V8 Supercars Race Report - Adelaide - Race 3

March 5, 2016

Track: Adelaide Parklands
Race:  Clipsal 500
Date:  March 6th 2016
No. 17 Shell Helix Ford Falcon FG X – Scott Pye
Race 3: Started P7 – Finished P15 includes 30 sec time penalty – Fastest Lap Time 1:24.98
No. 12 Shell Helix Ford Falcon FG X – Fabian Coulthard
Race 3: Started Pole Position – Finished P13 includes 30 sec time penalty – Fastest Lap Time 1:24.11
Recap Race 3: DJR Team Penske scored its second Pole Position of the weekend with an excellent Top 10 Shootout lap from Fabian Coulthard. Scott Pye was also in the shootout giving the Shell Helix Falcons very strong starting positions for the 250km final.

As the cars sat on the grid, the predicted rain arrived. A scramble by nearly every team to move onto wet tyres was the correct call. The rain was heavy as the cars set out on the warm up lap and race control opted for a delayed start behind the Safety Car.

Fabian held his position at the front of the field but was vulnerable to James Courtney and Shane Van Gisbergen. He dropped back a few spots and by Lap 20 with a fast drying track he was in the pits to swap to slick tyres.

A decision to split strategies had Scott Pye in the pits very early. The aim was that he would then benefit later in the race. He was back in on Lap 20 however as the drying track was tearing up the wet treaded tyre. Once on slicks both cars made good progress but the rain was back again with 10 laps plunging strategy changes back to the engineers to work on.

All cars were back on wet tyres by Lap 32 with Fabian up to P4 and Scott recovering in P18. The rain was getting heavier and a series of Safety Car laps ended with a Red Flag on Lap 42 to suspend the race. At this stage Fabian was in P7 with Scott right behind in P8.

The cars sat in Pit Lane but were dispatched for a short 6 lap sprint to the flag. The two DJR Team Penske Falcons crossed the line in second and third places but the joy was short-lived as the team waited for the ruling from Race Control that would add 30 seconds to both cars times. With the mandated Fuel Drop not being achieved in either car, the pair finished in 14th and 15th positions.
Scott Pye Quote:  "A really strange weekend to be honest. The Pole Position for Saturday’s race was fantastic and we did end Day 1 with some good results. Today’s qualifying went OK, however I felt we could have got a bit more out of the Shell Helix Falcon.

"The race today was a bit of a lottery. The weather conditions were shocking and we had some issues in the garage with the rain which made the engineer’s job really hard. We tried a different strategy but having to pit with the pack once the track dried put us on the back foot.

"The fuel dump issue cost us the result, however the two Shell Helix Falcons crossed the line in second and third so it did show the potential we have. The next race at the AGP will be good for the guys and I’m sure we can carry all the positives into the upcoming rounds."
Fabian Coulthard Quote: "It is hard to understand just what happened at the end of that race. I’m still a little bit confused! But we can take away a lot of positive things from our first outing. Both Scott and I scored a Pole Position in two of the three races. The Shell Helix Falcons showed very good car speed but there are still a lot of things to work on. We leave here with two straight cars and we can regroup and really build on what we have achieved here.

"The pole positions were a highlight for us. To get that one lap speed in the Top 10 Shootout backing up Scott’s pole is a credit to the guys. It turned my weekend around after Qualifying in 18th on Friday."