Power Rankings: The Bend
THE last sprint round of the year is done and endurance season is now firmly on the agenda.
As always there’s a lot to get through when it comes to the OTR SuperSprint, so we have once again broken it down into bite-sized chunks, as easily digestible as a Balfour’s frog cake or a Farmers Union Iced Coffee.
Welcome to the TRT Power Rankings from
The Bend Shell V-Power Motorsport Park.
ABOUT THE RANKINGS: The TRT Power Rankings are compiled by your nominations from social media and edited by the TRT editorial team. They’re designed to give a balanced, as fair as possible critical overview of those things that excelled and those things that struggled, at each event. It’s (mostly) a democracy, and what you nominate generates the order, so have your say next event via our social media channels, @theracetorque on Facebook, Twitter and Insta. Look for the call out each evening and get commenting!
1. Brodie Kostecki
From the Brickyard to the Bend, with three wins and two pole, the last with a massive 0.4sec margin over the field. Was this the weekend where Brodie stood up as the man to beat in the championship chase?
2. Thomas Randle
Maiden pole, three podiums, a breakthrough weekend for the likable Castrol driver. Sure, third in race one with a friendly assist from teammate Cam Waters was hot, but to repeat the performance twice more for the second-highest point score of the weekend, it was red hot.
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Attention to the other brands activating in the motorsport space: do things like this, and not only will you earn yourself a spot in the Power Rankings Hall of Fame, but you will capture the attention of everyone watching. By now, you should be aware of our thoughts on Pizza Hut, and being children of the 1980s, we are absolutely all in on this incredible crossover of key memories from our childhood. Will we eat on their limited-edition green pizzas? That’s probably pushing the friendship. We’ll just settle for a Super Supreme, thanks.
4. The Bend Putting on a Show
The team at The Bend, err, Shell V-Power Motorsport Park, put in an effort to draw punters in on Saturday with an after-race convert by pub rock bands Kingswood and the Choirboys. Well played Bend Power Park, it’s good to see something different at one of the few non-Supercars promoted events on the calendar.
By the way, how smooth was the transition from the podium to the after-show gig, per below? HOT also goes to the walk through the Welcome Centre past the fans to the podium, which was a nice touch, as was the improved ingress / egress over previous years, the new permanent super screens and the general vibes around the place.
Side NOT goes to the broken lift for the poor corporate guests.
Thank you, Adelaide media legend Cara Jenkin, for dominating this submission.
Toyota 86s – the 100th race was utterly brilliant, with Ryan Casha leading home Cody Burcher, with all races truly compelling. In the V8 SuperUtes, race two was a proper belter in anyone’s books, while Callum Hedge looked like a young man on a mission throughout the Carrera Cup races. Also, if it was good enough for Tony Quinn to win at Queensland Raceway last weekend, it was only fair for Sam Shahin to have a big one at The Bend. Joel Heinrich was mega on debut in the Touring Car Masters, while the S5000 finale was the pick of the litter from the open wheelers.
6. Cameron Waters / Tickford
A fourth that probably could have been a first in the opener, and second in race three. Tickford were solid across the board which is not often the case for the Melbourne team, so this deserves a spot in the Hot’s, for sure.
Has parity actually been fixed? They were finally in the conversation across the board for the first time this year and save for Brodie’s domination out front, the weekend was the first this year where the Blue Oval had the numerical advantage at the pointy-end.
8. Nick Percat
P4 in the finale, so as he said, it’s clear he can still drive. So what’s up at WAU that they can only put one good car on the track regularly?
Was red hot over the weekend, with some mixed results thrown into the mix. Qualy sessions have clearly been the highlight of the Gen 3 era to date. It’s must watch stuff.
We can’t wait for that Friday arvo session at Bathurst..
10. Sunday Weather
HOT is a stretch, but it was quite warm which was a pleasant surprise and had the added bonus of shutting up all the people bitching and moaning about it earlier in the week.
Bacon & Egg Roll Stand
On a weekend where there was a general lack of food options around the precinct, the bacon and egg stand in the town square provided high-quality stuff.
Live press conferences
Sunday’s presser was live on Fox Sports in the Supercars Trackside show and it’s great because it actually gets journo’s asking questions. 95% of the time, pressers are boring because the journo’s would much rather ask their questions privately, rather than their rivals all get the same answer. Yet this way, they have to ask and the result is some decent content.
Chaz Mostert’s Race 1, and Nick Percat’s Race 3 launches were incredible. Everyone will be watching those in-cars to see how they made the 0-100 dash better than any other Gen 3 car has yet..
Race 3 wasn’t a thriller but the other two were good. Gen 3 cars were good to watch at The Bend and for the most part produced plenty of overtaking throughout the field, so it’s a) a good endorsement of the cars and b) a smack to everyone who says racing at The Bend is always rubbish, because it’s just not.
Supercars Drivers’ Contracts
Are they actually worth the money they are printed on?
Fight, fight, fight, fight
Matt Naulty’s Murray Bridge Spa has reached international fame, with even the likes of Neil Crompton mentioning it on Live TV. It’s become a destination of some note, so it was no surprise when these flyers mysteriously began appearing on Sunday at The Bend, with what appeared to be an invite to an ‘on the quiet’ or ‘special’ afterparty on Sunday evening.
We’d probably the green room in Townsville or Monsoon’s in Darwin, but still, each to their own.
We called SA health and they reported no incidents on Monday morning, while the Murray Bridge Police did not confirm nor deny any call-outs on Sunday evening, so this may not have been as big as implied. We’ll report further when we have more information.
1. Race 1 Start
Massive championship implications for Will Brown, and huge damage for Cameron Hill and Jack Smith. Ugh.
2. V8 SuperUtes Crash
Such a shame, as the class put on another quality show up to that point. We’re glad everyone is OK.
3. Race Two Start
Costly for Will Davison, Cam Waters and Jack Le Brocq, who wore the penalty from the turn six, lap one stacks on the mill.
4. Reynolds on Feeney
Race three proved to be a tough one for championship challengers, with Mr Sunday ending his day 25th and dead last on the time sheet after a last corner coming together with David Reynolds.
5. 20 Lap Races
Did anyone else find the three 20-lap races just too short? Based on rankings feedback yes, yes they did.
6. Two Day Format
As per last time out at Sydney Motorsport Park. The trucks rolled in Wednesday, and everyone in the sport was at the track at lunchtime Thursday, with the first Supercar wheel hitting the track at 9:50am Saturday. What on earth are we doing?
7. Supercars Steering Racks
A standing not. For instance, SvG went through five of them on the weekend and Triple Eight had to borrow one from customer team, Nulon Racing, to get through the weekend. The drivers hate them and they keep failing – how soon before it causes something more critical? We worry about the load through the metal grate at Bathurst…
8. 1980 Bathurst Flashbacks
Quite how Saturday qualifying was allowed to start with this small boulder on the circuit, or how it got there in the first place, we are unsure.
9. Porsche Pile Up
10. Brown’s Race Three Spin
Not for happening in the first place, as it was another costly kick in the points, and absolutely not for being missed in the telecast. He rebounded to finish 13th.
SvG’s Race Three Stop
Costly in the all-important team’s championship and for the Triple Eight bank account. Somewhat fortunate that the incident didn’t twist a wrist off.
James Courtney’s Practice Shunt
Even with 18,000 acres of outfield, JC found a fence.
Jackson Walls/Commentators Curse
Craillsy did that. Jackson had been putting in a mega performance, but sadly spun at the penultimate corner of the last race when going for the lead, mere moments after our fearless editor talked up his consistency and smart racing prowess so far this year. A costly points hit.
Friday Crowd Left in the Dark
No real commentary or big screen, are the paying punters and many, many school kids deserving of some decent coverage on Friday? It was the same at Sydney Motorsport Park and this whole half-pregnant approach of the big screen coverage when Supercars don’t run on the Friday has to change.
DJR’s Saturday Qualifying
A hard all round not – they’ve been bitted the other way by putting on an extra set of tyres for a final hot lap in the past, but this time, by sitting in the pits, they were eliminated from the final segment of Saturday qualifying. Tough break.
Team 18 Saturday Qualifying
Both cars were out in the first leg of qualifying in 21st and 23rd. A tough deal.
Bryce’s Wild Pit Entry
Also: caught speeding.
Breaking Embargoes for No Real Good Reason
One notable member of the media went about three hours too early with the TMNT livery release on his personal socials (still a big no-no), though the key outlets respected it.
Let’s start the petition to bring back the all-in butcher’s picnic to end the race weekend
You could set your watch to it. Well, we couldn’t…
Nice job, well played