Chaz Mostert and Jamie Whincup took the respective Super Sprint race wins today at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Questions over whether Mostert jumped the start in the opening were quelled when no penalty was handed out for the Pepsi Max racer, Mostert taking a dominant victory from fellow Prodrive Racing Australia teammate Mark Winterbottom.
In what was a quiet opening race Andre Heimgartner came home the best of the New Zealand contingent after started from sixth. Heimgartner was demoted to seventh by Rick Kelly on the opening lap, the Nissan Motorsport driver making a courageous move around the outside of the Kiwi at turn one to take sixth. Despite a late race challenge, Heimgartner eventually come home in seventh.
After a disastrous last outing at the SMSP facility in 2014, Scott McLaughlin bounced back to finish eighth in the opening race. Fabian Coulthard narrowly missed out on a top ten berth, a late race pass by Jason Bright dropping the Kiwi out of the ten.
After struggling with his Tekno Autosport Commodore throughout Friday practice, Shane van Gisbergen struggled finishing in twentieth. Jamie Whincup completed the podium for race one with David Reynolds and Craig Lowndes completing the top five.
The second race of the weekend was a far more heated affair with incidents marring the opening stanza of the race.
A collision between Michael Caruso and Scott Pye signalled the start of the dramas, moments later Rick Kelly was sent off the road at the exit of turn nine whilst Jason Bright received a blow from Garth Tander. The Brad Jones Racing driver spun off at high speed onto the inside of the circuit, lucky not to be collected on the way through.
Jason Bright’s day didn’t get much better, the BOC driver having another scary high speed moment at the end of turn one due to a suspected mechanical failure.
An exhaust issue threatened to derail Whincups chances of victory as a spirited drive from Fabian Coulthard saw the Freightliner Racing driver hound the back of the Red Bull Racing Commodore for the duration of the race.
However Coulthard was unable to make way of Whincup, forced to consolidate second place and a decent serving of points.
“It sounded a bit like a tractor, but obviously there wasn’t too much power loss,” said Whincup after the win.
“Fabian is always good on soft tyres and it was a good battle and good to be on the top of the podium again.”
“It’s pretty good to come from where we’ve come from,” said Coulthard after the second place finish.
“We’ve had a tough [last round at] Queensland raceway. It’s good to bounce back.”
The Sydney Super Sprint concludes tomorrow with one qualifying session and a fifty eight lap race which is expected to be hit with torrential rain.