Feeney victorious, van Gisbergen DNF in Race 11
Sunday 21st May, 2023 - 1:53pm
Triple Eight’s Broc Feeney has won Race 11 of the Repco Supercars Championship at Symmons Plains after jumping both of the Erebus Motorsport entries in the pit stop cycle.
Feeney dropped from second place to as far back as sixth after being held wide by pole-sitter Brodie Kostecki at the first braking zone of the 42-lap contest, but a combination of pace and strategy meant he assumed the lead with 14 laps to go and never looked back.
While he won, it was a ‘zero’ for Red Bull Ampol Racing team-mate Shane van Gisbergen, who was bumped off the road and into a tyre wall on the opening lap.
Erebus rounded out the podium, with Kostecki finishing 1.7244s off the lead and Will Brown holding off Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters for third.
The drivers’ championship is now an Erebus one-two, Kostecki leading Brown by 101 points, with van Gisbergen back down to fourth, behind Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert.
At the start, Kostecki sat on pole position in the #99 Coca-Cola Camaro and thus had the inside line into the first braking zone.
He took Feeney (#88 Camaro) wide and the Triple Eight Race Engineering driver was overtaken by Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro) and both of the Truck Assist Racing entries as they ran towards Brambles Hairpin.
Feeney even ceded position to Will Davison but re-passed the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang for fifth at the end of the back straight, as a disaster for van Gisbergen unfolded just behind.
The New Zealander and David Reynolds made side-to-side contact as they rounded Turn 6, sending van Gisbergen’s #97 Camaro into the tyre wall and ultimately out of the race, while the latter had to pit to replace a flat tyre on the #26 Penrite Mustang.
Race Control would advise of no further action over that incident, but would hit Declan Fraser (#56 Tradie Mustang) with a 15-second penalty for turning Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Camaro) around at Turn 2.
On Lap 4, Brown got a run on Kostecki off Brambles and made the pass at the other end of the back straight, before Feeney went under Le Brocq for fourth at Turn 6 on Lap 10, making room for Davison to also pass the #35 Camaro.
The lead changed again on Lap 16 when Brown ran slightly wide at Brambles and was overtaken by Kostecki as they ran up the back straight.
Meanwhile, Le Brocq was into the pits for rears on Lap 15, before team-mate Hill stopped for sides on Lap 16, then Brown and Davison each took rears on Lap 17.
Davison exited the pits still behind Brown but had jumped both Hill and Le Brocq, while Kostecki pressed on until the end of Lap 21.
The championship leader ran slightly long of his marks when he pulled up in the Erebus pit box for rears, and that may well have been pivotal.
Triple Eight called Feeney in a lap later and changed his rear tyres quickly enough such that the 2021 Super2 Series winner gained the effective race lead when he rejoined the race track in front of Kostecki, Brown, Davison, Hill, Le Brocq, and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang).
When the pit stop cycle completed on Lap 28, Feeney was 0.6s to the good, while Brown’s request to switch position with Kostecki and have a shot at the #88 Camaro was turned down.
Waters, meanwhile, had overtaken Le Brocq on Lap 28 and then got by Hill for fifth position on Lap 30 at Brambles, while Brown lost several tenths of a second on Lap 30 when he locked a brake at Turn 6 and ran wide.
Waters then had a look at Davison at Brambles on Lap 34 and, with Brown running a little wide again, it appeared to hold up Davison enough such that the Tickford pilot could overtake Car #17 on exit, with a little contact on the way through.
Feeney had stretched his lead over Kostecki to more than a second on Lap 36 while Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang) was on something of a charge, and moved into sixth on Lap 37 when he went under Le Brocq at Turn 6.
Feeney continued to creep away and Kostecki was left alone in second, as Brown had to look back in his mirrors to the threat of Waters.
Brown held onto third place by 0.1520s in the end, and Davison similarly pipped Mostert to fifth by 0.2320s, as well as scoring the fastest lap bonus.
Seventh went to Tim Slade (#23 Nulon Camaro), from Le Brocq, James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro), and Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang).
Hill finished 11th and Heimgartner somehow got to 12th, while Fraser joined van Gisbergen as a DNF due to a broken suspension arm.
Race 12 starts this afternoon at 15:50 local time/AEST.
|4||Shane van Gisbergen||734|
|10||Jack Le Brocq||557|
|18||Anton De Pasquale||435|
|2||88||97||Triple Eight Race Engineering||1437|
|4||2||25||Walkinshaw Andretti United||1089|
|6||8||14||Brad Jones Racing||1067|
|8||11||17||Dick Johnson Racing||1025|
|10||34||35||Matt Stone Racing||916|
|12||4||96||Brad Jones Racing||628|
|13||3||Blanchard Racing Team||470|
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