V8 Supercars, Auckland SuperSprint - Round 13

November 5, 2016

Track: Pukekohe Park, New Zealand   
Race:  ITM Auckland SuperSprint
Date:  5th November 2016
Race 1 and 2  

Race Recap: The MAN Truck and Bus Fords of Fabian Coulthard and Scott Pye have finished the first day of racing at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint with Top 10 finishes for both drivers. The Sprint format this weekend was a return to a short race package with two 100Km races run today.

Qualifying was a mixed bag with Fabian starting in P14 and P4 respectively while Scott started both races inside the Top 10.

Race 1 was Red Flagged after a big accident involving Jason Bright, and after the restart the field ran largely in formation for the remaining laps. Scott was the best of the DJR Team Penske Fords in Race 1 with a 9th place finish. Fabian had moved up to 11th at the flag.

Race 2 ran green for the full 35 lap journey and despite qualifying in 4th position, Coulthard could not make enough ground for the podium and finished where he started. Pye defended well in the early part of the race but came under pressure from Tander in the closing stages to finish in 11th position.

Overall the team scored good points in the Drivers and Teams Championship chase.

No. 12 MAN Ford - Fabian Coulthard
Qualifying 1:    P 14    Fastest Lap 1:02.83
Qualifying 2:    P   4    Fastest Lap 1:02.32
Race 1:           P 11     
Race 2:           P  4

No. 17 MAN Ford – Scott Pye
Qualifying 1:    P   8    Fastest Lap 1:02.74
Qualifying 2:    P   9    Fastest Lap 1:02.53
Race 1:           P   9     
Race 2:           P  11

Fabian Coulthard Quote: "It is very hard to get close enough to pass here with the high speed corners. You burn the rear tyres up trying make spots but at some point you have to protect your position. Frosty was running behind me and had exactly the same problem as I had chasing Chaz."

"This style of sprint racing works at some tracks but I am not too sure it works that well here. The nature of the track makes it very hard in shorter races to have really good racing through the field."

"Hopefully we can continue to work on improving the MAN Ford and qualify well tomorrow."

Ryan Story – DJR Team Penske Managing Director - Quote: "I think the format showed how critical Qualifying is here. There was not a lot of passing in either race, frankly as a direct consequence of the format and running the hard tyre, but I felt we improved our race package for the second race."

"Both drivers were burning rear tyres to hold position as the race progressed and got as much as they could out of the cars we gave them today. While we weren't quite good enough overall, we will continue to tune the car to get a bit closer to the pointy end tomorrow."