Sunday 20th March 2016

RACE 1

Race Distance: 64km
Laps: 12
Compulsory Pit Stops: None
Tyre Allocation: Soft tyre compound only
Weather: 19 degrees, very windy, dry track and cloudy.
HRT Race Highlights:

  • Starting positions – Courtney 9th and Tander 15th
  • There was carnage at the first corner on the opening lap with Bright getting turned and receiving substantial damage.  Tander was bumped around in the incident but with only superficial wounds raced on.
  • There was a second big moment on the opening lap when Winterbottom was nudged and was sent skidding down the middle of the track.  This unfolded just ahead of the #22 Commodore, however Courtney was able to avoid any involvement.
  • The safety car was called on just the second lap when car #7 had a mechanical failure and stopped on the track, on the front straight.
  • The race was restarted on lap 5 and when the lights went green Tander made a bold move shooting wide up the inside of the field on the run up to turn 1.  It paid dividends and he moved to 7th.
  • In the closing laps of the race there was a flurry of passes between the top 10 cars including Tander passing teammate Courtney.
  • The race was time certain and therefore reduced to 11 laps.  Tander finished 6th and Courtney finished 8th.  This became their starting positions for Race 2.

RACE 2

Race Distance: 64km
Laps: 12
Compulsory pit Stops: None
Tyre Allocation: Soft tyre compound only
Weather: 17 degrees, very windy, dry track at start of the race with a few spots of rain, cloudy.
HRT Race Highlights:

  • Starting positions – Tander 6th and Courtney 8th.
  • In the closing stages of lap 1 there was close racing between the HRT duo and Pye and McLaughlin. Not giving them an inch, Tander and Courtney pulled ahead leaving clear air between them and the cars behind.  They then locked into battle with each other.
  • On lap 5 rain threatened but it was not enough to warrant a stop for wet tyres.
  • During lap 8 the battle between the HRT teammates had ramped up with Courtney attempting a move on Tander.  By this stage they had McLaughlin back on their tails and he was hoping for a mistake from the pair. There was clean, wheel-to-wheel racing between the Commodores but Tander was able to keep the door firmly shut on an advancing Courtney.
  • The race ran the entire 12 lap distance, Tander finished 6th with Courtney just one place behind in 7th.

RACE 3

Race Distance: 64km
Laps: 12
Compulsory Pit Stops: None
Tyre Allocation: Soft tyre compound only
Weather: 15 degrees, cloudy, dry track at start of the race.
HRT Race Highlights:

  • Starting positions – Tander 6th and Courtney 7th.
  • Car #7 dumped oil around the track on the formation lap and headed straight back to the garage before the race even began.
  • Tander moved up two places on the opening lap to 4th and was fighting it out with Whincup, Van Gisbergen and Lowndes for a podium position.
  • Courtney had dropped one place back to 8th in the opening laps and was in a battle with McLaughlin. Caruso later joined the back of them and was pushing to get past.
  • On lap 4 drops of rain started to fall but it was not enough to make the track wet, only make the painted kerbs slippery.
  • Courtney and McLaughlin continued to bump and push each other as the laps counted down, but McLaughlin fired off into the gravel trap (after losing oil pressure) leaving Courtney to move back up into 7th position.
  • Tander finished the race in 4th and Courtney in 7th.

RACE 4

Race Distance: 64km
Laps: 12
Compulsory Pit Stops:
 None
Tyre Allocation: Soft tyre compound only
Weather: 20 degrees, sunny and dry.
HRT Race Highlights:

  • Starting positions (based on points for finishing positions of Races 1, 2 and 3) – Tander 6th and Courtney 7th.
  • Just two laps into the race and Mostert was playing hard ball as he bumped panels with the two HRT Commodores.  Mostert pushed Tander wide in an attempt to get past but Tander was quick to push back and hold his ground.  In the process Tander made it possible for teammate Courtney to scoot past both he and Mostert.
  • On the final lap of the race Courtney made a last minute attempt to get past Caruso who he had been chasing since lap 2.  He got the job done, but Caruso tried to fight back by moving up the inside on the next corner, Courtney successfully held him off and cruised ahead in 4th.
  • Courtney finished 4th and Tander was just two places behind in 6th.

Driver’s thoughts on the weekend:
Garth Tander, #2 Holden VF Commodore
“Qualifying this weekend was obviously disappointing starting 15th, but we had the ability to race through the field in the first race.  Then we stayed up with the front bunch for the rest of the weekend.”

“We did lot of testing which was really encouraging and got a lot of definitive answers, and I think we have made some headway with the car.  So lots of boxes ticked: we ran in the front bunch, got a heap of data, and did some development work which went well.  Now we roll on to Tassie.”

James Courtney, #22 Holden VF Commodore
“We ran a lot of different set ups this weekend as I am sure a lot of teams with two cars did.  As you know we are really limited with testing, so as much as we want to win this weekend we also used it to help develop the cars as well.  I think it’s been a really successful weekend on that front.”

“In that end race there we had really good pace and we came home fourth, it was quite close racing.  This weekend we were able to pass quite a few cars and achieve some good results.  So all-in-all not a bad weekend and we will now take what we have learnt into Tasmania which should hopefully help us when we roll out of the truck there.”