AGP frontrunners eyeing Perth after NZ slump

29 Apr
After scoring silverware in Melbourne, Team 18 and Matt Stone Racing are already looking to Perth after missing out in New Zealand
  • MSR, Team 18 drop three positions in teams' standings

  • AGP finale winner Percat started 24th for both races at Taupō

  • Reynolds dropped to 11th in points after steering woes

After scoring silverware in Melbourne, Team 18 and Matt Stone Racing are already looking to Perth after missing out in New Zealand.

MSR won the Grand Prix finale courtesy of Nick Percat, while Mark Winterbottom helped Team 18 to just its second ever podium in the second race.

However, the two Chevrolet teams were unable to capitalise at Taupō, and both squads were punished on the teams’ championship leaderboard.

Team 18 dropped from third to sixth, with MSR falling from fourth to seventh, with Erebus Motorsport and Dick Johnson Racing capitalising in the Live Pit Lane stakes.

MSR's Taupō campaign featured a Saturday Shootout berth for Cameron Hill, who raced from 17th to 11th on Sunday. However, spearhead Percat was left feeling as though the weekend was “one that got away.”

“Probably one that got away a little bit,” said Percat, who started 24th and last for both races, and dropped from fourth to sixth in the drivers’ standings.

018-Winterbottom-EV03-24-MH1 3929

"Car was fast in today’s race on Sunday — too many driver errors in qualifying cost us a decent shot at it. Thankfully the car has come back straight again.

"We’ll re-group and get ready for Perth… probably just a little bit tough around here to get momentum in the race from the back, especially with the tyre life and bits and pieces like that.

"Looking forward to going to Perth soon and getting the Bendix Racing car back up the front."

It was a more bruising tale for Team 18, with Team Principal Adrian Burgess saying the team struggled on the new surface. However, while Winterbottom was 11th and 17th, David Reynolds was 17th and 24th, with the recruit’s Sunday undone by steering woes.


"It was a really challenging weekend, but at points we were really good and at points we were really bad,” said Winterbottom, who dropped from ninth to 14th in the standings.

“I think in the wet, we missed an opportunity there, but in the dry that was all we had. We really struggled with pace, there's no hiding behind it. We just weren't good enough today, so we will go back, we're continuing to work.

Kostecki bowls out Reynolds, Courtney at Turn 1

“I think we're a team that's going to have good days and bad days, but when you have a good run and you get a podium and stuff like that, you feel like you expect that every race.

“So, we'll rebuild, we'll go home, get better and then we'll go to Perth and try and turn around a bad weekend.”

The steering dramas had a big impact on Reynolds, who after being hit from Brodie Kostecki in Saturday’s race, dropped from fifth to 11th in the standings.

“The Sunday race, I had a bit of a drama, big steering drama. It was like a power assist drama, engine heating drama,” Reynolds said.

"There was a lot going on, I'd turn into a corner, the steering would lock up, and I'd just go around the outside, and other times I'd turn in to be super loose, and almost spin, so it was really hard to drive.

"We ended up a lap down, so all in all, It was quite an average weekend but we’re going to learn a lot. We need to learn more about our car and each other.

"We’ll roll onto Perth. Perth's been quite good to me in the past, so I'm looking forward to it.”

The 2024 season will resume in Perth on May 17-19. Tickets are on sale now.

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