Nick Percat claimed his second Supercars Championship race win in as many weekends, triumphing with a fine drive in the second race of the weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The Brad Jones Racing driver’s run to victory came through the decision to run only of Soft tyres for the duration of the 32-lap race, having banked the quicker rubber after an all-Hard strategy in Saturday night’s opening race.

Last night’s race-winner Scott McLaughlin once again started the race from pole position on hard tyres and was quickly overcome by the Soft-shod duo of Shane van Gisbergen and Percat after the start.

Van Gisbergen and Percat quickly assumed a 1-2 in the opening stint, with the latter glued to the Red Bull Holden Racing driver’s back bumper before diving into the pits for his compulsory tyre change on Lap 12.

The Red Bull crew should have responded to Percat’s attempt at an undercut on the very next lap, but as was the case last night they opted to keep the Kiwi on track for a long first stint in the hope that he could take advantage of fresher tyres in the closing stages of the race.

Once again the strategy call was a failure. By the time van Gisbergen made his stop with ten laps to go, he emerged well down the order and had too much work to do to get back to the front. He would eventually finish the race in eighth place.

Percat was left on his own to secure a comfortable win with an 8.8-second margin to McLaughlin’s DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard who also opted for a Soft-Soft strategy.

The battle for the final podium spot was simply epic, with McLaughlin charging through the upper midfield after his switch to Soft tyres.  By the penultimate lap he was up to fifth position and hot on the heels of a tight scrap for third place between the Fords of James Courtney and Rick Kelly.

Courtney was struggling for tyre grip and desperate to keep the chasing cars behind him in his quest for his first podium finish of the season.  On the final lap, McLaughlin forced his way past Kelly through Corporate Hill to claim fourth, and when Courtney had a slow exit from the final corner it was down to a sprint between the pair to the finish line. They crossed the line just 0.025 seconds apart in McLaughlin’s favour, while Kelly similarly lost out to Chaz Mostert’s WAU Holden in a similar dash to the chequered flag.

The Soft-Soft tyre strategy paid dividends for Garry Jacobson (Matt Stone Racing) and Jack Smith (Brad Jones Racing), who claimed career-best finishes in seventh and tenth respectively.

2020 Australian Supercars Championship Sydney SuperSprint II – Race 11 Final Classification (32 laps)
Pos Driver Team Result
1. Nick Percat Dunlop Super Dealer Racing 50:22.647
2. Fabian Coulthard Shell V-Power Racing Team + 8.874
3. Scott McLaughlin Shell V-Power Racing Team + 19.636
4. James Courtney Boost Mobile Racing + 19.661
5. Chaz Mostert Walkinshaw Andretti United Mobil 1 TM Appliances + 20.463
6. Rick Kelly Kelly Racing Castrol Racing + 20.607
7. Garry Jacobson Yellow Cover Racing + 21.073
8. Shane van Gisbergen Red Bull Holden Racing Team + 27.504
9. Cameron Waters Monster Energy Racing + 27.673
10. Jack Smith SCT Motor Sports + 31.228
11. David Reynolds Penrite Racing + 55.770
12. Andre Heimgartner Kelly Racing NED Whisky Racing + 56.668
13. Anton de Pasquale Penrite Racing + 57.377
14. Mark Winterbottom IRWIN Racing + 1:04.404
15. Bryce Fullwood Walkinshaw Andretti United Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing + 1:06.782
16. Jack Le Brocq Supercheap Auto Racing + 1:07.398
17. Jamie Whincup Red Bull Holden Racing Team + 1:07.641
18. Chris Pither Team SYDNEY + 1:08.163
19. Lee Holdsworth Truck Assist Racing + 1:08.654
20. Todd Hazelwood Brut Military Grade + 1:12.103
21. Scott Pye DEWALT Racing + 1:17.089
22. Alex Davison Local Legends Racing + 1:20.803
23. Macauley Jones Team CoolDrive 1 lap behind
24. Zane Goddard UNIT Racing 1 lap behind

Post-Race Penalties:

  • To be advised

Image via Race News

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Geoff Burke

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