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Brown Weathers The Stop And Moves To The Top – Race 16

Will Brown showed the maturity of a future Supercars Champion with victory in Race 16 of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship in Townsville.

What shone about Brown’s drive is the way in which he brushed off any potential set backs; dropping from first to fourth in two corners, or the late Safety Car which negated a hard earned lead, to take the race win and the championship lead.

Brown started the race from pole position and made an excellent start, while Shane van Gisbergen made an even better getaway. NASCAR’s most recent winner moved ahead of second placed David Reynolds with apparent ease then slotted the Red Bull Racing Camaro down the inside of the leader at the approach to Turn 2.


What followed was difficult to apportion blame. Van Gisbergen was impossibly positioned for the corner, Brown turned in towards the apex, while Reynolds was glued to the back of the Coca Cola Erebus Motorsport Camaro.

Who hit who is hard to determine, lets just say the Brown had a brush on the right side with van Gisbergen, whilst receiving another bump from Reynolds behind.

The contact saw the trio miss the apex of the corner and run straight on towards the outside wall. t was fortunate for all three that there was no impact with the wall and the contact between each other was minor. The Stewards agreed with no action deemed necessary,

Cameron Waters and Broc Feeney were the real beneficiaries of the incident as the pari moved into first and second on the road. Van Gisbergen ran alongside his teammate through Turns 4 and 5 as Feeney refused to yield to his distinguished ally.

Feeney eventually prevailed at Turn 6, which compromised van Gisbergen’s approach to Turn 7, where Brown regained third. Jack LeBrocq tried to follow which crowded the #97. A touch then pushed both cars into a glancing blow against the outside wall. LeBrocq resumed in tenth place while van Gisbergen found himself back in 13th.

Waters led at the end of the opening lap from Feeney, Brown, Mostert and Reynolds as the field settled in for the 88 lap journey, though is wasn’t smooth sailing further down the order.


Nick Percat sat 16th on Lap 8 until a tap from Mark Winterbottom at Turn 2 saw the WAU driver emerged in a haze of tyre smoke as he spun the Mustang back in the right direction. Jack Smith then hit Percat’s car with a glancing blow as he left the scene of the incident. Percat returned to the garage for a lengthy repair while Winterbottom received a time penalty for his part.

Brown gradually worked his way forward and moved past Feeney for second on Lap 18 at Turn 11. The approach from the Erebus Motorsport driver helped preserve his Dunlop tyres and he quickly moved towards race leader Waters whilst also distancing himself from third-placed Feeney.

The recovery was complete on Lap 23 when Brown moved inside Waters and Turn 10 and took the lead at the following corner.

Whilst it was plain sailing for Brown, it was a day of frustration for his teammate Brodie Kostecki. After a troubled run in qualifying, Kostecki looked to minimise the damage to his championship lead with a strong point haul. His plan unravelled with a transaxle issue which made it impossible for the Coca Cola #99 to use second gear.

Brown and Waters made their first stops on Lap 27 in what was the most popular of the pitstop strategies. Two noticeable exceptions were Shane van Gisbergen and Chaz Mostert. Van Gisbergen did his customary longer opening stint, while Mostert stopped early, short fuelled and returned to the circuit in a three stop strategy. Both approaches were aimed at optimising track position, with Mostert ultimately finishing ahead.

The second round of stops began near the 60 lap mark with Feeney, Waters and Reynolds amongst the first to do so. Shane van Gisbergen and Chaz Mostert led, courtesy of their alternate strategies, though the success of their initiatives was still an unknown.

A Lap 68 Safety Car also set the cat amongst the pigeons after Todd Hazelwood stopped the CoolDrive Mustang near a fire marshal’s post after sparks appeared from underneath his car.

Will Brown led Feeney, Waters, Hemigartner, Fullwood, Reynolds, Pye, van Gisbergen, Mostert and Randle when the race resumed in Lap 72.

Mostert fired the WAU Mustang past van Gisbergen at Turn 3 and then attacked Reynolds for 7th at Turn 9. The Penrite Mustang driver had no answer, driving on rubber that just didn’t offer him the same level of grip as those immediately behind. Mostert’s charge took him all the way to third by the time the chequered flag dropped.


Brown took the win from Feeney by 3.5 seconds with third placed Mostert a further two-seconds adrift. Van Gisbergen, Waters, Pye, Heimgartner, Fullwood, Courtney and Davison completed the top 10.

“88 laps around here is a long time, but felt good in there, the car was mega quick on old tyres,” Brown said.

“I knew in that first stint, I had really good tyre life and used that to my advantage.”

“It’s pretty awesome to be nearly halfway through the season and have orange numbers on tomorrow.”

A Monster Pole As Shell V-Power Takes First Win of Gen3 – Race 17

Anton De Pasquale has brought Shell V-Power Racing a first win in the era of Gen 3 at the NTI Townsville 500. After Cameron Waters had claimed pole position for the Blue oval.

It had been a fraught time for the Ford runners in season 2023. Performance, or the relative lack thereof, and parity had become the buzz words as the Chevrolet Camaro dominated the pointy end of the field throughout the opening 16 races in the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship.

Race 17 might not have finally silenced the detractors, but it has certainly helped.

Sunday brought more of a challenge for Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen, who had his qualifying run compromised to such an extent that he found himself at the rear of the gird for the race start. If that wasn’t bad enough, an early confrontation with Declan Fraser had the #97 spin at Turn 7 just as he had begun to make some progress through the field.

Showing all the guile and resilience of a multi-Supercar champion, van Gisbergen somehow managed to work himself into podium contention and a sniff at the race win.

Cameron Waters started the race from pole position with Jack LeBrocq in second. As the lights went out it was Le Brocq who had the better start, though Waters maintained the lead with the better track position for Turn 2. Thomas Randle followed his team leader to take third place ahead of Brodie Kostecki and almost snared second when Le Brocq found himself out wide on the approach to Turn 2.  Despite his awkward position, the MSR Camaro retained its place.

An early stopped worked wonders for Mostert in Race 16 and the Shell V-Power team employed the same strategy for De Pasquale, pitting the #11 Mustang inside the opening 20 laps of the race.

Not only did it see him drop to the tail of the field, it also consigned him to the same three stop strategy of Mostert’s.

As the race approached one-quarter distance the top 8 were evenly distributed between Ford and Chevrolet runners. Waters led from Le Brocq, Heimgartner, Kostecki, Brown, Randle, Reynolds and Courtney. It wasn’t the exclusive domain of the Ford cars, Broc Feeney made his first stop on Lap 19, with battle scars evident across the right rear bumper.

Chaz Mostert was another early stopper, though his was neither planned or strategic


Chaz Mostert was another early stopper, though his was neither planned or strategic. Having noticed a burning smell in his Optus Mustang and a progressively heavy steering, Mostert knew his day was done with a power steering issue.

Le Brocq inherited a short-term lead when Waters made his first stop, only to see Heimgartner assume the lead on Lap 24, just before he peeled off to the pits for fresh rubber and fuel.

A full course caution and Safety Car on Lap 36 brought a flurry of action to the pits with teams looking to finish off their fuel drop quota whilst the rest of the field circulated at a reduced speed.

The caution had been brought about after Cameron Hill’s MSR Camaro shed part of its rear diffuser over the kerbs at Turn 6. The aluminium and carbon fibre box assembly stood tall like a bollard, tempting contact from those behind, to which Courtney duly obliged.

It was a short disruption with the errant pieces quickly removed inside a couple of laps.

At the restart it was De Pasquale from Brown, Fullwood, Davison, Hill, Le Brocq, Waters, van Gisbergen, Feeney, Waters and Pye.

Hill’s time in the top 10 came to an end when Supercar officials called the car into the garage to replace the rear crash box section that had fallen off before.

The final round of stops began with just over 20 laps remaining and finally brought some reality to the running order. With 15 laps left in Race 17 it was De Pasquale some 9 seconds clear of Heimgartner in second with Kostecki less than a second behind. Feeney, van Gisbergen, Fullwood, Brown, Winterbottom, Pye and Le Brocq were the top 10.


In this final laps van Gisbergen moved ahead of Feeney, while Fullwood dropped down the order.

Anton De Pasquale went on to record the first Gen 3 win for Shell V-Power Racing and the first Mustang to take the chequered flag as the race winner in 2023.

Brodie Kostecki and Andre Heimgartner claimed second and third respectively, with the remainder of the top 10 positions claimed by van Gisbergen, Feeney, Brown, Winterbottom, Randle, Fullwood and Le Brocq.

“It’s been an average year so far,” Anton De Pasquale told Fox Sports.

“The guys worked all night to fix the problems from yesterday and I had an amazing car today. It was a dream to drive.”

“It’s good to get this one done for the year and hopefully it is a sign of things to come.”

The next round for the Supercars is the Day Night Meeting at Sydney Motorsport Park, Beaurepairs Sydney SuperNight July 28-30,and once again our team from Velocity Magazine will be there.


For all our news keep your eyes peeled on the Velocity Magazine website and social media, FacebookTwitter and Instagram for our daily updates and to get the latest edition of our glossy magazine subscribe here from just $55 for 12 months subscription.


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