Wild Winton Weekend for Moffat

Wilson Security GRM driver James Moffat had to race hard through the field at the Winton SuperSprint, as the Supercars Championship heated up the rural Victorian circuit.

With qualifying proving to be problematic, Moffat grafted hard to earn results of 19th and 16th from the respective races.

Following ten races of season 2017, Moffat has dropped one place in the standing to be placed in 11th.

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship continues at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway after the mid-season break on June 16-18.

Friday

  • A rain soaked day, with limited meaningful track time achieved in the twin 45-minute main driver practice sessions.
  • Moffat was placed 15th and 20th on the timing sheets.

“The wet conditions throughout the day made it difficult to really test anything that meaningful, as we were confident the weather was going to be fine for Saturday and Sunday,” said Moffat.

“It was good to get Richard Muscat in the car for his first laps in the co-driver’s session, and he did a nice job.”

Saturday

  • Improved weather conditions for Saturday’s action, which held for the remainder of the weekend.
  • In the final free practice session, Moffat was 20th quickest.
  • Qualifying pace alluded Moffat ahead of race nine of the season, with the number 34 Holden Commodore lining up for the 120km encounter from 25th.
  • After making up three places on the opening lap, Moffat climbed up to seventh position before the sole pit stop of the race.
  • With the race running safety car free, Moffat returned to action in 22nd, but moved up to 13th at the chequered flag.
  • A post-race penalty dropped Moffat to 19th.

“It was a difficult day for us, we couldn’t get the car dialled in in the final practice session before qualifying and that translated to a poor result,” said Moffat.

“We made some good progress in the race to cross the line in 13th and some points for the championship, however post-race 5 second penalty for a coming together with James Courtney on the opening lap dropped us to 19th.

“Had we received the time penalty during the race, which the officials have indicated is the preference to do, we would have been able to react to that and adjust our strategy to minimise the loss of time.

“Overall a pretty trying day.”

Sunday

  • The final qualifying for the weekend netted Moffat the 20th starting spot for the 200km Sunday race, which became 22nd after a two grid spot penalty for accidently impeding Craig Lowndes’ qualifying hot lap.
  • After making up a couple of places at the start, Moffat battled through to ninth position before his opening pit service on lap 17.
  • A long middle stint saw Moffat pit from the lead on lap 43 of 67.
  • Returning to the action in 17th, it was tough going on the run to the chequered flag, only displacing Todd Kelly for a position on the third last circuit, resulting in a 16th place finish.

“Again qualifying didn’t work out for us and we ended up 22nd, said Moffat.

“Without doubt our weakness at the moment is our qualifying, and we really need to focus on finding a solution for it, because it is hurting us so much starting that far down the field.

“We moved forward a little in the race to finish 16th.

“A pretty frustrating weekend to be honest and we certainly have some things to work on before the next race in Darwin, so hopefully we can respond well as a team.”

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