POLL: Who impressed you most at the Gold Coast?

Tom Howard

Tuesday 24th October, 2017 - 2:27pm

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The Vodafone Gold Coast 600

Contrasting weather conditions over the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 weekend delivered a fascinating twist in the Supercars title race.

The tight and technical Surfers Paradise street circuit tested drivers to the limit producing several standout performances.

Which driver impressed you most across the event?

Read through our shortlist of contenders and cast your vote in this week’s Pirtek Poll.

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin #17 Shell V-Power Racing Falcon (Race 21 Q: 12th F: 12th, Race 22 Q: 13th F: 1st)

The Shell V-Power Racing driver never had the fastest car over one lap, recording easily his worst qualifying results of the season by missing the top 10 in both sessions.

However, the Kiwi produced two stellar drives in the races. On Saturday McLaughlin hauled the Shell Ford from the back of the pack to 12th after co-driver Alex Premat spun on Lap 5 in tricky wet conditions.

He then followed that up with by executing a perfect undercut to jump from fourth to the lead on Sunday.

McLaughlin held his nerve under pressure in the closing stage to score a crucial win, having started from 13th on the grid.

Alexandre Premat

Alex Premat #17 Shell V-Power Racing Falcon (Race 21 Q: 12th F: 12th, Race 22 Q: 13th F: 1st)

Alex Premat blotted his copybook on Saturday when he lost control of the Shell Ford on Lap 5 in wet conditions.

However, he more than made amends for his error with a stunning drive on Sunday that set up the victory according to McLaughlin.

The Frenchman managed to climb from 13th on the grid to fifth in an impressive opening stint in dry conditions.

Chaz Mostert

Chaz Mostert #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Falcon (Race 21 Q: 1st F: 1st, Race 22 Q: 5th F: 7th)

Chaz Mostert hauled himself back into the title race with victory on Saturday in challenging conditions.

The Prodrive driver scored his first pole position of the season.

Mostert took over the car in fifth and soon managed to climb up into podium contention before a Safety Car period further assisted his progress.

Clearly the quickest car on the track he soon passed team-mate Cameron Waters before going on to take the win.

An issue while trying to refuel the car forced Mostert to fuel save on Sunday, but he did walk away with the Pirtek Enduro Cup alongside co-driver Steve Owen.

Steve Owen

Steve Owen #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Falcon (Race 21 Q: 1st F: 1st, Race 22 Q: 5th F: 8th)

Tricky wet conditions failed to trouble Steve Owen on Saturday.

His stint was only hampered when he was hit by Paul Dumbrell (#88 Red Bull Holden) that dropped him from second to fifth.

Owen drove without mistakes in both races to hand over the Falcon to Mostert in strong positions, which helped the pair pick up the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

Andre Heimgartner

Andre Heimgartner #14 Freightliner Racing Commodore (Race 21 Q: 3rd F: 3rd, Race 22 Q: 12th F: 22nd)

A stunning opening stint in the wet earns Andre Heimgartner a worthy mention.

The Kiwi, who stood in for the injured Ash Walsh, jumped from third to the lead after eight laps.

Once in front he powered into a healthy 18 second lead which he handed over to Tim Slade, who eventually came home in third.

He climbed from 12th to ninth in Race 22 before being taken out by Nissan Motorsport’s Dean Fiore on Lap 3.

Tim Slade (right) celebrates with Andre Heimgartner

Tim Slade #14 Freightliner Racing Commodore (Race 21 Q: 3rd F: 3rd, Race 22 Q: 12th F: 22nd)

A maiden podium finish for the season started with an impressive run in qualifying to claim third for Saturday’s wet Race 21.

Slade managed to build on Heimgartner’s strong start and it was only freak jack issue in pit lane that cost the pair valuable time.

Despite the problem, Slade was able to bring the car home to third but was left in 22nd after Heimgartner’s incident on Lap 3.

Garry Jacobson

Garry Jacobson #56 Mega Racing Falcon (Race 21 Q: 22nd F: 9th, Race 22 Q: 16th F: 16th)

Following on from his impressive run at Bathurst, reigning Dunlop Super2 Series winner Garry Jacobson produced another fine display in wet conditions.

Jacobson was one of the star performers of Race 21 as he guided the #56 from 22nd into the top six.

He climbed from 16th into the top 10 during his stint in Race 22.

Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup #88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore (Race 21 Q: 2nd F: 6th, Race 22 Q: 2nd F: 2nd)

The six-time series champion emerged with the championship lead as he bounced back from a mechanical failure at Bathurst.

Whincup began the weekend by posting the fastest ever Supercars lap around Surfers Paradise in practice.

He fought back from a 15 second penalty, incurred by his co-driver Paul Dumbrell, to finish sixth in Race 21 before a solid drive to second on Sunday.

Tony D’Alberto

Tony D’Alberto #12 Shell V-Power Racing Falcon (Race 21 Q: 16th F: 19th, Race 22 Q: 22nd F: 9th)

Tony D’Alberto played a key role in keeping Fabian Coulthard in title contention with a pair of fine drives.

The former Supercars full-timer progressed from 16th to 12th in poor conditions on Saturday.

Mired down in 22nd spot for Race 22 after the team struggled in qualifying, D’Alberto made up nine spots before the pits stops began.

Once the stops played out Coulthard took over the car in ninth, where he stayed for the remaining laps.

Richie Stanaway

Richie Stanaway #6 Monster Energy Falcon (Race 21 Q: 14th F: 2nd, Race 22 Q: 7th F: 21st)

The talented Kiwi was able to display his wet weather skills again to help set up a second place finish for he and Cameron Waters in Race 21.

Stanaway was easily one of the fastest drivers on track in the wet as he scythed his way from 14th to second after 29 laps before Waters finished off the job.

However, he left the weekend with a black mark next to his name after an error in Race 22. A lunge on Steven Richards damaged a steering arm that cost the team two laps to repair.

Craig Lowndes

Craig Lowndes #888 TeamVortex Commodore (Race 21 Q: 11th F: 7th, Race 22 Q: 3rd F: 4th)

Craig Lowndes enjoyed a return to form by scoring a top 10 finishes in both races.

A solid drive to seventh, aided by co-driver Steven Richards, was backed up on Sunday.

Lowndes scored only his second top five qualifying result of the season, which was then followed by a measured drive to fourth.

Michael Caruso

Michael Caruso #23 Nissan Motorsport Altima (Race 21 Q: 4th F: 5th, Race 22 Q: 9th F: 15th)

Michael Caruso consistently proved to be Nissan Motorsport’s top runner throughout the weekend.

Caruso qualified superbly in wet conditions to land fourth, which was then converted into his equal best result of the season.

His pace was also strong in the dry as he earned a spot in the Top 10 Shootout.

However, a drive through penalty, incurred by co-driver Dean Fiore, damaged his hopes in Race 22.

Pirtek Poll