Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Payne wins strategic battle in second race, Brown in last

New Zealander Matt Payne used a three-stop technique to take the Grove Racing Ford Mustang to the front of the sphere with 22 of the 88 laps remaining to say his second profession Supercars victory and his first of the 2024 season.

The 21-year-old was the primary driver to pit, which obliged him to implement a three-stop strategy, which allowed him to win by 6.06 seconds.

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“We’ve had a couple of tough rounds lately and I knew we had a good race car yesterday,” said Payne, who began tenth on the grid after a chaotic Shootout lap.

“We tried to copy this with a unique team strategy.

“We kept pushing, hard work but very satisfying. To get a win here is a morale boost halfway through the season.”

The battle for second place was a repeat of Saturday’s battle for victory, with Cam Waters (Tickford Ford) and Chaz Mostert (Walkinshaw Andretti United Ford) battling it out with different strategies, with Waters pitting twice and Mostert following Payne’s plan, making three stops and passing six cars (from eighth on the grid) to maneuver into second over a dozen laps.

Both riders were trailing the finish line for the ultimate 15 laps, but Waters held on to the lead and finished second.

“It was a great day for us and a great weekend for the team but we had no chance of matching Matty’s three-stop performance,” said Waters after a successful weekend.

“I knew a number of people would take a probability and check out it, but we stuck to our stance and stuck to it. [a two-stop strategy].

“Always Chaz and me! I wish it was someone else, it was cool to fight Chaz again.”

Mostert said: “It was a good fight. The first stage was great fun and it put us in a position to fight for the podium. To get two podiums here is amazing, it's a big turnaround for us from Darwin.”

In a race dominated by Fords, the one Chevrolet to challenge was surprise polesitter Jack Le Brocq, who qualified fastest for the primary time in his profession, on his thirty second birthday. The Erebus Motorsport Camaro used a two-stop strategy, but lacked the speed at race pace to challenge for victory.

Fifth was the consistent Thomas Randle, whose Tickford Mustang produced a surprising rally to take second place early within the race, ahead of Ryan Wood (Walkinshaw Andretti United), who rode consistently to turn into the second Chevrolet driver on the road.

Triple Eight's disappointing weekend continued. After Will Brown's impressive return on Saturday, hopes were high on Sunday morning, however the points leader qualified 4 places lower than he did on Saturday and began the race from seventeenth on the grid.

On the primary lap he collided with David Reynolds (Team18 Chevrolet) and needed to pit with front-end damage. He lost a lap and fought back to complete twenty fourth and last, in a race with no retirements or safety cars.

Teammate Broc Feeney began sixth, but crashed into the wall on the primary lap and struggled to seventh, greater than 30 seconds behind the winning Ford.

As a result, Brown’s 141-point lead within the race has been reduced and he now leads the title race by 78 points over Feeney, 1515-1437. Mostert stays in third place with 1341, while Waters moves as much as 1126 points but stays in fourth. Payne moves as much as fifth with 1065 ahead of James Golding (PremiAir Chevrolet) with 980.

The next round of Supercars racing will happen at Symmons Plains in Tasmania on 17-18 August. After Saturday’s heat and rain in north Queensland, teams will face what might be a really cold track, with temperatures in Launceston having dropped below freezing over the past week.

Race results:

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