Whincup wins Newcastle finale, DJRTP claims teams’ title
Sunday 24th November, 2019 - 6:36pm
Jamie Whincup has taken a comprehensive win in Supercars Championship Race 32 at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 as Shell V-Power Racing Team clinched the teams’ title.
Whincup officially led less than half the race due to strategic variation but was always the favourite to prevail, and so it was that the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver took the chequered flag two seconds clear of the field despite backing off on the final lap.
Fabian Coulthard gave DJR Team Penske a second placing in the final encounter of 2019, while Tim Slade took third in Brad Jones Racing’s #14 Freightliner ZB Commodore.
Scott McLaughlin (#17 Mustang) finished fourth as he was officially crowned a back-to-back champion, Scott Pye was fifth in the #2 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore, Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang) was sixth, and Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore) gained a net 14 positions to take seventh.
Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) converted Armor All Pole Position into the lead at the first corner, with Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) slotting into second and Coulthard (#12 Mustang) taking up third position, ahead of his team-mate McLaughlin.
Waters had a look at Whincup at the top of Watt Street on Lap 3 and was still within a second of Car #88 when he pitted on Lap 5 and rejoined in 22nd.
Coulthard inherited second position and the deficit to Whincup had moved past two seconds on Lap 10, while van Gisbergen, who started 21st in part due to a grid penalty, soon found himself being held up by Macauley Jones (#21 CoolDrive ZB Commodore), who was running in 14th.
McLaughlin pitted from third on Lap 15 while Jones dropped four positions on Lap 18, releasing van Gisbergen, in a moment unseen by television cameras.
Pye took over third when he passed Anton De Pasquale (#99 Penrite ZB Commodore) at the right-hander from Zaara Street onto Scott Street on Lap 18, a move he had made multiple times the day before.
Van Gisbergen did not take long to catch Richie Stanaway, his next target, and outbraked the #33 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore at the Hairpin on Lap 20.
Whincup was more than four seconds up the road from Coulthard on Lap 22, at which time De Pasquale took his first compulsory pit stop.
The Erebus driver resumed just ahead of James Courtney (#22 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore), who had been in the lane two laps earlier, before they ran side-by-side down Shortland Esplanade, where contact ensued and De Pasquale fired into the concrete wall on driver’s right.
He made it little further, coming to rest in the tyre wall in front of the surf club and triggering a Safety Car which drew everyone who had not taken their first compulsory pit stop to do so.
With the race neutralised, Waters led having taken on 39 litres at his first pit stop, McLaughlin was second with a 50-litre fill, Whincup (92 litres) sat third, and Coulthard (90 litres) was fourth.
Rounding out the top 10 were Will Davison (#23 Milwaukee Mustang), Pye, Slade, Mostert, Andre Heimgartner (#7 Plus Fitness Altima), and Rick Kelly, while van Gisbergen was 12th.
The Courtney-De Pasquale clash resulted in a ‘no further action’ decision during the Safety Car period, before the race restarted on Lap 30.
McLaughlin was sticking with Waters while van Gisbergen pitted from 12th on Lap 37, committing to a three-stop strategy, having been tucked up behind Kelly’s #15 Castrol Altima.
Waters soon found himself under even greater pressure from McLaughlin, while the gap between #17 and Car #88 of Whincup would ebb and flow.
The track was declared wet on Lap 42, shortly after reports of rain drops in the paddock, although no serious showers would eventuate.
A four-car train, rounded off by Coulthard, had just about formed at the head of the field when Waters peeled off at the end of Lap 49, almost as far as he could have gone on that fuel load.
Whincup, Coulthard, and Davison pitted from second through fourth a lap later and rejoined in 16th, 17th, and 19th respectively, split by Waters.
McLaughlin took his second stop on Lap 51 and was about six seconds adrift of Coulthard once he was back up to speed, before Slade split the DJR Team Penske Mustangs when he took service on Lap 52.
Pye had inherited top spot before pitting on Lap 57, at which time he was given new rear tyres (roaded fronts) and fuelled to the end, resuming about three seconds adrift of McLaughlin.
Coulthard tailed Whincup for several laps but the gap between them was over two seconds on Lap 66, at which time they held third and fourth as the second pit stop cycle continued.
Mostert had taken up the position behind Tickford team-mate Waters when he pitted from the official lead on Lap 62, but had caught the black Mustang within half a dozen laps.
The 2014 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner made a big lunge at the top of Watt Street on Lap 69 and managed to complete a clean pass, for what was then seventh position, as they threaded their way down Shortland Esplanade.
Van Gisbergen had inherited the lead not long prior courtesy of Nick Percat’s final pit stop, before the Brad Jones Racing driver lunged past Heimgartner at Newcastle Beach (Turn 7) on Lap 74 for 10th.
The Race 31 winner made his third and final pit stop at the end of Lap 77, meaning the order for the run home was Whincup, Coulthard, Slade, McLaughlin, Pye, Mostert, Waters, Todd Hazelwood (#35 SS Signs ZB Commodore), Percat (#8 Timken ZB Commodore), and van Gisbergen.
The latter passed Percat at the right-hander onto Scott Street (Turn 8) on Lap 83, then got Hazelwood at the Pilot Station (Turn 12) on Lap 84.
Percat passed Hazelwood at the same spot on Lap 86, before van Gisbergen forced his way by Waters and into seventh with contact in the door of #6 at the Hairpin on Lap 90.
Whincup had got more than four seconds clear of Coulthard at one point and always looked comfortable in the final stint, before the chequered flag flew at a time-certain 93 laps.
“Really proud of everyone, they just fought hard right to the end,” said Whincup.
“We didn’t have that much performance at the start of the year but we chipped away, chipped away, (and) got two wins this weekend for the team.
“It gives us confidence going into next year that we can certainly be contenders.”
Coulthard said of the teams’ championship, “We came here with a goal, and that was to wrap up the teams’ championship, and our results over the weekend have done enough to do that.
“So our boys at Shell V-Power Racing have done an unbelievable job and gave both of us great cars, so it’s a credit to them.”
The top six was unchanged once the pit stop cycle had completed, while Waters finished eighth, Percat ninth, and Hazelwood 10th.
Courtney finished 11th after going underneath Heimgartner at the Hairpin on Lap 80, in a highly eventful race overall for the outgoing Walkinshaw Andretti United driver
He transited pit lane five times in total, including a pit stop necessitated due to the puncture he picked up in the De Pasquale incident, and a drive-through for an unsafe release in that stop.
Heimgartner ended up 12th while De Pasquale was the only DNF.
The 2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship officially starts with a pre-season test day at The Bend on February 18.
Results: Race 32, Coates Hire Newcastle 500
|1||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:09.2414|
|2||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||93||1:57:11.3660|
|3||14||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:13.0442|
|4||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||93||1:57:14.5381|
|5||2||Mobil 1 Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:15.4944|
|6||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Mustang GT||93||1:57:20.9117|
|7||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:27.8818|
|8||6||Monster Energy Racing Team||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||93||1:57:28.5635|
|9||8||Timken Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:28.9572|
|10||35||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:32.9717|
|11||22||Mobil 1 Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:33.8471|
|12||7||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||93||1:57:41.0242|
|13||23||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||93||1:57:45.2187|
|14||18||Irwin Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:48.0326|
|15||33||Boost Mobile Racing||Richie Stanaway||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:50.0550|
|16||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:52.2118|
|17||19||Truck Assist TEKNO Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||93||1:57:59.8810|
|18||78||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||93||1:58:13.4522|
|19||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||93||1:58:18.9021|
|20||34||Boost Mobile Racing||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||92||1:57:19.6842|
|21||21||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||92||1:58:01.3348|
|22||3||RABBLE.club Racing||Garry Jacobson||Nissan Altima||92||1:58:09.2653|
|23||5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||83||1:57:36.5413|
|DNF||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||22||26:29.4255|
|2||Shane van Gisbergen||3310|
|14||Anton De Pasquale||2015|
|19||Simona De Silvestro||1564|
|22||Jack Le Brocq||1277|
|1||12||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||6626|
|2||88||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||6471|
|3||5||55||The Bottle-O Racing Team & Supercheap Auto Racing||5294|
|4||6||23||Monster Energy Racing||5059|
|6||2||22||Mobil 1 Racing||4449|
|7||8||14||Freightliner & Timken Racing||4416|
|8||7||15||Castrol Racing & Plus Fitness Racing||3706|
|9||33||34||Boost Mobile Racing||3145|
|10||3||78||Team Harvey Norman & RABBLE.club Racing||2746|
|14||19||Truck Assist Tekno Racing||1262|