Safety Cars, Spins & Strategy All In A Days Work for DJR At Darwin
200kms of racing was the order of the day in the final leg of the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin today.
A single Qualifying session would have a big bearing on the day’s results despite the fact that it was a 69 lap journey.
For David Wall, qualifying ended quickly as a power steering issue on the #17 Wilson Security Racing Falcon saw him destined to start in P25. Scott Pye was looking good in the middle stages of the 20 minute session but ultimately was knocked down the list to start P19.
Tyre strategies would play a role in every driver’s race. Pye started well on the Dunlop soft tyre and was soon inside the Top 10 well before the pit stops started to roll out. Wall had also made great progress to be up four positions before he took an early first stop on lap 11 to move onto the Dunlop Soft tyre. The middle stint of the race would prove the defining period as a Safety Car was called on Lap 22 after Dahlgren’s Volvo started a small grass fire after a spin.
Pye was in the pits with the leaders but this Safety Car period was not working with the DJR crew’s strategy for the #16 Ford which would play out later in the race. In the meantime, both WSR Falcons were making good progress and by mid race distance Wall had pushed on to be up to P12. But on Lap 36 a clumsy move by Todd Kelly (Nissan) and Lee Holdsworth (AMG Merc) at the hairpin sent the DJR driver into a wild spin costing him around 15 seconds and undoing all the good work of the early laps. Wall would press on and recover to finish in P18, disappointed as he should have been much higher.
Pye meantime had moved back into P11 and with only a handful of laps remaining came under fire by ‘fresher’ tyred Wood, Caruso and Holdsworth. All three got by him sending Scott down to P14 at the flag.
Although both drivers scored valuable points, they leave Darwin feeling that the results could well have been much better.
The V8 Supercars Championship now heads to Townsville in two weeks time.