The Debrief: Starts, blinkers and tough times

27 Jul 2018
The big talking points from Queensland Raceway

Supercars' hat-trick of northern events concluded with the Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint, and no change in the title fight between Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen.

The pair recorded identical results at Queensland Raceway of a first and a second, and leave separated by the same margin – 131 points – they were before a wheel was turned.

It wasn't just about a draw at the top of the order, though, as Tickford Racing's Chaz Mostert finally recorded his first podium of the campaign.

Two teams further down the order, though, had weekends they would rather forget, as Supercars.com reviews the big talking points.

Start me up

You won't see many better first laps this season than van Gisbergen's to go from eighth to third on Saturday.

He did most of the damage with a launch that had the 2016 champion yelling 'woo hoo', before crediting a new part with helping him get off the line.

It was far from a fluke. The #97 Commodore had cleared fellow front-row starter McLaughlin well before Turn 1 on Sunday, setting up his fourth win of the season.

Van Gisbergen, by his own admission, hasn't been on top of starts in Triple Eight Commodores since joining its customer Tekno from Stone Brothers Racing in 2013.

The 2010 champion took aim at his team-mate on TV, and it would have been a stern debrief, either side of a lengthy visit to the stewards' hut in which no driver was deemed wholly at fault for the incident.


Pye has fallen from sixth to ninth in the points across the three northern events and Courtney from ninth to 12th, as that early-season form becomes the target again rather than the norm.

Preston Hire's slog continues

It's tough going in Supercars, with the entire field covered by a scant 1.0802 seconds in ARMOR ALL Qualifying on Sunday.

It's especially hard work for the single-car outfits. Preston Hire Racing is mired in a forgettable year that is rapidly passing without change in its fortunes.

Lee Holdsworth is 21st in the points, having started 25th and 21st and finished 24th and 21st at Queensland Raceway, with that qualifying form its biggest challenge.

The team can't get Holdsworth's Commodore into the set-up window, with the change of tyre construction, shift to the ZB aero, and its move away from Triple Eight front-end components.

Holdsworth grabbed five top 10 finishes from eight races on the run home in 2017, while 11th at Symmons Plains is his best of the current campaign.

Matt Brabham finished at the foot of the times in Friday morning's co-driver session, and has since been replaced for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup by Jason Bright.

Charlie Schwerkolt and his outfit will be hoping to turn things around sooner rather than later.

Related News