PIRTEK Pit Stop Challenge finalists
DJR Team Penske has finished on top in this year’s PIRTEK Pit Stop Challenge season. Scott McLaughlin and his #17 Falcon will go into the Bathurst 1000’s Grand Final with his Pit Stop crew, leading the points table in a final group of four teams.
Saturday’s OTR SuperSprint at The Bend Motorsport Park marked the 8th and final points-scoring round, for the PIRTEK Pit Stop Challenge, before the final showdown takes place at Mount Panorama in a televised event.
The Friday night before the main Bathurst 1000 race events will determine the victor of the $20,000 major prize as well as the PIRTEK Pit Stop Challenge Golden Rattle Gun.
While the top four teams held on to their finals places, going into the Tailem Bend event in South Australia, the last leg brought on a major shake-up in the order.
Jamie Whincup and his Red Bull Holden Racing Team started the round on top but achieved a pit-entry-to-exit time of 52.7748 seconds, the slowest of the Saturday event. This was largely due to Whincup double-stacking behind team-mate Shane van Gisbergen during the early Safety Car period. Both were delayed slightly by van Gisbergen having to wait for Scott McLaughlin’s Falcon to pass through before leaving his pitbay. In terms of race order, Whincup fell from 2nd to 8th though he pushed back to regroup before the end to finish 4th. Due to the errors, Whincup dropped from 1st to 4th in the PIRTEK Pit Stop Challenge rankings scoring just two points. However, the crew still maintained a top four spot and a place in the finals.
McLaughlin’s #17 got the eighth-fastest time of the day, and moved up in the end-of-season rankings from third to first. Brad Jones Racing (Nick Percat) and Tickford Racing (Chaz Mostert) secured the other 2 places in the Bathurst finals scoring second and third respectively. Percat’s Mobil Commodore was 14th quickest at The Bend, with Mostert’s Supercheap Auto Falcon coming in 2nd, behind DJR’s #12 Falcon of Fabian Coulthard on 39.1775s.
In total, only 9 points stand between the frontrunner and the fourth place in the top four crews going into to the finals. McLaughlin is on 164, Percat on 163 and Mostert and Whincup both on 155 each.
The PIRTEK Pit Stop Challenge will be broadcast live on Fox Sports during the Friday night coverage before the main Bathurst 1000 race.