How the enduros reshaped the 2023 championship

19 Oct
There were significant changes up and down the leaderboards through Sandown and Bathurst
4 mins by James Pavey
  • Anton De Pasquale, James Courtney gain five championship positions in enduros

  • De Pasquale, now seventh, was as low as 19th earlier this season

  • DJR moves up two spots, Tickford down two spots as Waters falls to ninth

Heading to the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500, the drivers’ and teams’ championships may look the same at the top, but there has been drastic change behind.

After the OTR SuperSprint, Brodie Kostecki led Shane van Gisbergen, with Erebus Motorsport trailed by Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Anton De Pasquale and Dick Johnson Racing were the biggest winners across the two biggest races, with De Pasquale moving from 12th to seventh in the championship, having been as low as 19th earlier in the season.

De Pasquale and Tony D’Alberto climbed 12 positions en route to eighth at the Penrite Oil Sandown 500, before leading Ford’s charge with a brilliant Bathurst podium.

With the Shell V-Power Racing Team cars scoring the third and 10th most points across both enduros, DJR moved from sixth to fourth in the teams’ standings, With two rounds left, DJR is just 95 points behind Brad Jones Racing.

bathurst podium 2023

It was a mixed bag for Tickford Racing, with James Courtney jumping from 18th to 13th in the standings. The 2010 champion combined with Zak Best to score the seventh most points across both races, highlighted by sixth in Bathurst.

A nightmare run for Cam Waters and James Moffat, however, dropped the #6 Monster Ford from sixth to ninth in the drivers’ standings, with Tickford dropping from fourth to sixth in the teams’ championship.

Waters/Moffat finished 20th at Sandown after a loose wheel from the Garth Tander Penrite Ford ruined their day, before Moffat crashed out of the Great Race. For perspective, Kostecki outscored Waters by a staggering 462 points across the two races.

There is set to be plenty of movement yet, with the eight drivers from 12th to 19th covered by just 81 points. Thomas Randle fell from 14th to 18th in the points, with his and Garry Jacobson’s Sandown undone by an engine belt failure before racing to 12th in Bathurst. Randle is, though, only 64 points from 12th in the standings.

The Tander wheel incident was a blow for David Reynolds, who dropped three positions from 16th to 19th across the two races. Reynolds/Tander came home fifth in Bathurst, although a podium went begging due to an early drive-through penalty.

Moffat crashes out after Wood suffers major failure

It was a better story for Penrite Racing teammate Matt Payne, who impressed to sixth at Sandown with Frenchman Kevin Estre before coming home 11th at Mount Panorama. Bathurst could have been better had Estre not beached the #19 Ford at Hell Corner, but rookie Payne still moved from 19th to 16th.

Nulon Racing made gains, both in the drivers’ and teams’ standings. James Golding, who qualified a stunning second in Bathurst and fourth in the Shootout, moved from 17th to 14th, with Tim Slade jumping from 15th to 12th. Their efforts pushed Nulon Racing from ninth to seventh.

The Peter Xiberras-owned team’s gains came at the expense of Team 18 and Matt Stone Racing, which both dropped two positions in the teams’ points. Team 18 was stung by a Bathurst DNF for Mark Winterbottom/Michael Caruso, with Cameron Hill suffering a late DNF at Sandown.

Recently-announced Triple Eight enduro recruit Scott Pye had a luckless run, dropping track position at Sandown after the incorrect tyre was put on the car, before a strategy miscue and fuel miscalculation cost he and Warren Luff a potential top five.

Winterbottom and Scott Pye both dropped four positions in the drivers’ championship, Winterbottom moving from 11th to 15th, and Pye from 13th to 17th.

Biggest movers (drivers)

  • +5 spots: De Pasquale (12th to 7th), Courtney (18th to 13th)

  • +3 spots: Slade (15th to 12th), Golding (17th to 14th), Payne (19th to 16th)

  • -4 spots: Winterbottom (11th to 15th), Pye (13th to 17th), Randle (14th to 18th)

  • -3 spots: Waters (6th to 9th), Reynolds (16th to 19th)

Biggest movers (teams)

  • +2 spots: Shell V-Power Racing Team (6th to 4th), Nulon Racing (9th to 7th)

  • -2 spots: Tickford Racing (4th to 6th), Matt Stone Racing (7th to 9th)

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