Slade finally breaks through
- By Kassie Gadeke
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
It has taken 227 races, but Tim Slade has finally broken through to clinch his first ever Supercars win.
The 30-year old has been on the grid since 2009 and today pounced from pole position to cross the line first and become the ninth different winner in 2016 from 10 races.
Slade did not falter at BJR’s home circuit, while Scott McLaughlin and Mark Winterbottom fought for second place behind, allowing the Freightliner Commodore to build its 4.36sec lead.
“Finally! Man, what a feeling,” Slade said.
“I didn’t really know what to do – I’ve watched it plenty of times!
“I can’t thank everyone at BJR enough … you’ve got to be in the right situation with the right equipment in this sport, I finally feel like I’m that situation again.”
Team boss Brad Jones was nervous in the garage but watched proudly from pit wall as his new charger delivered the win.
“Honestly, it’s probably the most nervous I’ve been for a while watching a race,” Jones said.
“Great strategy, we kept him out front, he didn’t put a foot wrong.
“For us I feel this it’s the first time we’ve all really connected … I think today we’ve shown everyone what we can do together.”
McLaughlin hung on for P2 after a lively battle with the 2015 champ and moves to the lead of the Championship. A Volvo last led in 1986.
“I wasn’t even born yet!” McLaughlin said, also congratulating his good mate Slade on the win.
While the Freightliner Commodore led from the start, there was action in the pack, particularly around the #22.
An early incident between James Courtney and Lee Holdsworth will be investigated post-race. Courtney had another big incident with fast young gun Cameron Waters later in the race, the Monster Falcon flying off track.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship hits the track tomorrow at 11.35am local time for tomorrow’s 200km race at the Woodstock Winton SuperSprint.