Brown explains late off in Sandown 500
Monday 18th September, 2023 - 8:58am
Pole-sitter Will Brown says a double downshift is what caused him to run off and lose a podium position in the final laps of the Penrite Oil Sandown 500.
The Erebus Motorsport driver sat third when the race restarted from its second Safety Car period for what would be a 15-lap sprint home.
He held that position until a wobble on Lap 154 pitched the #9 Coca-Cola Camaro into the run-off area at the end of the back straight and through the weeds, at which point Shane van Gisbergen made a decisive pass.
Brown remained fourth thereafter, but said he struggled all afternoon for tyre life.
THE FINAL RACE OF THE 2023 REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP ON ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST STREET CIRCUITS. GO ALL IN AT THE VAILO ADELAIDE 500, CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS
“I was disappointed to lose the podium but probably disappointed throughout the whole race,” he explained on broadcast, post-race.
“I just didn’t have the rear tyre life of the other guys. I tried going slow out of the pits, tried going a bit faster and all that, but I just couldn’t hold onto the rear tyres.
“Made a mistake with about five laps to go up the top of the hill; got a double downchange.
“I thought I missed a gear and went down again and lost the rear.
“So, completely my fault, really sorry to the boys, they worked really hard.
“[I] would have liked to get them a podium after Tailem Bend and after pole position, but that’s life.
“It was really cool to see Brodie get second and it seemed to be a good race.”
Co-driver Jack Perkins led a total of 24 laps during his two stints from the start of the race, after which Brown took over in second place before letting team-mate Brodie Kostecki by on Lap 119 for strategic reasons.
In fact, while neither he nor co-driver David Russell led at any stage, nor were they any lower than third, in at least in effective terms, for the latter two thirds of the 161-lap race.
While Brown and his co-driver Jack Perkins did not stand on the podium, the team’s performance does bode well for next month’s Repco Bathurst 1000.
“Definitely disappointed, but P4’s still great; there’s a lot of people that would have loved to finish P4,” said Brown.
“So, still stoked with that, but it’s just what could have been. We’ll bounce back and looking forward to Bathurst.”
Perkins would later remark, “It’s a weird feeling to say we’re disappointed with fourth but what it all means is, Bathurst is looking really good for us.
“Great job by the team [at Sandown]; pit stops were great, obviously Brodie and D-Russ were second.
“So, we’re going to get it at Bathurst.”
Erebus will test again on Tuesday, September 26 before practice starts at Mount Panorama on Thursday, October 5.