Le Brocq breaks through in grandstand finish

Jack Le Brocq

Jack Le Brocq has become a Virgin Australia Supercars Championship race winner after a four-way fight for victory at the end of Race 12 at the Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint.

Behind the Supercheap Auto Mustang, Andre Heimgartner was second from a maiden pole position in the #7 Ned Whisky Mustang, and Todd Hazelwood took a maiden podium by passing David Reynolds on the final lap.

Jamie Whincup finished eighth, his Red Bull Holden team-mate Shane van Gisbergen 12th, and the Shell V-Power pair of Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin in 13th and 14th respectively.

A hard-shod Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) got the better launch from the outside of the front row but Heimgartner, on softs, was able to recover ground and wrest back the advantage through Bond Bend (Turn 2).

Whincup instead found himself rapidly demoted to fourth, by Reynolds (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore) and then Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore), who also had the softer rubber on.

Le Brocq had started seventh with soft tyres on the #55 Mustang and was showing strong pace early on, taking McLaughlin (#17 Mustang) for fifth on Lap 2 and then Whincup for fourth on Lap 3, both times at Turn 4.

Four laps later, the Tickford Racing driver pulled the same move on Winterbottom, and remained there until he was called into the pits on Lap 11, a bit over five seconds from the lead, to take another set of softs.

Heimgartner and Reynolds peeled off a lap later to do likewise, at which time they were 2.7s apart, and were split by Le Brocq when they rejoined in 10th and 12th respectively.

Heimgartner’s cold tyres, however, left him vulnerable and #55 picked off the pole-sitter at Turn 4 to move into the effective lead of the motor race.

Hazelwood (#14 Brut ZB Commodore), who had saved his best rubber for the weekend finale, had by then inherited the lead before stopping on Lap 15 and emerging ninth on the road but an effective fifth.

Van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) was last to make his compulsory pit stop, at the end of Lap 17, by which time he had already dropped to third on the road, and took on another set of hard tyres.

The corrected order as a result was Le Brocq by about seven tenths of a second over Heimgartner, from Reynolds, Winterbottom, Hazelwood, Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore), Whincup on softs, Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore), and Nick Percat (#8 Dunlop Super Dealer ZB Commodore).

McLaughlin, who had been roughed up on his descent towards the back of the top 20 before he could get rid of badly worn soft tyres, was 13th at that point on hards, and van Gisbergen 21st.

The DJR Team Penske Fords swapped spots with around a dozen laps to go when Coulthard got by McLaughlin, and #12’s progression continued by going underneath Lee Holdsworth (#5 Truck Assist Mustang) for 12th at Turn 6 on Lap 22.

Holdsworth and McLaughlin tangled on exit two corners later, the former almost spinning across the nose of #17 but managing to catch the moment for just the loss of 13th position.

While that was going on, Hazelwood had run down Winterbottom and Pye then got his Team 18 team-mate for fifth at Bond Bend with just under five laps remaining.

Le Brocq looked to have shaken Heimgartner until the top three closed up on Lap 29 of 32, and Hazelwood caught the train on Lap 30.

The quartet started the final lap covered by just 0.7522s and Heimgartner had to block Reynolds through Brock’s 05 and Turn 6.

Hazelwood, however, was able to pull alongside #9 and make the move as they swept around Corporate Hill in a battle which was a reprieve for Le Brocq, who victory by 0.6213s.

Heimgartner was just another 0.1910s ahead of Hazelwood, with Reynolds and then Pye completing the top five.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet so I don’t know what to feel at the moment,” said Le Brocq.

“That’s unreal, the guys at Tickford have given me an awesome car and given me the opportunity to try and prove that we can do the job so I’m over the moon.

“Thank you to everyone that got us here and Andre kept us honest there the whole time so it was pretty cool.”

Sixth through 10th were Winterbottom, Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore), Whincup, Mostert, and rookie Zane Goddard (#34 Unit ZB Commodore).

Winterbottom’s entry is, however, under investigation after he left his pit box with the air spike still attached.

Race 11 winner Percat was 11th in Race 12, ahead of van Gisbergen, Coulthard, McLaughlin, and Holdsworth.

McLaughlin’s championship lead is a reduced 107 points over Whincup on the way to the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown at Hidden Valley Raceway on August 8-9.

Results: Race 12, Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 32 50:34.9487
2 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 32 50:35.5700
3 14 Brut Military Grade Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 32 50:35.7610
4 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 32 50:36.4385
5 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 32 50:43.5725
6 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 32 50:47.7563
7 2 Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 32 50:49.1102
8 88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 32 50:49.8329
9 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 32 50:59.1226
10 34 UNIT Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 32 51:03.5493
11 8 Dunlop Super Dealer Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 32 51:21.5159
12 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 32 51:28.3888
13 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 32 51:29.4962
14 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 32 51:33.5471
15 5 Truck Assist Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 32 51:39.1940
16 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 32 51:43.1525
17 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Ford Mustang GT 32 51:44.3752
18 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 32 51:46.1738
19 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 32 51:46.5151
20 19 Local Legends Racing Alex Davison Holden Commodore ZB 32 51:47.2734
21 4 SCT Motor Sports Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 32 51:48.2620
22 22 Team SYDNEY Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 32 51:51.8961
23 3 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 32 51:52.0989
24 35 Yellow Cover Racing Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 32 51:57.1284

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Scott McLaughlin 802
2 Jamie Whincup 695
3 Chaz Mostert 610
4 Nick Percat 569
5 Cameron Waters 569
6 David Reynolds 562
7 Shane van Gisbergen 539
8 Lee Holdsworth 535
9 Mark Winterbottom 514
10 Andre Heimgartner 456
11 Fabian Coulthard 454
12 Todd Hazelwood 431
13 Jack Le Brocq 424
14 Rick Kelly 398
15 Anton De Pasquale 395
16 Bryce Fullwood 366
17 James Courtney 354
18 Scott Pye 338
19 Macauley Jones 314
20 Jack Smith 282
21 Garry Jacobson 255
22 Will Davison 231
23 Chris Pither 216
24 Zane Goddard 204
25 Alex Davison 148
26 Jake Kostecki 74

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