Red Bull pair cleared after investigations

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 25/08/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam

Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen have been cleared in post-qualifying investigations at the OTR SuperSprint, and keep their front-row starts.

Having qualified first and second at The Bend on Saturday afternoon, incidents involving the Red Bull Holden Racing Team pair were the subject of stewards' scrutiny.

Whincup spun and was investigated for a dangerous rejoin, while van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin had a pair of run-ins in the closing stages.

Stewards will take no further action on either front, meaning their grid positions for Saturday's 24-lap race remain unchanged.

In the early stages of ARMOR ALL Qualifying, Whincup spun his Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore at Turn 12.

After sitting across the track as several drivers made their way past, Whincup got moving as James Golding's Commodore approached.

Golding had to take evasive action, with stewards signalling their intent to investigate the incident immediately.

“I had a look at the footage," Whincup told Fox Sports News.

"I was stopped for like 20 seconds or so. By that time it should have been yellow - yellow flags are out, no one can go fast, so that’s where it’s at.

“You never want to do anything untoward, but I felt like I did absolutely everything I could.

"I was sideways on the track, hopefully everyone had slowed down. I slowly went around and unfortunately James was still on a hotlap.

“[You] always feel bad, nothing deliberate, but you can only do what you can do.”

He keeps a third ARMOR ALL Pole of the campaign, the other two coming at Albert Park back in March.

Title rivals van Gisbergen and McLaughlin had a pair of awkward clashes in quick succession in the closing stages.

Van Gisbergen caught McLaughlin late in the lap, while McLaughlin was warming his Shell V-Power Racing Falcon's tyres.

He got past, but on a subsequent lap had slowed dramatically at Turn 3 when McLaughlin was still at speed.

Stewards endorsed van Gisbergen's post-session statement that yellow flags were out at the time.

“I didn’t block him,” van Gisbergen told Fox Sports News.

“On the outlap, at the go-point, I went. He went, and then he slowed and started warming up his tyres, so I did everything I could to get past.

"We both had average starts to the laps, did our laps, and then going into Turn 1 there was yellows.

"So I slowed up and didn’t bother getting out of his way because you can’t go faster, and both our laps were ruined. So no issues."

Race 22 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship starts at 4:20pm.

Whincup and van Gisbergen will be followed on the grid by Nissan pair Michael Caruso and Rick Kelly, with McLaughlin fifth.

The full stewards' statement:

"A request for investigation having been received from Garry Rogers Motorsport, the DRD conducted a post-Session investigation into an allegation of Careless Driving by the Driver of Car #1, Jamie Whincup, who turned in front of Car #34, James Golding, after having spun at the exit of Turn 12.

"After reviewing TV Broadcast Footage and Judicial Camera footage from Car #1, the DRD determined that the matter did not warrant referral to the Stewards because Car #34 was in a sector where the Yellow Flags were displayed at the time as a result of Car #1 being across the circuit at the exit of Turn 12.

"After receiving a request for investigation from Racing Team (Aust) Pty Ltd, the DRD conducted a post-Session investigation into an allegation that Car #97, Shane van Gisbergen, blocked Car #17, Scott McLaughlin, at Turn 1-2.

"Following a review of TV Broadcast Footage and Judicial Camera footage from Car #17 and Car #97, Car #97 was determined to have been in a sector where the Yellow Flags were displayed and, accordingly, the matter did not warrant referral to the Stewards."

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