Cauchi praises unsung Townsville victory hero

"Super proud of Jack, because this is a tough one to win and a really good one to win"
  • David Cauchi praises engineer Jack Bell for winning strategy

  • Matt Payne converts three-stop strategy to victory

  • Payne moved from ninth to fifth in points over weekend

Penrite Racing Team Principal David Cauchi has hailed young engineer Jack Bell for pulling off a bold race-winning strategy for Matt Payne in Townsville.

Payne was a surprise winner of Race 14 on Sunday, with the Kiwi putting a three-stop strategy to perfection in 250 gruelling kilometres of racing.

Bell, who has been lead Race Engineer on Payne’s car since 2023, was key to Payne’s win as the team committed to the three-stopper.

Cauchi — who previously engineered Jamie Whincup to success in Townsville — didn’t want Bell’s efforts to go unnoticed, sending him onto the podium to collect the teams’ trophy.

"Yeah, it's amazing," Cauchi said on the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.

"This is one of the hardest tracks to set up a car for. It's a tough circuit, degradation street circuit, 250-kay race.

"You've really got to have a strong car underneath you, driven well with the right strategy, and pit stops executed properly. And that's exactly what all the guys and girls here did today.

“Super proud of Jack, because this is a tough one to win and a really good one to win. So, we sent him up to the podium and told him to enjoy it.”

The victory was welcome reward for the team, which after a strong start to the year with podiums and a pole for Payne, went missing in Perth and Darwin.

payne JM1 6350

Payne was ninth in the championship heading to Townsville, but finishes of fourth and first catapulted the Kiwi back to fifth in the standings.

"I just had a chat to the team and told them how proud I am,” Cauchi said.

"They've been just digging in and have an amazing attitude and today we got a little reward for all that hard work.

"The last few months and few races have been pretty tough for us. We needed that, and hopefully it's just the start of another little run for us."

The 2024 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Panasonic Air Conditioning Sydney SuperNight. Tickets for the event are on sale now.

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