The Supercars eSeries is almost complete with just two rounds left before the cars and teams head back out for Real Life racing post COVID-19 Shutdown.
Last nights racing was held at Phillip Island and Interlagos, with series leader Shane van Gisbergen and Anton De Pasquale sharing the spoils with the former taking the round win.
You can read all of the reports from the teams below.
Shane van Gisbergen has moved closer to clinching the inaugural BP Supercars All Stars Eseries title after another stellar round tonight.
The 2016 Supercars champion backed up his win at Phillip Island with a third and first at Interlagos.
It was Anton De Pasquale who took the spoils in the middle race of the night, leading home Fawzan El-Nabi.
The Round 8 finale was a reverse grid affair and it did not take long for carnage to strike, with an out-of-control James Courtney triggering a multi-car crash on the opening lap.
Van Gisbergen picked his way through the drama and, like most of the field, pitted at the end of the second lap behind the Safety Car.
Andre Heimgartner and Rick Kelly were among those to stay out but would lose out in the long run, placing 15th and 22nd respectively.
By the time they had made their first stop, a number of drivers headed by James Golding had completed their second and final visit to the line – that strategy reaping the rewards as the IRWIN Racing wildcard finished fourth.
At the front, it was Scott McLaughlin who took the lead into the dying laps with van Gisbergen closing in.
The duo delivered a thrilling exchange through the first half of lap 17, van Gisbergen eventually moving by.
McLaughlin ultimately would be 0.524s behind at the fall of the chequered flag, with Chaz Mostert third.
In-form Matt Stone Racing driver Garry Jacobson had a tough night, with a power surge frying his computer and wheel and causing him to fail to finish any of the three races.
All up, van Gisbergen now leads McLaughlin by 146 points in the provisional standings.
Cameron Waters remains third from Anton De Pasquale.
Provisional Eseries standings (top 10)
1. Shane van Gisbergen 1949
2. Scott McLaughlin 146
3. Cameron Waters 1689
4. Anton De Pasquale 1649
5. Chaz Mostert 1547
6. Andre Heimgartner 1267
7. Will Davison 1240
8. Lee Holdsworth 1215
9. Fabian Coulthard 1186
10. Garry Jacobson 1158
MEDIA RELEASE/Penrite Racing
Another e-series win for Anton with two rounds to go.
Penrite Racing’s Anton De Pasquale has solidified his fourth place in the Supercars All Stars Eseries, claiming another race win and podium at Phillip Island and Interlagos last night.
Teammate David Reynolds is undoubtedly the series’ most improved, though struggled to show results with a best of P20.
Race 24 – Phillip Island
Phillip Island was voted back by the fans and at lights out Anton made a ripper start to move up a spot from third on the grid, though ran out of road on cold tyres at the first turn.
David also made a good jump from P9 and was able to get a run on his teammate and passed him for P4 before the pair switched back after an exciting first lap.
The #9 took a hit from Scott McLaughlin at MG corner on the next lap, sending David down the order before the Penrite racers took their compulsory stops.
Anton pit for tyres at the end of lap six, while David stayed out hoping that younger tyres at the end would be an advantage and took his stop one lap later.
The #99 racer got by Chaz Mostert at Honda and set the quickest lap of the race before covering the back of Shane van Gisbergen to the checkered flag. Unable to make the move stick, he settled for a still satisfying second.
David tried to make a late lunge on Jack Le Brocq at the same corner Anton had just made his move, though muddled it up, and finished 21st.
Race 25 – Interlagos
Starting from pole for the seventh time in the virtual competition, Anton fought van Gisbergen as the #99 led the field to the first corner.
David started down in P19 and was on the move though got crossed up at turn one, while Anton struggled with straight line speed after a couple of knocks.
Both Penrite racers pit at the end of lap five for tyres, while Anton also got a fast repair to help his second stint.
Anton re-joined in the lead and built a comfortable margin out to 2.6-seconds before the finish line, claiming his fourth win of the series, while David was unable to get through the pack and finished P20.
Race 26 – Interlagos
With another reverse grid setting the scene for the final night of the race, Anton started from the rear of field, while David set off from P11.
Both drivers got away well and wary of the tricky first couple of corners, the plan was to simply survive and make it through. They popped out the other side unharmed, David now up to third and Anton in P17.
The Safety Car was deployed to bring the pack back together, with all but two cars taking their first of two compulsory stops as soon as pit lane opened on lap two.
A net code issue served David with a black flag in his stop, seeing the #9 parked in pit lane for an additional 30-seconds and ultimately ending his night before the lights turned green for the second time.
Anton took his second stop on lap five and David on lap nine for tyres, fuel and a fast repair for what would be a race to a time-certain finish.
The race stopped one-lap short of the scheduled 20-laps and Anton clawed his way up 23 places to an impressive sixth before the line, ahead of David in P23.
Anton De Pasquale commented on his successful night: “It was really cool to get another win and a podium. The racing was really good in race one. I got bumped off the track and then came back to almost win. I made a few passes, closed the gap to Shane toward the end and showed really good pace.
“At Interlagos I led from start to finish which was nice. I got a good start which was really important. We pitted at the right time, had good tyre management and did the important things right. I had three spotters tonight – Brodie Kostecki, Paul Morris and Jarryd Filsell who is one of the best e-racers around. With them in my team it made it really fun and it obviously worked for us.
“Starting last for the final race isn’t ideal and there was the usual crashes. Once we caught a bit of a roadblock we decided to pit and worry about tyres later, just to get out of it early. It was still good to make it up to sixth and be really close on the tail of those guys in front. Overall, it was a good night for us.”
David Reynolds said: “I did an amazing job at Phillip Island compared to the first round in the series where I was terrible. I got a really good start, had a really good first lap and then had a few run-ins and probably pitted too late. I was battling for around seventh and then I let Anton pass and then McLaughlin pushed me wide and it unravelled from there. I was making my way through again, I caught Le Brocq on the last lap and I thought I’d have a launch and stuffed it up and finished so far down, which was a shame after a good qualifying.
“We didn’t have much luck in any of the races tonight, though I had a brilliant first lap in the last race. I got to third before the Safety Car and there was a bit of a net code issue where Jack Smith was in front of me and then disappeared, I think his internet cut out, so I went up behind Andre and copped a 30-second penalty in pit lane putting me in dead last. Although it didn’t show, I still think I am going a lot better than a few weeks ago.”
Drivers will head to Michigan Oval circuit next week, while the second location will be decided by the drivers, out of Laguna Seca, Le Mans and Road America.
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MEDIA RELEASE/Shell V-Power Racing Team
MCLAUGHLIN PODIUM, COULTHARD TOP 5 IN BRAZIL
No. 12 Shell V-Power Ford – Fabian Coulthard
R24 Starting Position (Phillip Island): 14th
R24 Finishing Position (Phillip Island): 22nd
R25 Starting Position (Interlagos): 8th
R25 Finishing Position (Interlagos): 5th
R26 Starting Position (Interlagos): 25th
R26 Finishing Position (Interlagos): 21st
- Coulthard had an inconstent run in Round 8 of the Supercars Eseries, largely due to being caught up in incidents outside his control.
- His opening race was harmed early with an incident at Turn 4, however the second race of the night at Interlagos was a good one where he finished in the Top 5 after getting a clean run.
- The final race of the evening was looking good, before opening lap carnage was compounded with a problem in the first pit stop. Coulthard drove his absolute best across the remainder of the race to finish p21.
Quote: “Well, that was quite the night. This virtual Car 12 is bloody fast, we just need to stay away from all the guys tripping over themselves out there. We had a good run in the second race of the night there, with p5 at Interlagos so that was good. A pit stop drama in the last race put paid to a good result, which is frustrating, but we can grab a decent finish when the luck falls our way.”
No. 17 Shell V-Power Ford – Scott McLaughlin
R24 Starting Position (Phillip Island): 5th
R24 Finishing Position (Phillip Island): 9th
R25 Starting Position (Interlagos): 5th
R25 Finishing Position (Interlagos): 9th
R26 Starting Position (Interlagos): 21st
R26 Finishing Position (Interlagos): 2nd
- McLaughlin seemed to have a target on the back of his car at many times this evening, being taken out in the opening race at Phillip Island to finish p9.
- The second race of the evening was a similar story, with Chaz Mostert taking McLaughlin out at the opening corner, earning himself a drive-through penalty. McLaughlin again finished p9 after a fantastic recovery drive.
- The final race of the night was a good one for McLaughlin, who started near the rear of the reversed grid. He was able to avoid the carnage, and have a really entertaining battle with Shane van Gisbergen before having to settle for p2.
- He continues to sit second in the points standings behind Van Gisbergen.
Quote: “That was a big night, some really good racing there with Shane in the last race. That’s how you race. Fast, clean and hard. That was good stuff. Big credit to Shane, it’s always like that between him and me. That’s how it is, when a guy comes out with fresher tyres it’s hard to keep them behind, and he’s super quick in iRacing anyway. Otherwise we had a bad night with getting turned and taken out, but that last race was awesome. Let’s go again next week – counting down the days to the real thing now.”
MEDIA RELEASE/Kelly Racing
Strong pace but no results for virtual Kelly Racing ponies
Round Eight of the BP All Stars Eseries saw the team take on the Interlagos, the home of the Brazilian Grand Prix! The second venue for the night was Phillip Island – chosen by the fans via a social media poll with four other international circuits. Interestingly Phillip Island wasn’t revealed to the drivers as the second track until this morning, making it tricky to get practice laps in!
In qualifying we had a 20-minute session at Interlagos to kick off the evening. André Heimgartner had a very solid performance in the NED Whisky Mustang claiming P6 on the grid. Rick Kelly meanwhile in the Castrol Racing Mustang had a tough time and could only go quick enough for P26.
We then returned to Phillip Island for Race One qualifying. André was able to maintain the solid pace and take P9 while Rick improved slightly on Interlagos qualifying to take P23.
Race One saw Rick and André line up at Phillip Island for a twelve lap race. André got a cracking start, but was quickly taken out at by a wild Fabian Coulthard at Turn 4. He had to limp to the pits for repairs, then do a long stint to the end of the race. André was able to salvage P12.
Rick meanwhile had a battle in the Castrol Racing Mustang after he was punted off the track in the lap one carnage. He eventually finished P24.
Race Two the team made the virtual trip to Brazil’s Autódromo José Carlos Pace. André had a fantastic start in the NED Mustang and was running P3 in the opening laps. Unfortunately pit stop strategy put him back in the mid-field after his first stop. The Kiwi was able to fight back into the top-ten however a last-lap penalty put him way back in P19.
During Race Two, Rick continued to struggle after getting tangled in another lap one incident. Following that he enjoyed some solid battles during in the Castrol Mustang and was able to improve on his qualifying position to come home in P24.
Race Three of the evening was the reverse grid with a 20-lap, two stop format. Both drivers started from the pointy end of the grid and got great starts. On lap one André took the lead of the race and Rick settled in behind him in P2 during the safety car period! Unfortunately Rick and André stayed out on track during the initial safety car period while most of the field pitted.
This put both drivers significantly down the field after they took their two pit stops under normal race conditions. André finished P15 while Rick came home in P22.
Next week the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries returns to North America in Race One, while the drivers will vote on the second track of the night!
Rick Kelly, #15 Castrol Racing
“We had a tough night in the Castrol Mustang, it seems to be a recurring theme for me every week, qualify at the back and get cleaned up in all of the lap one carnage, which happened every race except for the first one where we had an amazing start with the reverse grid and were second for a bit until I followed André’s lead in not stopping under the safety car!”
“I shouldn’t have tried to copy his strategy because it clearly did not work, but it’s all good fun, we had a good laugh about it over the radio, we knew as soon as we went past pit lane and saw everyone else in the rear view pitting that we’d thrown away any chance of a podium.”
“Only a couple of weeks left of the Eseries and then we can jump in the real thing and I cannot wait.”
FURTHER READING: RICK KELLY BUILDS THE MUSTANG SIM #002
André Heimgartner, #7 NED Racing
“Tonight didn’t really go to plan for us which was pretty disappointing because we had a good qualifying and we had a few good opportunities to get some good results and points but we got a bit unlucky and didn’t get the pit stop timing right.”
“Race One was just unlucky we were a bit of a sitting duck when Fabian cleaned up myself and Bryce at Turn 4. Wasn’t a lot I could do about that but we did ok to salvage P12 from that.”
“Race Two we were up in P4 but once we pitted we came out behind a big train of cars, which was just bad timing and we were about effective P10 so I was going my hardest to try get some spots back and we ended up getting tangled up with another car and sent to the back with a penalty.”
“Race three with the reverse grid we were in a really good spot to get a podium and were actually leading the race for a while. But staying out and not pitting under the safety car wasn’t the right move and pretty much killed any chances of a good result as the whole field pitted.”
“Lucky Rick followed me so at least we both made the same mistake! We were cracking up over the radio when we saw all the cars behind pitting and we’d screwed up pretty bad. Lesson learnt and won’t be doing that again!”
MEDIA RELEASE/Team 18
Winterbottom unlucky while Golding and Pye strong at Interlagos
IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom was caught up again in ESeries chaos, DEWALT Racing’s Scott Pye scored a personal best while wildcard James Golding came home strong for Team 18 in Round 8 of the BP Supercars All Stars ESeries.
The eighth night of ESeries action returned to Phillip Island for Race 24 by virtue of a fan vote while Races 25 and 26 were held at Brazilian Formula 1 circuit Interlagos. Races 24 and 25 were held over 12 laps with a single pit stop while the final race was fought over 20 laps with two compulsory stops.
The Team 18 trio ran in close quarters early in Race 24, racing side-by-side in the opening laps. Starting 18th, Pye got up to 11th in the first race before he was tagged and spun by David Reynolds at the Turn 4 Honda hairpin and finished 13th. It was a tough race for the two IRWIN Racing Commodores with Winterbottom 18th and Golding 23rd.
The field experienced a clean start for Race 25 at Interlagos as Golding got past Winterbottom and made up a couple of positions early. Winterbottom’s night worsened when he was turned around by Jake Kostecki and finished back in 17th. Golding finished 21st after battling again in the mid-pack and came unstuck spinning on the pit exit road after completing his compulsory stop. Starting 18th, Pye avoided the carnage ahead and showed strong pace to charge through to seventh, equalling his personal best ESeries race result.
The final race saw the comeback of the full-field reverse grid, and chaos inevitably ensued on the first lap as up to half the field were caught up in several incidents in the first couple of corners, with Winterbottom banging doors with Macauley Jones and t-boned out of action early and finishing 16th. Starting ninth, Golding showed strong pace to make his way up to fourth. Starting 24th, Pye charged through to sit in contention for another top ten finish before he was taken out by Zane Goddard and crossed the line back in 26th.
The BP Supercars All Stars ESeries continues next Wednesday June 3 with Round 9 to be held on the Michigan International Speedway and a venue to be decided by a driver ballot. Watch qualifying live from 6pm on Fox Sports 506 with racing commencing from 7pm. It can also be viewed live on 10 Play, Scott Pye’s Twitch account and the DEWALT Racing and IRWIN Racing Facebook pages.
Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden Commodore
“We had some pace tonight and we had some fun at Phillip Island in the first race,” said Mark Winterbottom.
“I’ve raced at Interlagos before in the Brazilian Stock Car Championship so it was nice to race there again from the comfort of my home in Melbourne.
“We tried a funky strategy and did both of our compulsory pit stops under the early safety car but just ran out of tyre performance towards the end of the race.”
Scott Pye, driver #20 DEWALT Racing Holden Commodore
“Overall it was probably the best night of racing there’s been, everyone is driving so much better and the times are close that only a little mistake will send you to the back of the pack in qualifying,” said Scott Pye.
“We got unlucky in the first race when Reynolds made a mistake behind me under brakes into Honda corner and just tagged the rear of my car and we lost a few spots out of what was on track to be a top ten finish.
“Interlagos was great, we had good speed and moved up 11 spots in the first race there to seventh. From 24th in the reverse grid race we got up to 10th but then Goddard took me out which was disappointing.
“I’ve made some big steps forward in my speed but too many unlucky moments tonight hampered what could have been top tens in every race.”
James Golding, driver #31 IRWIN Racing Holden Commodore
“It was great to get a wildcard start in the BP Supercars All Stars ESeries in a second IRWIN Racing car alongside Mark Winterbottom,” said James Golding.
“I made a few errors in the first two races but redeemed myself in the reverse grid to start ninth and finish fourth. I pitted early and had to battle when the pack caught up and had to fight on worn tyres.
“It was great to mix it up with the guys at the front and all the regular Supercar drivers, the whole field was so close and the racing was cut throat.
“I have tried to get on the simulator at least three days a week during this time but otherwise I have been getting outside and keeping busy and preparing for when we can go back racing.”
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