Sandown Seventh for Throwback Moffat
Wilson Security GRM driver James Moffat teamed with rookie Richard Muscat to claim seventh position in the Wilson Security Sandown 500 over the weekend.
With the retro round spirit in full swing, Moffat’s Holden Commodre sported a livery paying tribute to his father Allan’s Rothmans VL Commodore from the 1987 Monza 500.
Co-incidentally, the result mirrored the finish earned by his father three decades earlier, before the top six BMWs in that event were disqualified post-race.
The finish was Moffat’s sixth top-ten of the season to date.
After 19 races, Moffat now sits 12th in the point standings, with the next event on the schedule being the big one – the Bathurst 1000 – set down for October 5-8 at Mount Panorama.
Quoteboard – James Moffat
“It was good to come away with a solid result, as we finally got the car working reasonably well for the race on Sunday – up until that point in dry conditions the car wasn’t quite where we needed it to be,” said Moffat.
“In the wet conditions on Friday the car was pretty good.
“Richard did a great job in his first Sandown 500 and didn’t put a mark on the car, but also made up some valuable ground in his stints.
“It seemed our race pace on Sunday was pretty strong and had the race gone its full 500km distance things may played more into our hands.
“Naturally I’m excited to get up to Bathurst – the big challenge there will be adapting the setup quickly to the 2016 specification hard tyre, which we haven’t used since last year.”
- The driest of the three practice sessions of the day was the opening 30 minutes, with Muscat setting the 21st fastest time.
- Behind the wheel for the second run, Moffat was eighth quickest as the heavens opened.
- Muscat showed strong form in the final practice for the day, setting the third best time on a slick track.
- Dry conditions greeted competitors on Saturday morning, with Moffat 13th in the 15-minute-long fourth practice session.
- The 20-minute qualifying session to determine the grid for the co-driver race yielded Moffat the 21st quickest time.
- Muscat drove smartly to pick up places to be classified in 17th when the co-driver race was curtailed following Todd Hazelwood’s huge accident.
- The second race to the grid was a far more sedate affair, with Moffat only climbing one position up the field after Craig Lowndes fell by the wayside with mechanical issues.
- The 20-minute morning warm up netted the crew the 14th best time.
- A first lap accident involving Taz Douglas red flagged the race, and ultimately cut short the scheduled distance by some 36 laps.
- A strong start by Muscat saw the debutant run in 11th place in the opening exchanges, before heading to the pits for his first stop on lap 19.
- A steady drive through the field saw Muscat pit on lap 55 from second position, handing over to Moffat during the service.
- Running in eighth for the bulk of his first stint, Moffat pitted from the lead on lap 91.
- Picking up a position when Shane Van Gisbergen suffered a puncture, Moffat held off the advances of Lee Holdsworth to cross the finish line in seventh.