V8 Supercars

Well saw something that I have never seen in 40+ years of watching motorsport in the 2nd supercars race yesterday.
Pole sitter and 2nd place on the grid taking each other out on the formation lap, not even the warm up lap simply driving from the pits to the grid. Both suffered to much damage to start the race.
Races 7 & 8 of the 2019 championship over the weekend and we finally got another winner.
McLaughlin driving for DJR/Penske won race 7 to give him 6 race wins and one DNS after his formation lap altercation the previous round from the first 7 races but could only mange 4th in race 8.
Looks like situation normal this weekend at Phillip Island in the V8's.
Penske mustangs 1 & 2 after FP2 5 of the 6 mustangs in the championship in the top 6 with Ricky Kellys Nissan in 4th.
Last weekends race 8 winner VanGisbergen back in 10th.
Situation normal, pole and race win to McLaughlin Coultard in second.
7 pole positions in a row at Phillip Island for McLaughlin 2 in the Volvo, 4 in a Falcon and yesterdays in the Mustang
Another pole for McLaughlin for race 10, Coulthard managed to jump him during pit stops to take the win.
The 3rd 1-2 for DJR/Penske in 8 days.
Another dominate display from DJR/Penske with another 1-2 and another win for Coulthard in the first night race of the season.
The Mustangs went into the race with a heap of changes to address parity, reduced gurney size, end plates and front undertray.
Probably their most dominate display of the season with the worst placed of the 6 mustangs finishing 9th in a 26 car field. The one weekness they have shown was a lack of straightline speed, the changes will only help with it.
Seems the DJR/Penske mustangs just cant loose, McLaughlin won the second race 3 weeks back.
Yesterday they tried to throw it away taking each other off the track on the opening lap but still ended with a win for McLaughlin.

9 wins from 13 races for McLaughlin 2 for Coultard,
Another 1/2 for DJR/Penske and another win for McLaughlin.
10 from 14 for McLaughlin he really is at the top of his game as are the team.
V8 supercars is a control category where the cars are handicapped to ensure parity between manufacturers, not unusual to the top 10 covered by less than 1 sec in quali which makes their domination even more impressive.
The total domination by DJR/Penske and McLaughlin continues, 2 more race wins making it 12 from 16. This weekends round was in Darwin, V8's have been going there for 21 years and he is the first driver to take the triple crown, (pole shootout and both races)

Still 8 rounds to go but I think the championship is already won, McLaughlin has over a full round lead over team mate Coultard and closer to a 2 round lead over the next nearest.
Another 3 rounds and 6 races completed. The DJR/Penske McLaughlin steam roll continues, 4 more race wins making it 16 from 22 this season. Baring driver mistakes or pit mistakes he is unstoppable, holding almost a 2 round lead in the championship.
He will go into Bathurst in a month time not having to worry about the championship with even a DNF still leaving him in the lead
Biggest race of the year this weekend with the Bathurst 1000. Not a lot of international flavour this year if you disregard the Kiwis and super car regulars like Simona De Silvestro and Alex Premat. The only notable international drivers are current Indy drivers Alexander Rossi and James Hinchliffe paired together in a 3rd entry by Walkinshaw Andretti United.
I am biased but the Bathurst track is one of the best in the world 6.213km of what is public road for most of the year. 23 corners the one at the end of the main straight taken flat at over 300kph. Plenty that are blind and like most street circuits very little run off with concrete nearly every where.
174m of elevation change and gradient as steep as 1:6
It is the track and race where 1967 F1 champion Denny Hulme died whilst still racing at 56. Ironically it wasnt a racing incident but a heart attack while at the wheel that took his life. He still managed to get the car off the track and bring it to relatively controlled stop,.
Hopefully we get a finish like these 2

Just to show its not always a happy ending this was the end of their campaign for 3 in a row. Gives a good perspective of the speed and steepness. Certainly not the steepest part of the track and cars are lucky to be doing half the max speed they achieve.,
Looks like it will be a quick race, first day of practice and already a new practice lap record. McLaughlin broke his own record from 2 seasons ago. 3 other cars went into 2.03min territory. Still 2 more days of practice and quali before the race on Sunday.
Interesting day yesterday, fine for the first 2 practice sessions with McLaughlin lowering the lap record even further when they threw on 2 new tyres before the rain arrived.
Wet qualifying, the impressive thing was not a single red flag in the 40 min session. McLaughlin took top spot but a very mixed up session with some drivers unable to find the setup. Positions 11-26 are now fixed 2 more practice sessions today before the top 10 get the track to themselves and one lap to set starting positions 1-10.
Shoot out done, McLaughlin on pole, another lap record despite the temp only being around 10c and the track washed with yesterdays rain.
Roger Penske who is in attendance rated it as a good a qualifying lap as he has seen.
Quite a few owners in attendance, Michael Andretti and Zak Brown are both at the track. I think their team has about as much chance of winning as McLaren do at Suzuka but no typhoon to deal with.
McLaughlin took the Bathurst win and extended his lead to more than 2 full rounds with 3 remainin
Gold Coast was last weekend and his championship lead took a beating, dropped a few points finishing 3rd in the Saturday race and then had a massive accident in quali for sundays race. Hit the concrete very hard over 40G, impact car climbed the catch fence and turned over before sliding down the track. Chassis beyond repair and didnt start the race.
A investigation under way after one of the shock absorbers escaped the curcuit and destroyed a table on a high rise balcony.
It was the second mustang destroyed for the weekend, Mostert destroyed his after finding the concrete in the shoot out for the Sat race.
Both accidents were similar with the car clipping the concrete on the left before firing hard into the right side wall. Both drivers had provisional pole at the time.
Sandown 500 today, McLaughlin will almost certainly claim the championship, a finish in 10th or better will do it even if his nearest rival wins. Could do it with a DNF if the challenger finishes outside the top 10.

In other news Kelly racing is switching from Nissans to Mustangs near season and downsizing to a 2 car team. This has left Simona De Silvestro without a drive. She has signed a contract with Porsche as a Formula E test driver becoming Porsches first factory contracted female driver.
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