Waters holds off Davison to win Supercars Race 17 in Darwin

Cameron Waters

Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters has held off Will Davison to take victory in Race 17 of the Repco Supercars Championship at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

The #6 Monster Energy Mustang started from pole and effectively led all 37 laps around Hidden Valley Raceway but Waters was kept honest by Davison in the closing stages, eventually winning by 0.6170s over the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Team entry.

Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen similarly saw off the other Dick Johnson Racing Mustang, that of Anton De Pasquale, in the battle for the final podium placing, while Penrite Racing’s David Reynolds got home in fifth after rolling the dice on a four-tyre pit stop.

In the drivers’ championship, van Gisbergen now leads by 278 points over De Pasquale, and 346 over Waters.

Said the latter of his victory, Tickford’s 80th in the Supercars Championship, “It means a lot.

“Obviously yesterday wasn’t ideal for us but awesome now to bounce back with a pole and a win and get this car up here.

“We’re not usually that strong up here so it’s nice to get a trophy and reward all of the team for all of their hard work.

“I knew Wilbur had something in the tank but I was just trying to manage it and make sure I had something in the end and we had enough.”

Waters and Reynolds (#26 Mustang) made an even start from the head of the field but when the latter tried to go the long way around the first corner, he ran wider still and was passed for second by Davison (#17 Mustang).

A Safety Car was called on Lap 1, and soon upgraded to a race suspension, due to an ugly incident at the Turn 6 hairpin when James Courtney (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang) clattered into Tickford team-mate Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang) and Scott Pye (#20 Nulon ZB Commodore) after skating through the infield off Turn 5.

Van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) sat fourth and De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) fifth through the red flag period of around 15 minutes, before the field was sent for a restart, effective Lap 5.

Waters shook off early pressure from the Davison and Reynolds, and the latter would find van Gisbergen firmly in his mirrors around the Lap 16 mark as they circulated just over two seconds from the lead.

Triple Eight Race Engineering decided to call Car #97 into the lane for another set of rear super softs on Lap 17 and while the service was good, van Gisbergen was overtaken by early stopper Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist ZB Commodore) as he braked for Turn 1 on his out lap.

Waters and Davison were around half a second or so apart when both peeled off for their compulsory pit stop on Lap 18, each taking rears before rejoining as you were in effective terms.

Not far behind them, however, Le Brocq ran wide at Turn 1 at the start of Lap 19 and that gave van Gisbergen all he needed to pick off the Matt Stone Racing driver when they arrived at the Turn 5 right-hander.

Reynolds and De Pasquale went until Lap 22, the end of the cycle, to pit, and the #26 Grove Racing entry was fitted with fresh hoops on all four corners.

For the run home, Waters led by around 0.6s, Davison had a slim margin over van Gisbergen in the other podium places, Le Brocq was fourth, De Pasquale held fifth, and Reynolds’ investment in tyres meant he sat ninth.

De Pasquale passed Le Brocq on the run to the Turn 3/Turn 4 flip-flip on Lap 25, before Reynolds hauled his way back into the top five on Lap 29 when he too overtook Car #34, under brakes at Turn 1.

Van Gisbergen looked to be coming under pressure from De Pasquale with about five laps to go although the latter’s engineer, Ludo Lacroix, seemed to suggest on the radio that there was an element of gamesmanship to the New Zealander’s driving.

Lacroix might have been right because #97 soon rebuilt the margin over #11 by a few precious tenths of a second, while Davison caught up to the rear of the #6 Mustang.

He never quite shaped for a move, however, and finished runner-up for the second race in a row, while van Gisbergen ended up 1.2326s back from #17 at the chequered flag.

De Pasquale and Reynolds were each less than a second further back, the latter also scoring the fastest lap bonus points, with Le Brocq taking sixth from eighth on the grid in a race which finished a lap early due to time-certainty.

Rounding out the top 10 were Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore), Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus ZB Commodore), Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore), and Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI ZB Commodore).

Broc Feeney slipped from seventh at the start to 13th at the end after an off at Turn 1 immediately after his pit stop in the #88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore.

All 24 cars which took the restart made the finish and, of those, only Todd Hazelwood (#35 Truck Assist ZB Commodore) did not get home on the lead lap.

Randle eventually headed back out as well but was not running at the finish and had not completed enough laps to be classified anyway.

The third and final race of the weekend gets underway at 15:25 local time/15:55 AEST.

Results: Race 17, Merlin Darwin Triple Crown

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 37 56:57.8420
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 37 56:58.4590
3 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 37 56:59.6916
4 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 37 57:00.5896
5 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 37 57:01.4947
6 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:08.3795
7 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:08.9081
8 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:10.0768
9 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:10.4631
10 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:15.2163
11 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 37 57:20.8994
12 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 37 57:24.8097
13 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:25.3617
14 3 CoolDrive Auto Parts Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 37 57:25.9102
15 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:26.2503
16 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:27.0518
17 96 Kubota Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:28.8922
18 76 Subway PremiAir Racing Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:29.7607
19 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:30.1651
20 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:31.3057
21 78 Opposite Lock Zak Best Ford Mustang GT 37 57:33.1289
22 22 PremiAir Coca Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:37.2914
23 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United Jayden Ojeda Holden Commodore ZB 37 57:40.9850
24 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 29 57:42.5676
NC 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 6 47:17.2888
NC 5 Snowy River Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT    
NC 20 Nulon Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB    

Fastest lap (bonus): David Reynolds, 1:07.3003s, Lap 25

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 1553
2 Anton De Pasquale 1275
3 Cameron Waters 1207
4 Will Davison 1202
5 David Reynolds 1065
6 Chaz Mostert 1007
7 Broc Feeney 991
8 Brodie Kostecki 955
9 Andre Heimgartner 880
10 Tim Slade 855
11 Lee Holdsworth 838
12 Mark Winterbottom 831
13 James Courtney 820
14 Todd Hazelwood 772
15 Nick Percat 737
16 William Brown 720
17 Macauley Jones 593
18 Scott Pye 589
19 Jack Le Brocq 580
20 Bryce Fullwood 538
21 Thomas Randle 522
22 Jake Kostecki 515
23 Chris Pither 496
24 Garry Jacobson 487
25 Jack Smith 466
26 Jayden Ojeda 150
27 Jordan Boys 62
28 Zak Best 56

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 2544
2 11 17 Dick Johnson Racing 2477
3 5 6 Tickford Racing 2027
4 10 26 Grove Racing 1903
5 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 1714
6 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 1675
7 18 20 Team 18 1420
8 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 1418
9 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 1352
10 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 1059
11 55 56 Tickford Racing 1037
12 22 76 PremiAir Racing 983
13 3 Blanchard Racing Team 855
14 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United 150
15 49 Image Racing 62
16 78 Tickford Racing 56

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