t was a strong Sunday showing for James Courtney at the Clipsal 500, pushing the #22 Mobil 1™ HSV Racing car to fourth after 250km around the streets of Adelaide.
After grabbing P5 in the top 10 shootout, Courtney went for a different race strategy than yesterday, coming in early and finding clear air.
It allowed him to undercut Coulthard, Van Gizbergen and Mostert at the first round of stops, sitting in P2 during the second stint.
Van Gizbergen, who was on much fresher tyres, got by JC just before the second round of stops, which put him back in third.
After everyone had completed their second tour of pit lane, Courtney found himself in fourth, behind Mostert on the road.
The car got better as the race went on, but he couldn’t reel in the gap and get on the podium, settling for a very well deserved fourth place, and a nice big haul of points for the weekend.
For Scott Pye, his day was derailed by the left front wheel nut, which wouldn’t play nice in the first round of pit stops.
It put him at the back of the pack, and with plenty of work left ahead of him.
He pushed hard to get back to P19, but it was a case of what could have been, with a top 10 result beckoning after the first stint.
Overall, it was a great start to the 2017 season for the freshly named Mobil 1 HSV Racing team.
It’s a very good foundation to build from for the Australian Grand Prix, and Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint.
From The Cockpit
James Courtney #22
“In qualifying we were sixth, the shootout fifth and then fourth in the race, so we were going forward, but just lacked a little bit of pace today.
“We struggled in the mid part of the race, and lost too much ground to the guys in front. We made some changes in the final stop, and the car was really hooked up, but we had to save fuel.
“We were catching Chaz late, but finished just off the podium. Still, it was a great bag of points from the weekend, the car is straight, we learnt a lot, so I’m happy, and proud of the guys.”
Scott Pye #2
“Slightly more difficult day on my side of the garage. We qualified 11th before a two-spot penalty, so the speed was better today. I only missed the shootout by half a tenth.
“All in all that was a good result in that session, and it filled me with confidence before the race.
“The race was looking good. I got a good start, but the pit stop drama was really bad luck. That sent us back to last pretty much.
“The car was speedy. In hindsight, the result could have been a lot different, we were looking strong for a top 10 today.
“All was not lost though, we got more data, I got more comfortable with the car and learnt more, so now we put our eyes forward on the AGP.”