo’s were in trouble. David Wall had his windscreen full of blue Volvo as Dahlgren lost it and speared across the front of the #17 Falcon.
At the restart the pace of both cars was being hindered by fogging windscreens and a set up that was maybe more suited to a wet / dry track rather than the full wet conditions. Pye’s day turned sour as he was hit by Michael Caruso and spun out at Turn 6. He would be stuck for over a lap and saw his result disappear. Wall was pushing on well taking advantage of other drivers mistakes and crossed the line in P14 making up 12 spots over the 25 lap journey.
Sunday will see another Qualifying session and a 200km final at the Sydney Motorsport 400.
Scott Pye – #16 Wilson Security Racing – FG Falcon
“We got one Top 10* today which was a good result. It was a really fun race as well with plenty of overtaking. It was good for my own confidence being able to pass so many cars in these conditions.
“Luck today was not on our side. We didn’t have great speed in the full wet conditions as the car was a bit stiff. If the conditions are going to be the same tomorrow we will need to soften it up a bit more. The car was really set up better for the first race and it showed in our race pace towards the end.
“I don’t really know what happened when Caruso turned us around. It was so hard to see out of any of the windows, it was that bad! Bad luck for the boys too as they worked so hard with back to back sessions and races.”
*Race stewards added 30 seconds to Pye’s race time dropping officially to 20th
David Wall - #17 Wilson Security Racing – FG Falcon
“A hard slog for sure today. In the first race I thought the car was OK when the track was wet, but it faded a bit when it started to dry out.
“In the start of the second race I had really bad fogging on the windscreen which did not clear. I think we picked up some oil and it then slicked right up with the wiper. You then are driving to the white line and looking for the lights on the car in front of you. It was tough but we made some ground and kept out of trouble.
“We will look at the car balance tonight and see if we can attack that qualifying again tomorrow.”