Drivers and fans lap up Supercars Eseries
MOTORSPORT: Fans from around the world watched on as Shane van Gisbergen claimed the inaugural Armor All Driver of the Round Award in the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries on Wednesday night.
The 2016 Virgin Australia Supercars Champion also claimed bragging rights over his good friend and Formula 1 superstar Max Verstappen, after the pair put on a dominant display in the second round of the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries.
Van Gisbergen, who started the round back in 14th position on the Coates Hire Leaderboard, claimed two race wins and a third placing out of Wednesday night’s four races split between the famous Silverstone and Barcelona F1 circuits.
Verstappen, in his first ever attempt at racing against Supercars’ best, finished with three 2nd place finishes to show his world-class ability.
Youngster Anton De Pasquale finished the night with a win and two podiums, to round out a successful evening of virtual racing for Holden. Ford’s Cam Waters recorded his first win of the eseries, while favourite Scott McLaughlin, who claimed two out of three wins in the opening round, went home with one 3rd placing.
Verstappen’s performance was top class from his home in Monaco. He qualified 6th twice and 5th once and went on to claim three podiums in an outing fans hope isn’t his last in the Supercars Eseries.
As was the case in round one, there were some spectacular crashes to go with tough door-to-door racing.
Seven-time Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup was involved in numerous crashes, while McLaughlin himself was caught up in critical incidents which hindered his chances.
Though he is yet to have the success he would like, Team 18 Irwin Racing Holden Commodore driver Mark Winterbottom appears to be enjoying the concept.
“It was a fun night but so frustrating at the same time being caught up in incidents on the first lap in these races,” he said.
“I haven’t been able to put as much time into it as some of the other guys, and it takes a while to get used to the simulator and to be fast, but it’s something good to have for the fans and to keep the sport on TV during this time when we’re not able to race.”
A frustrated Team 18 Dewalt Racing Holden Commodore ZB driver Scott Pye lamented the fact he had good speed but nothing to show it for it at the end of the night.
“I feel like I made an improvement in my speed and can run in the top ten when all goes well, but in all races I had terrible luck trying to get through the first lap,” he said.
“The next round at Bathurst should be good, there are no big hairpins at the start of the lap but we will have to be careful as a group not to have overlaps on the first lap because it is such an unforgiving circuit.
“The fan engagement side of it is great especially while we are all isolated like this. The more we can interact with each other, the better.”
After two rounds of the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries McLaughlin still leads the Championship with van Gisbergen and De Pasquale right back in contention.
This week, drivers head to Bathurst on Wednesday night for racing at Australia’s most iconic circuit, Mount Panorama.