Team Pushes Hard in Tough Conditions at Perth SuperSprint

May 7, 2016

Track: Barbagallo Raceway
Race:  Perth SuperSprint
Date:  May 7th 2016

No. 12 MTU Ford – Fabian Coulthard
Qualifying: P 12 - Fastest Lap 56.71
Race 1: P 17        

No. 17 MTU Ford – Scott Pye
Qualifying: P 21 - Fastest Lap 56.89
Race 1: P 24*, Dropped from P11 on final Lap after Stewards cutting the circuit.

Recap Qualifying and Race 1: The unpredictable Perth weather had a hand in a difficult day for DJR Team Penske in the first days racing at the Perth SuperSprint. Due to the position of the team in Pit Lane, both Fabian and Scott where unable to post a time on a dry track before the rain came. The first eleven cars all safely recorded dry times but the balance of the field were forced onto to wet tyres for the remainder of the 20 minute session. Coulthard emerged the best in position twelve while Pye had to settle for a twenty first grid spot.

Rain lashed the track as the cars were sent to the grid but cleared before the start. Both MTU Fords were early into the pits to move to dry tyres and this paid dividends particularly for Pye. Coulthard’s day was ruined after he tangled with Bright in the Pit Lane and had to serve a drive through.

The team moved both Pye’s MTU Ford XR8’s onto a two stop strategy giving him fresh rubber to run the closing laps. Scott made it to eleventh but as rain fell on the final lap he ran off at Turn 4 and was penalised for cutting the track dropping him back to position twenty four.

Coulthard made up some good ground to finish in position seventeen, in what proved to be a tough day for the team.

Fabian Coulthard Quote: "If you took the PLP out of the equation, we were about 32 seconds of the lead and the pit lane drive through is about 25. So we are somewhere close and probably should have been well inside the Top 10.

"I feel like the car is OK, it is not perfect but we still need to find some more speed. The pit stop strategy is always a big call on these sorts of races, but we have a chance to get back in the points tomorrow.”

Scott Pye Quote: "Qualifying was really disappointing as so many cars were able to complete a lap under what were obviously going to be Red Flag conditions. We then struggled on the wet tyres we used and we were not really sure if there was a problem with then or not.

"So although we started in P21, we recovered as best we could and got up to P11 and then the rain came back on the last lap. I got caught out going through Turn 3, hit the kerb at 4 and bounced across the track rejoining on the back straight. I waited for the field to go past and rejoined where in P11, but the rule is obviously different to last year and got handed a hefty 40 second penalty.”