Caltex Young Stars Reach Bathurst Finish on Great Race Debut
IN their first-ever Repco Bathurst 1000 start, Caltex Young Stars Matt Chahda and Jaylyn Robotham have finished the Great Race in 18th position aboard their Caltex with Techron ® Holden.
In a highly competitive showing throughout the day, the team ran as high as 9th position in a typically drama-filled race that proved the competitive intent of the pair of Bathurst 1000 first-timers.
Chahda started the #188 Commodore from 26th position and avoided the early carnage that eliminated several key competitors – while gaining several spots in the process.
The duo gradually worked their way through the field with strong race pace and strategy in the early stages.
They floated between 10th and 20th position throughout the lap 40-60 period, before climbing as high as ninth just before making their fifth pit stop.
That stop on Lap 80 proved to be the team’s most challenging moment in the race, thanks to an issue with the brake rotor change that cost time and two laps of track position.
Robotham resumed in 22nd position for his second stint as the race moved into its second half.
Their strong pace continued in the remaining laps with both drivers able to regain their lost laps – Chahda climbing onto the lead lap in his final stint with a late-race wave-by prior to the race’s penultimate restart.
The team crossed the line in 18th position of the 22 classified finishers, completed the race on the leading 161st lap and finished the full 1000km.
Repco Bathurst 1000 Race: 18th, 161 laps, +1m58.3461s
“The day was really good, we were stoked to be able to get through without making any real big mistakes.
“Plenty of people did, and to finish on the lead lap was one of the targets – to achieve that as a little privateer team, and that we beat a few people who are in the real thing, was pretty cool.
“A highlight was fighting off (Tim) Slade at the end, I’ve been told how much faster his pace was and that essentially he was going to pass me – but I just picked up the pace and did the fastest and most consistent stint of the whole race by the end. That was hugely satisfying.”
“It went very quickly and it was great to make my debut in the main game.
“We finished on the lead lap which was one of our main goals, and just to finish, and we did that.
“We were sitting just outside the top 10 before the brakes seized during the pit stop. We lost two laps there, so it was good to get back on the lead lap and finish 18th. We beat a few cars and just stayed out of trouble, we’re all really happy.
“The highlights were definitely getting in amongst the pack, racing some of the main game guys. Making a few passes here and there, it was cool being up amongst it!”