Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sandown 500 - Round 10

September 17, 2016

Track: Sandown International Raceway  
Race:  Wilson Security Sandown 500
Date:  17th September 2016
No. 17 Shell Helix Ford - Scott Pye / Tony D'Alberto
Practice 4:          P  8        Fastest Lap 1:09.17 - SP
Qualifying:          P 12       Fastest Lap 1:09.84 - SP
Race 1:              P 21        TD
Race 2:              P 21        SP          
No. 66 MightyMite Special Ford - Fabian Coulthard / Luke Youlden
Practice 4:         P 4       Fastest Lap 1:09.03 - FC
Qualifying:         P 3       Fastest Lap 1:08.76 - FC        
Race 1:              P 5        LY
Race 2:              P 11      FC

Practice Recap: The Pirtek Enduro Cup kicked off today at Sandown with a three stage 'Race for Pole' qualifying scenario. The DJR Team Penske Ford of Fabian Coulthard showed good speed in hte first qualifying run to put the MightyMite Special into third position with Scott Pye in the Shell Helix Ford in twelfth.

The first race was for the co-drivers and Luke Youlden held on well, but with fading tyres finished fifth. Tony D'Alberto started strongly but an erratic move from Canto ended his race chances at Turn One. A good recovery from last put the Shell Helix Ford into P21 for the decider.

The main driver race saw Fabian from fifth position and Scott from twenty-first. The 66 MightyMite Special was away well but a Safety Car was called before the first lap was over. At the restart Coulthard was in a big battle with Davison and took fourth on Lap 8.

Scott Pye was looking to move up but was stuck on the bumper of Mark Winterbottom in P22.

In the closing laps Coulthard was caught by Van Gisbergen as he was all over the rear bumper of '66' running Fabian off the road at Dandenong Road corner. This dropped Coulthard back to eight but worse was to come when trying to recover, a touch with Davison meant he had to redress the position pushing him back to eleventh place at the flag.

Scott pushed on for the entire journey in the Shell Helix Ford, finally passing Winterbottom on the last lap to finish twenty-first.
Fabian Coulthard Quote: "Qualifying was a good result but the two races proved pretty tough. Luke did a good job in the MightyMite Special but he was losing some tyre life as the race went on. I made some progress but the coming together with Van Gisbergen really cost us. I then had to give back the spots to Davison which cost another three places. I was carrying a lot of dirt and mud on the car after the off at Dandenong Road and with Will on my outside I had nowhere to go. It was a tough call, but overall we have a pretty good package. Some work for sure overnight to tune it up for the race."
Scott Pye Quote: "We did not get the result in Qualifying I was hoping for but Tony started well only to get punted at turn one. In the second race I started well back in the Shell Helix Ford and was chasing Winterbottom for most of the race. It was bit of a freight train but I managed to pass him on the last lap."

"Our tyre life was OK, and I think we should have a competitive car for the Pirtek Enduro Cup tomorrow."
Co Drivers Quotes
Luke Youlden Quote: "I got a good start from third position and set into a rhythm to try and keep the tyres alive. I knew it was going to be tough to hang on as it felt really greasy so was just trying to manage it but in the end we were under a lot of pressure from Luff. He gave me a couple of taps going onto the back straight and both he and Moffat got past dropping me back to fifth."

"It is a long day tomorrow but we have good car speed in the MightyMite Special so we can now look ahead to the 500km race."
Tony D'Alberto Quote: "We didn't quite qualify where we would have liked but I managed to get a really good jump off the line and made up a few spots on the run to the first corner. I left plenty of room but with a couple of cars on my inside getting together, I was the unlucky one who ended up facing the wrong way."   

"We still got 20 laps of data on the tyres to see what the degradation was and had pretty good car speed across the race."