PUKEKOHE, New Zealand - Cam Waters (No. 50 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) has concluded the final Supercars event at Pukekohe Park Raceway with three podium finishes across the Auckland SuperSprint, taking third in Race 28 on early Sunday afternoon and second in Race 29 later in the day.
The weekend finale, and the final Supercars race at the Pukekohe circuit – scheduled to close in early 2023 – saw Waters fight it out with Car 97 in a classic Pukekohe battle for the win. Coming just short of snatching his first Supercars win in New Zealand, Waters was understandably disappointed, but has a firm hold on second place in the Supercars standings heading into next month’s Bathurst 1000.
After a frustrating Saturday, Jake Kostecki (No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang) enjoyed a much more positive Sunday, grabbing a top 10 finish in Race 28 before climbing 10 places in Race 29 to a reasonable 15th place finish.
Thomas Randle (No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang) endured a disappointing Sunday, suffering time penalties in both Races 28 and 29, and taking finishes of 21st and 18th.
After a difficult pair of qualifying efforts on Sunday morning, James Courtney (No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang) took 16th place in Race 28, before being taken out on the opening lap of Race 29, ending his race in a high-speed crash at Turn 1.
The Supercars Championship’s next event is its crown jewel, the Bathurst 1000. On-track action at Mount Panorama begins Thursday, 6 October, with the Great Race taking place on Sunday, 9 October.
No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang
Race 28 Quali: 1m03.28s, 24th
Race 29 Quali: 1m02.98s, 23rd
Race 28 Finish: 16th
Race 29 Finish: DNF
“It was a pretty frustrating day, to be honest. We struggled big time in qualifying and just couldn’t put the lap together which put us down the back of both races, obviously that makes things pretty difficult and we learned the hard way about being back there later on. We picked up a few spots in the first race which was okay, but the second race was over pretty quickly. Bizarrely it was another four-wide into Turn 1 scenario, Jake was outside of me so I was trying to look after him, and Todd (Hazelwood) clipped my right rear and away we went. It’s a really tough way to end the weekend, but we’ll regroup and turn our focus to Bathurst. We’ll have a good test day next week and I’m really looking forward to teaming up with my little mate Zane (Goddard) for the big one.”
No. 50 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Race 28 Quali: 1m02.53s, 7th
Race 29 Quali: 1m02.15s, 2nd
Race 28 Finish: 3rd
Race 29 Finish: 2nd
“Obviously it’s pretty good to score three podiums this weekend, and battling Shane (van Gisbergen) in the last race was pretty cool, but it stings to not get the win there. We had a good car, good strategy, and put ourselves in position, but when it got down to the end I didn’t have enough rotation in the corners to hold Shane off. I threw absolutely everything at it, the fans loved it which was cool, and while I wish we could have been on the top step, second’s a good way to finish the weekend. It’s frustrating now, but it’s a good motivator for Bathurst, we’ll have a good couple weeks of prep and go chase the big one at the Mountain.”
No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang
Race 28 Quali: 1m03.06s, 22nd
Race 29 Quali: 1m02. 47s, 11th
Race 28 Finish: 21st
Race 29 Finish: 18th
“It was just a really disappointing day. The first qualifying didn’t go to plan, I didn’t nail the last lap when I needed to and qualified 22nd, but we redeemed ourselves a bit in the second session to go 11th which was pretty positive. Then in the first race, I was forced to take the shortcut and ended up gaining a few spots, more because of the cars slowing to miss the crash at Turn 6 than anything, but it is what it is. Later on I got hooked up with Sladey (Tim Slade) and turned him at the hairpin, it wasn’t intentional or anything, it was just awkward, but we got another penalty for that which put us down the back. And in the last race I got caught out weaving when the Safety Car lights went out, that cost us 15 seconds and instead of 11th we ended up 18th. We definitely had better in the car than the results say, so it’s pretty frustrating, but we’ll have to file it away and set our eyes on Bathurst in a few weeks.”
No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang
Race 28 Quali: 1m02.60s, 11th
Race 29 Quali: 1m03.10s, 25th
Race 28 Finish: 11th
Race 29 Finish: 15th
“Today wasn’t too bad for us, we had a car fast enough for the 10 so it was good to get ninth in the first race today. Then in the second race we kept it clean and picked up 10 spots to 15th, which is a bit of a shame that we started back there but it was a good way to move forward. It was really cool to race in front of such a massive crowd and be a part of the last race at Pukekohe. It wasn’t our best round but it was a good run after a few rough ones, and gives us some confidence heading to Bathurst, it’ll be great to partner up with Kurt again and have a crack at the big one.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“It was a pretty yin and yang kind of day. Certainly Cam had a really strong weekend, and I know he’s gutted not to hold on in the last race, but two thirds and a second are certainly good for the championship and puts him in a good space ahead of Bathurst. For the rest of the guys it was pretty mixed, it was great to see Jake back in the top 10 and have a decent Sunday, but Thomas had a difficult day being stung with penalties, and obviously JC getting taken out Lap 1 is far from how we wanted to finish up the weekend. It wasn’t our best weekend, but we did have good car speed across the weekend which is encouraging, and it was great as always to see the support from the New Zealand fan base. We’ll turn our attention to the big one coming up, no doubt we have one goal there and we’ll show up ready to get after it.”
SUPERCARS DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Shane van Gisbergen – 2782 points
2) Cam Waters – 2257
3) Will Davison – 2180
12) James Courtney – 1421
20) Thomas Randle – 973
22) Jake Kostecki – 931
SUPERCARS TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Triple Eight Race Engineering – 4634 points
2) Dick Johnson Racing – 4293
3) Tickford Racing (5/6) – 3678
11) Tickford Racing (55/56) – 1874