Davison and Webb win Bathurst thriller but 888 Protest

Will Davison and Jonathan Webb have won the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in a thrilling climax at Mount Panorama.

Davison held off Shane Van Gisbergen in the final laps of the race to win 0.1434 seconds in one of the closest ever finishes.

Co-driver and team owner Jonathon Webb couldn’t watch in the last laps, as his former driver attacked his current driver in an intense finish to the year’s biggest race.

The race ran without a safety car for 92 laps – but the second half exploded, with huge smashes, passes and penalties handed down in the final stages of the race.

Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander looked set to battle to the end, but an incident with Scott McLaughlin ended it for all three, with Tander in the wall, McLaughlin in the sand and Whincup handed a 15-second penalty for his part.

It was the third year in a row Whincup has blown his chances of victory, with the six-time Supercars Champion eventually finishing 11th.

Davison was told to conserve fuel in the closing laps with van Gisbergen pushing, his STIX Darrell Lea Commodore coughed at the final corner, but made it home.

He hadn’t led a lap all day.

“I’m honestly speechless, I’m not going to give much here because that was so stressful,” Davison said after clinching his second title.

“It coughed at the last corner I ran out of fuel as I crossed the line. Started 17th, I knew we were quick. Jonathon Webb had a good feeling this week.”

Webb won his second race at Mount Panorama this year, having taken the 12 Hour with Shane van Gisbergen and Alvaro Parente earlier in 2016.

“Unbelievable – we were so close in 14,” Webb said. “I was out the back just playing with my kid trying to ignore what was going on – it’s unbelievable, it’s just amazing.”

Behind van Gisbergen, paired with Alex Premat, was Nick Percat in third taking small team Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport to its second ever podium with Cameron McConville.

Cameron Waters/Jack Le Brocq and Scott Pye/Tony D’Alberto completed the top five in the incredible race.

A late crash by Rick Kelly triggered a safety car that closed up the field, and Todd Kelly flying off at The Chase meant van Gisbergen couldn’t use that spot to pass.

As for Whincup – he went to apologise to his competitors, but felt the pass was on.

“I don’t know what to say, I just went out there and raced hard. I feel sorry for the result, just going up to Volvo and HRT, I go and apologise for the result, I felt the move was on … we had contact and I was happy to redress but two cars weren’t there to readdress,” he said.

“We tried hard like we always do … I enjoyed the pace of 88 this weekend and we’ll come back [for the Gold Coast] in a couple of weeks’ time.”

The Harvey Norman Supergirls Simona De Silvestro and Renee Gracie finished a highly credible 14th.

Red Bull team owner Roland Dane has confirmed that his squad has protested the 15 second post-race time penalty handed to its #88 Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell Holden.

Whincup, who went on to take the chequered flag first on the road, was awarded the penalty following contact with Scott McLaughlin on lap 150 of 161.

The six-time Supercars champion had bumped McLaughlin wide at The Chase as he tried to take second on the road from the Volvo.

Whincup then slowed to redress the incident, but subsequent contact between Garth Tander and McLaughlin put the latter two cars into the wall, preventing the Red Bull driver from handing the place back.

The #88 Holden was penalised for its initial contact with McLaughlin, who is in turn being investigated for his re-entry to the circuit.

“We have protested the penalty because it is not consistent with what we’ve been told as to the way the rules are applied this year,” said Dane.

“Even if Jamie was at fault, the penalty according to the drivers’ briefings this year is clear; either you redress or if you can’t then it’s a 10 point penalty.

“Either of those penalties could have been applied. That is why we have protested.”

Position / Driver / Team    

1. Will Davison › Jonathon Webb › Team Darrell Lea STIX  Commodore VF 161     6:19:25.3237    
2. Shane van Gisbergen › Alexandre Prémat › Red Bull Racing Australia Holden Commodore VF 161     6:19:25.4671
3. Nick Percat › Cameron McConville › Clipsal 500 Adelaide Racing  Holden Commodore VF 161 6:19:28.1791

Denyer saves the day for Douglas in DVS!

Grant Denyer has saved Taz Douglas’ Supercars Dunlop Series Championship with backing and will help him steer his #54 Holden Commodore at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 this weekend.

Denyer has brought sponsorship from Network Ten through his popular game show Family Feud to support Douglas so he can continue racing after a massive smash at Sandown Raceway last round.

The television personality will return to Supercars Racing this weekend ready to take on the mountain alongside Taz Douglas in the Supercars Dunlop Series, previously a four time Dunlop Series race winner.

The Bathurst round has a unique format where the Dunlop Series race just one 250km mini enduro and can elect to run the race with a co-driver.

“Family Feud is Australia’s number one game show so it’s kind of cool I can combine my two loves; my love for television and my love for car racing this weekend in Bathurst,” Denyer told Supercars.com.

“The good thing about it is Family Feud is my job it’s my nine to five and they will be the sponsor on the car over the weekend.

“If that means it covers a fuel tank and a set of tyres and keeps Taz in the Championship that’s win win.”

After competing at Bathurst previously in his race career, he jumped at the opportunity to race at Mount Panorama once again.

Douglas is sixth in the Dunlop Series Championship, 324 points behind the Championship leader Garry Jacobson and sits equal with Paul Dumbrell on 916 points.

Three hundred points will be awarded to the winner of Saturday’s race.

 “It’s the world’s greatest circuit so anytime you get to turn a lap in a Supercar here is about as good as life gets, so this is a wicked chance,”Denyer said.

“I have done three Bathurst 1000 and they are the highlight of my life, so to be here this weekend with Taz to help him out, keep him in the Championship and turn a few laps is a great opportunity.”

An appreciative Douglas said chances to race at Bathurst were not looking great after car damage caused in Sandown, and thanked the sponsors.

“Luckily for Grant he came along and has been able to help us out and also Custom Plates who have helped me out throughout the year has chipped in as well,” Douglas said.

“Aside from being able to do the next round in the Championship, as Grant said to race here at Bathurst in a Supercar is just unbelievable.

“We are here not only to keep my Championship on track but to have fun as well. Obviously Grant brings a lot of exposure to our team, myself and the sponsors.”

Despite Denyers’ excitement to race, he noted it would take a while to dial back into a Supercar after racing a McLaren in the GT Series more recently.

“This is a tricky place to dial in quickly and I don’t drive these cars Monday to Friday,” Denyer said.

“I race in the GT series in a McLaren and they are remarkably different machines, but hopefully I am quick enough to keep Taz up there in the Championship and keep in in the hunt.

“The most important thing is that he continues to race and keeps his Championship on track, that’s the most important thing and I’m just here to help him.”

Bathurst 1000 Starting Positions

Position / Driver / Team    
Jamie Whincup  Paul Dumbrell Red Bull Racing Australia Holden Commodore VF
Scott McLaughlin  David Wall Wilson Security Racing GRM Volvo S60
Chaz Mostert  Steve Owen Supercheap Auto Racing Ford Falcon FG/X
Fabian Coulthard  Luke Youlden DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon FG/X
Tim Slade  Ash Walsh Freightliner Racing Holden Commodore VF
Michael Caruso  Dean Fiore Nissan Motorsport Nissan Altima
Shane van Gisbergen  Alexandre Prémat Red Bull Racing Australia Holden Commodore VF
Garth Tander  Warren Luff Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VF
Scott Pye  Tony D'Alberto DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon FG/X
Mark Winterbottom  Dean Canto The Bottle-O Racing Team Ford Falcon FG/X
Jason Bright  Andrew Jones Team BOC Holden Commodore VF
Chris Pither  Richie Stanaway Super Black Racing Ford Falcon FG/X
Cameron Waters  Jack Le Brocq Monster Energy Racing Ford Falcon FG/X
David Reynolds  Craig Baird Erebus Motorsport Penrite Holden Commodore VF
Lee Holdsworth  Karl Reindler Preston Hire Racing Holden Commodore VF
James Courtney  Jack Perkins Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VF
Will Davison  Jonathon Webb Team Darrell Lea STIX Holden Commodore VF
Dale Wood  David Russell GB Galvanizing Racing Nissan Altima
Todd Kelly  Matthew Campbell Carsales Racing Nissan Altima
Rick Kelly  Russell Ingall Sengled Racing Nissan Altima
Craig Lowndes  Steven Richards TeamVortex Holden Commodore VF
Nick Percat  Cameron McConville Clipsal 500 Adelaide Racing Holden Commodore VF
James Moffat  James Golding Wilson Security Racing GRM Volvo S60
Tim Blanchard  Macauley Jones Team Cooldrive Holden Commodore VF
Andre Heimgartner  Aaren Russell Plus Fitness Racing Holden Commodore VF
Simona de Silvestro  Renee Gracie Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan Altima
Chris Van Der Drift  Shae Davies Erebus Motorsport Holden Commodore VF

Bottle-O Livery Change for Bathurst

The Bottle-O Racing Team are celebrating ten years of involvement in the Supercars field at the 2016 Bathurst 1000 with a celebratory livery to mark the milestone.

Since making their Supercars debut in 2007 with current Prodrive Racing (Australia) co-driver Steve Owen, the brand has been represented by a multitude of high-profile drivers including Tony D'Alberto, Dean Canto, Paul Dumbrell who secured The Bottle-O's first race win at the Sandown 500 in 2010, David Reynolds and current driver, Mark Winterbottom.

In celebration of the milestone, Winterbottom's number one Ford will feature a matte black and green chrome livery at the Bathurst 1000 with a custom roof designed specifically for the occasion.

"The Bottle-O Racing Team has been such a great team to be a part of since being handed the keys to The Bottle-O Ford at the start of this year," said Winterbottom.  "They have already given me numerous opportunities in the short time I have been with their team."

"To get a win for them in Perth was really special. I'm excited to debut the livery on track on Thursday and fight for a Bathurst win."

Team Owner Rod Nash thanks the brand for their ongoing support of the Prodrive Racing and Rod Nash Racing stable.

"The Bottle-O first joined us with Rod Nash Racing in 2007 and they have been an important part of the team ever since," he said.

"As a team and as a brand we've grown together and to see the green colours on the number one car this season was really exciting.

"The style of this independent brand in the Liquor market matched with the very ominous 'Green Machine' Supercar I think has done the brand proud and at the same time the team have been very proud in representing and leveraging this commercial arm of The Bottle-O. It's been a fantastic partnership.”

"From everyone at Rod Nash Racing and Prodrive Racing, I'd like to thank The Bottle-O and all the great staff and suppliers for their ongoing support and raise a glass to a fantastic ten years in the sport."

The Bottle-O CEO Scott Marshall says that “this milestone represents a significant achievement for the 300 plus independent The Bottle-O retail stores who have been part of the local racing community for over 10 years."

"We are proud of our long-standing partnership and seeing The Bottle-O Racing Team go from strength to strength and celebrate some spectacular wins is great both for our retailers and our loyal fans."

Supergirls on-track

The Harvey Norman Supergirls are continuing to adapt to the Nissan Altima Supercar after their first run at Mount Panorama today.

The pair faces a daunting task lining up against the regular drivers in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at the toughest track on the calendar, but both Simona De Silvestro and Renee Gracie were pleased with their progress throughout day one.

They sat at the back of the field during practice, with De Silvestro 3.8 seconds off fastest driver Jamie Whincup, while Gracie 4.5sec behind Whincup’s co-driver Paul Dumbrell.

It’s all about improving across the weekend – though De Silvestro admitted next year’s move to race full-time has added pressure to perform at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

“It’s great to be back, you know I really enjoyed driving here last year … this year there is a bit more pressure because I really need to get my head around and understanding how to drive these cars,” De Silvestro said.

“I’ve really enjoyed it so far; the team has done an incredible job, just feeling pretty comfortable in the car right away, but now I have to really start looking at the smaller things to go fast.

“So far I’m going okay and it’s just a great event to be a part of. I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

The ladies switch to a Nissan Altima in 2016 after racing a Prodrive Ford Falcon FG X last year.

While both drivers described the car as very different, returning to the event means it’s not all new for De Silvestro.

“I think that helps quite a bit because last year I came here and hadn’t even done one lap around here,” De Silvestro said. 

“Just knowing how the track is, I could prepare a little bit better I raced here last year.

“For sure the car is a little bit different to drive, I’m happy that it is quicker but there is still a huge gap to the fast ones, so sometimes that’s a bit frustrating as a driver.

“But I want to get better so every time I get in the car that is the focus, so I’m really starting to pick those things to get quicker at.”

Gracie spent an hour and a half behind the wheel and is sitting out of the Dunlop Series this weekend.

“It has been a bit of a challenge adjusting to a new car on the track,” Gracie said.

“I’ve quickly realised how hard it is to drive three different cars in two years at this Mountain, it’s pretty challenging.

“The first session was definitely about getting comfortable, which I was lacking first up.

“Simona did well in her first session, and she felt good at the end, and then in the final session we split the driving.

“Simona went out on green tyres at the end there, I didn’t, but she went quite quick, which is good.

“So I’m pretty confident, I think Simona is pretty confident in the car too, and we’re moving in the same direction with car setup. I think tomorrow will be a good day.”

Shell to Race V-Power 2017 Championship

The most iconic partnership in the history of Australian motorsport will be born again when Shell V-Power and DJR Team Penske join forces in 2017.

The new arrangement will take effect at the beginning of the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season with primary Shell V-Power branding for both the No. 12 and No. 17 DJR Team Penske Ford Falcons for the full season, as part of a multi-year agreement.

The Shell V-Power Racing team is launched today ahead of Australia’s greatest motorsport event, the Bathurst 1000, with the team fielding twin Falcons in Shell V-Power colors in the Great Race.

This will be the first time in Shell and DJR’s 50-year history that Shell V-Power is the primary sponsor of the race team.

Shell has had a presence in Australia since 1901, supplying oil products to Australians for more than 115 years. In 2014, Viva Energy became the exclusive licenseeto the Shell brand in Australia, and is the major sponsor behind the new racing team.

“The history between Shell, DJR Team Penske and now Viva Energy goes beyond sponsorship, being trusted partners on and off the track, technically with the race team and commercially with the Penske businesses,” said Viva Energy Australia’s CEO, Scott Wyatt.

Scott Wyatt continued, “We look forward to seeing the innovation and performance gains translate on track under the new Shell V-Power Racing team, as we see the best of Shell V-Power and DJR Team Penske culminate in this exciting partnership.”

“Our number 17 and number 12 Fords will proudly carry the Shell V-Power primary branding for the foreseeable future. With a strong driver line up we believe our third year in the Supercars Championship will continue our move up the grid,” said Roger Penske.

“The increased partnership from Shell with DJR Team Penske means the Shell brand will once again have a significant presence in Australian motorsport, so it is only fitting we announce this partnership as we head to Bathurst, Australia’s most iconic motorsports event.”

The longstanding technology partnership between Shell and Team Penske in the USA continues to further provide product advancements for Shell, playing an important role in the development of the most advanced Shell fuels and lubricants.

Image From SS Media