Nulon Racing’s Scott Pye scored finishes of fifth and seventh in Races 28 and 29, while IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom moved forwards to 12th in the farewell race for the Supercars Championship at Pukekohe Park Raceway at the Auckland SuperSprint.
Pye showed strong form in Qualifying to start all three races in sixth position across the weekend. However, Winterbottom battled for an optimum setup in qualifying trim and started 16th and 15th for Sunday’s two races.
In Race 28, Pye made a great leap off the start but lost a couple of positions through the opening set of corners to Waters and Heimgartner. However, Pye soon got back passed them both with a great dive at Turn 6.
The race was red flagged on the opening lap after two seperate incidents involving De Pasquale and Brown.
Winterbottom served a drive-through penalty for a driving infringement resulting from contact with Brown, but his race pace was on show as he set one of the fastest laps of the race in the closing stages to finish 22nd.
Pye passed Feeney for fifth place with a brave move around the outside of the final corner, where he remained until the time certain finish after 36 completed laps.
In Race 29, Winterbottom received a sizeable hit to the rear of the IRWIN Commodore on the opening lap which affected his handling. However, he managed to move forward three positions with strong race pace to finish 12th.
Pye held sixth position for the majority of the race, but lost a position to Mostert in the closing stages.
Following the race, Pye praised the support of Nulon as their final round as naming rights sponsor on the #20 Nulon Racing Team 18 Supercar.
Team 18 Supercars and equipment will be freighted back to Australia this week, before preparations begin for the 11th round of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship at the Bathurst 1000.
RESULTS & QUOTES
Scott Pye, #20 Nulon Racing Team 18 Holden ZB Commodore
Qualifying (Race 28): P6 (1:02.5012)
Qualifying (Race 29): P6 (1:02.2605)
Race 28: 5th (Fastest Lap: 1:03.6782)
Race 29: 7th (Fastest Lap: 1:03.3824)
“We qualified sixth three times in a row, our pit stops all weekend were amazing, the starts were good, and then I finished up with results of tenth, fifth and seventh, so overall pretty solid points in the bank.
“Car speed was probably the best thing, all weekend we were strong,
“In the second race today a few people had an over-cut on us which was disappointing. We went early and went aggressive but there were a couple of quick cars behind me that I wasn’t able to fight because we were out of track position compared to them, so I feel like a lost a couple of spots there.
“All in all an amazing weekend, great to get points in the bank and we head on to Bathurst now with a clean car, a fast car and full of confidence.
A massive thanks to Nulon, it’s been a great partnership when they stepped up to naming rights, I’m very proud to represent the brand and it’s been an honour to have it down the side of the car. “We got some great results and some disappointing ones, but I just wanted to say thanks to Nulon for their continued support. They’re still on the car for the rest of the year, but as naming rights it’s been a real privilege to represent them.”
Mark Winterbottom, #18 IRWIN Racing Team 18 Holden ZB Commodore
Qualifying (Race 28): P16 (1:02.8177)
Qualifying (Race 29): P15 (1:02.5186)
Race 28: 22nd (Fastest Lap: 1:03.3769)
Race 29: 12th (Fastest Lap: 1:03.6291)
“Tough weekend for my car, quail speed was’t there, our race pace was pretty good.
“It’s going to be sad to see this place go, the reception on the hill was pretty epic after the race.
“On the positive, signing for two more years is great, so we’ll get back to base and get ready for the big one at Bathurst.”