How good is Supercars oval racing?!?! For all those of us wondering how Supercars would go on an oval, last night provided us with a decisively positive answer.
Lachlan Mansell wraps up all the action from Round 7 of the series.
The Charm of Charlotte
While oval courses may not be their natural habitat, it turns out Supercars are rather well-suited to banked circuits where you just keep turning left.
Some people feared the Supercars would go spinning helter-skelter with even the slightest of touches, but last night’s action demonstrated they were able to recover from small slides.
The damage setting was switched to “off”, but that didn’t stop a few drivers from becoming casualties of incidents; most notably, Scott McLaughlin was forced into an early and unscheduled pit stop after a tap from another competitor sent the Shell V-Power Mustang spinning into pit lane.
Tyre degradation for the right-hand side tyres proved high, with cars on fresh rubber enjoying a significant speed advantage, and a few drivers attempted to take advantage of this by stopping for new boots under a late Safety Car.
In classic oval racing style, the race culminated in an intense, multi-car dice for victory in the closing laps with Shane Van Gisbergen prevailing by the barest of margins ahead of Cameron Waters, Fabian Coulthard and Bryce Fullwood.
The second and third races of the evening were held at the Daytona Road Course, and another pair of wins for SVG enabled the 2016 Supercars Champion to wrestle the points lead away from Scott McLaughlin.
The Shell V-power driver endured a miserable run in the first of the Daytona races; on the first lap, he short-cut the track at the chicane, copped a slow-down infringement and was punted off the track by Scott Pye while attempting to serve the slow-down. Pye was initially penalised for the incident but the penalty was later overturned after even McLaughlin argued against it.
McLaughlin recovered to finish fourth in the final race of the night, but from a championship perspective the damage was already done.
The Rise of Reynolds
When the eSeries was first announced, David Reynolds loudly and proudly trumpeted his lack of ability in the online world.
Indeed, Reynolds’ performances in the early rounds were less than stellar, but the Penrite Erebus driver has been slowly and steadily creeping his way up the order.
On the most recent episode of the Below the Bonnet podcast, Reynolds mentioned a recent visit from his team-mate Anton De Pasquale, which resulted in De Pasquale adjusting some settings on Reynolds’ sim.
Maybe it was just a co-incidence, but in terms of qualifying and race speed, Round 7 was by far Reynolds’ best performance of the eSeries so far, with genuine top-five pace.
Speaking of De Pasquale, the bad luck continued for the younger of the Erebus drivers when he missed connecting to the server in time for the start of the evening’s final race. While De Pasquale came from the back of the field to fifth, it was a missed opportunity to challenge for victory from the front row of the grid and another valuable haul of points that went begging.