Qualified: 13th – 1:03.0480s
Provisional Pole Position: David Reynolds – 1:02.6449s
Top Ten Shootout
Pole Position: Jamie Whincup
Race 29 – 200kms / 70 Laps
Winner: Scott McLaughlin
Pukekohe turned on sunny but cool and windy conditions for the final day of racing here in New Zealand. Times were close yet again in qualifying, with the two Coregas NZ Supercars of Nick Percat and Tim Slade qualifying in 13th and 12th respectively. Whilst the duo narrowly missed the top ten shootout, the plan was to get them up there during the 70 lap race.
The race got underway and the team soon realised that the radio communications between them and Nick were non-existent. They called him into pit on lap 9, but with comms down it was only on lap 17 that the team could go ‘old school’ and use a pit board to communicate the message to Nick to pit. He was in the last group of cars to complete the first stop. This changed the teams’ strategy and they kept him out until lap 42 to complete his final stop.
When Nick re-joined he had a close call passing Cam Waters, which saw Cam make hard contact with Nick; luckily avoiding a big accident. With 28 laps remaining, Nick was in 11th position, and moved forward to finish 10th where he also continues to sit in the championship.
As always, the fans turn out in force for the one and only New Zealand Supercars event, with 110,768 in attendance this weekend. They watched as the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy was awarded to Scott McLaughlin after taking out the final race win today.
The Supercars will land back on Australian shores at the end of the week; then the preparations will begin for the final round of the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship – the Coates Hire Newcastle 500.
THE WORD FROM NICK
“It was a very quiet race with no radio contact with the team, I was looking out for Macauley who was manning the pit board with messages, keeping an eye on big screens where I could to see where people were at and just working away as best I could in the Coregas Supercar.”
“I was pretty lucky to finish the race after the contact with Cam Waters, I thought I was getting crashed out for sure. My rear tyre and rim is pretty damaged after the contact but it all held together for that final stint. It was good to crack into the top ten, the team have done a great job this weekend and we’re looking forward to getting to Newcastle for the finale.”
The 16th and final round of the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
The Coates Hire Newcastle 500
23 – 25 November 2018
Newcastle Street Circuit, New South Wales
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS –
1 – Scott McLaughlin - 3656
2 – Shane Van Gisbergen - 3642
3 – Jamie Whincup - 3175
4 – Craig Lowndes - 3117
5 – David Reynolds - 2918
10 – Nick Percat - 2221
Published: 05 November 2018.