Brian Boyd congratulates PAYCE teams on their strong performances at Mount Panorama
2015 Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama
Six PAYCE backed teams competed across four categories in this year's Bathurst 1000 meeting and they turned in some great hard-fought results over the four days.
With wild weather mixing up the field, fans witnessed action packed racing at Mount Panorama.
PAYCE's Brian Boyd comments on a spectacular racing event.
PAYCE Managing Director and long-time motorsport supporter, Brian Boyd said the drivers and teams produced some of the most exciting racing of the meeting and were to be congratulated on their great performances.
"The standout performance was Scott McLaughlin in the Bathurst 1000, along with co-driver Alex Premat, in the Wilson Security Racing GRM (Volvo Polestar Racing) #33 Volvo S60.
"Scott and Alex drove consistently hard throughout the race that saw fortunes changing with several safety car periods and showers and for them to finally take fifth spot when the chequered flag came out was well-deserved and a fantastic result," he said.
Both Volvos showed they had the pace – Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd said both Volvos showed they had the pace in the practice sessions with Scott recording a fifth quickest time on day one and David 11th fastest.
"Scott was on top of the speed trap times down Conrod Straight on day one, recording the fastest outright speed of the field with a breathtaking 296 kilometres per hour run," he said.
"Alex also got off to a good start in the co-drivers' session recording fourth fastest time. so the scene was set for good performances from the team, barring incidents."
Saturday's final practice has Volvo in strong contention – Brian Boyd
Saturday's final practice saw Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat still well in contention with eighth fastest time, while David Wall and Chris Pither were 21st. All attention was then directed to the rescheduled top ten qualifying session, which was subsequently shortened, but not before McLaughlin recorded seventh fastest, putting the #33 Volvo S60 into the top ten shootout.
Brian Boyd said varying wet conditions during the shootout worked in some drivers favour while others had to contend with deteriorating conditions, but fortunately Scott was fourth car out when only light rain was falling.
"He did a blistering lap that put him in second position and then the team had to sit through the rest of the cars' runs to determine the final spots on the grid," he said.
"All six following drivers were slower than Scott, putting the #33 car on the front row of the grid for the first time this season."
Garry Rogers elects first stint drivers
Garry Rogers elected to start the #33 Volvo with McLaughlin in the car and while not able to repeat last year's rocket start that saw him first into the corner from third spot on the grid and then lead up Mountain Straight, McLaughlin drove aggressively to snatch the lead on lap 3 and was never headed until lap 32. Teammates David Wall and Chris Pither in car #34 unfortunately did not have any luck go their way and their race came to an early end on lap 15 when an engine-related issue forced them from the race.
David Wall said it was obviously disappointing for the team, but there was no warning and the engine just dropped a cylinder.
"That's the way it goes, so bring on the Gold Coast race," he said optimistically.
Race strategies change with the weather - Brian Boyd
As the race progressed, different pit stop strategies as well as yellow flags saw the #33 Volvo shuffle around in the field, albeit always not far from the leaders. Ultimately, McLaughlin brought the car home in 5th spot and under ten seconds away from the race winners, which was a fantastic effort given the vagaries of the weather and incidents throughout the race.
The #33 car especially performed well in the wet conditions and overall the team were happy with its performance and reliability under challenging conditions. The top five finish also moved McLaughlin into the top 10 of the championship.
McLaughlin said it had been a tough day and mentally draining with the wet and dry conditions.
"I was happy to climb into the top ten and Alex did a fantastic job in the race today. The team gave me a great car and a great strategy," he said. "Fifth is a good result, my best at Bathurst and there is more to come."
Macauley Jones maturity is impressive - Brian Boyd
Macauley Jones in the #14 PAYCE Commodore celebrated his 21st birthday prior to the meeting and enjoyed a good weekend of racing. Qualifying on Friday was marred by two red flags, but he maintained his consistency to score a top 10 finish with 7th fastest, putting him up the pointy end of the grid for Saturday's 250 km mini-enduro.
The 41 lap enduro was a mix of conditions, with three safety car periods and a late shower of rain. Jones drove a strong race and mixed it with a number of drivers to finish in eighth position, which moved him up the championship ladder to 12th position.
"I'm eager to carry the good performance forward to the series decider at Homebush on 5-6 December," he said.
Brian Boyd congratulated Jones on his best result to date and said he continues to impress with his driving and maturity.
"Macauley gives 100 per cent every time he is on the track and he is gaining valuable touring car experience with co-drives in this year's enduros," he said.
TCM hotly contested by Bowe and Johnson
The Touring Car Masters was expected to be a hot contest between the two PAYCE backed cars and that turned out to be the case with Bowe taking two wins and a second and Johnson one win and two seconds in the three races.
Johnson smashed the qualifying lap record to put Mustang Sally on the pole for the first race and led all the way in an action packed race that was limited in racing time, but long enough for Bowe to move into second place and give PAYCE cars a 1-2 finish and a new race lap record for Johnson.
In Saturday's second race, Bowe was determined to take advantage of his front row position and show why he is a champion. He took the Torana SLR5000 into the lead at the first corner and was never headed, while Johnson had to work hard to hold onto his second position. Both PAYCE drivers swapped the lap record as they went on to finish 1-2 again, only the positions were reversed from the previous race. Sunday's final race saw Bowe once again lead Johnson home with a small buffer of half a second.
Brian Boyd congratulated both drivers on their performances and said they were a formidable team.
"Both cars are presented in immaculate condition and it's a credit to the teams that they are now the ones to beat," he said.
Richard Muscat puts in great effort after German racing
Richard Muscat in the PAYCE backed #22 Porsche GT3 continued his good form in early practice, recording fifth fastest, which was a great effort as he was back in the country less than 24 hours from his flight from Germany where he participated at the Lautizring in the Porsche Motorsport Junior Program.
Qualifying was highly contested, with the first ten drivers under the lap record. Richard was among them, putting in a very credible drive to avoid a bad crash and to post a seventh best time. He went on to finish in eighth position in race one later in the day.
Sunday's race was run under better conditions and Muscat had a relatively uneventful race except for one close call to come home not far behind the leading pack in 7th position.
Muscat shows consistency against seasoned drivers - Brian Boyd - PAYCE
Brian Boyd congratulated Muscat on a strong drive in both races and said he was impressed with his competitiveness against much more seasoned drivers.
"Richard has driven well all through the season and as he demonstrated at Bathurst he has the pace to run with the leaders and is ready to pounce if they put a wheel wrong," he said.
"Overall, Bathurst was a great meeting for PAYCE drivers and their teams and importantly everyone stayed safe. All teams had challenging races and they can be justly proud of their performances over the weekend," he added.
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