Penalties and protests shaped a bitter-yet-thrilling Supercars appellation activity amid DJR Aggregation Penske and Scott McLaughlin, and Triple Eight and Shane van Gisbergen.
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Tension amid the squads was axiomatic from Day 1. No eventually had the branch Holden aggregation formed its new ZB Commodore out of the barter in Adelaide came questions about its legality. DJR Aggregation Penske bang-up Ryan Story was on the advanced bottom about console weights, suggesting the all-encompassing use of blended genitalia gave the auto arbitrary advantage.
There was no allegation that the car itself was active underweight, the affair instead focussed on the blended panels giving T8 and the Holden teams the abandon to use balance while the Ford and Nissan teams were already on the weight absolute with their animate panels.
A aboveboard barter of angle through the media followed, and the Fords and Nissans were accepted the use of blended roofs and bonnets by the time they got to Albert Park.
Controversy reared its arch afresh amid through the season, this time acknowledgment to Penske’s bead accessory boggle at The Bend. The aggregation afield adapted a transaxle appropriate for Mustang development work into McLaughlin’s Falcon for Saturday’s condoning session, which was adapted with an disqualified final drive.
Strangely, the affair was absent by Supercars during scrutineering, and it wasn’t until Sandown weeks after that a admiral audition on the amount took place.
The aggregation was fined $30,000, but others in pitlane acquainted that wasn’t acceptable abundant accustomed added actual activity would accept affected McLaughlin to alpha from the aback of the filigree rather than 10th in that aboriginal Tailem Bend race.
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Chase Engineering Holden, Scott McLaughlin, Aggregation Penske Ford, Dick Johnson Motorsport.com
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Chase Engineering Holden, Scott McLaughlin, Aggregation Penske Ford, Dick Johnson
Photo by: Daniel Kalisz / LAT Images
All of that, however, was aloof an access to the capital advance that was cat-and-mouse in New Zealand and Newcastle.
The Saturday at Pukekohe was the acme of the tension. The chase itself featured van Gisbergen barging his way accomplished McLaughlin, actuality slapped with a 5s time amends for acquaintance while authoritative the move, and again affairs 5.5s over the closing laps to allowance achievement anyway.
He again acclaimed by parking McLaughlin into his car in parc ferme.
However, the after-effects remained conditional able-bodied into the night, as admiral conducted a absolute post-race analysis into footage assuming van Gisbergen’s rear auto spinning while his car was on its air jacks during a stop – a boycott in Supercars.
What looked like a black-and-white amends concluded up actuality a massive absolution for Triple Eight, who auspiciously argued that there was beneath than a abounding circling of the caster – for which there was a antecedent of altruism – as able-bodied as no affirmation that the axis was acquired by clamp engagement.
Penske anon protested the outcome, and, while unsuccessful, that too affronted the barn abutting door. T8 aggregation administrator Mark Dutton went to allegorize the accommodation to beef a non-technical aperture as arena “dirty pool”.
Having appear abroad from New Zealand praising chase ascendancy for its abstinent approach, T8 had a actual altered booty on the controlling processes by 10am on the Sunday morning in Newcastle.
A blood-tingling Saturday race, which saw van Gisbergen canyon an out-of-fuel McLaughlin on the final lap, had set up a two-point abortion for Sunday. Winner-takes-all.
That was until addition post-race analysis into a van Gisbergen stop, this time the affair centred about the ammunition corrupt actuality affiliated as the car was alone from its jacks.
Crucially, T8 adopted to not re-jack the car aloft realising what had happened due to refuelling actuality complete – appropriately abnegating the get out bastille chargeless agenda that comes with the rule.
Unable to abjure that the aperture happened, T8 instead approved to altercate that refuelling had absolutely been completed aback the car alone admitting the corrupt still actuality connected. The aforementioned altercation was acclimated for why the car wasn’t jacked aback up.
The admiral weren’t afflicted with either explanation, hitting van Gisbergen with a 25s penalty, abrogation McLaughlin alone defective sixth or bigger to allowance the appellation on the Sunday afternoon.
In the end, a additional abode to van Gisbergen’s fourth was added than enough for McLaughlin.
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Podium: chase champ Scott McLaughlin, DJR Aggregation Penske, additional abode Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Chase Engineering Holden Motorsport.com
Podium: chase champ Scott McLaughlin, DJR Aggregation Penske, additional abode Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Chase Engineering Holden
Photo by: Dirk Klynsmith / LAT Images
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