Power Rankings Team TRT February 26, 2024 (Comments off) (360)

Power Rankings: Bathurst 500

Three Power Rankings in three weeks, with the Supercars season opener from Mount Panorama giving us plenty to dissect.


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!


HOT

1. Red Bull Ampol Racing, Will Brown, Broc Feeney

It was a similar result to the Newcastle opener last year,qa but the vibe emanating from this squad has taken a hard 180-degree turn. Instead of the air of negativity from the double disqualification, and the SvG fight with the media, the 2024 Triple Eight squad was in full beast mode with two young and hungry drivers who are set to duke it out for the season. Saturday one-two in the Top Ten Shootout, a dominant one-two in the race, and one-three on Sunday with both drivers taking wins. A statement weekend that should have the competition worried.


2. Chaz Mostert

P3 on Saturday, in the conversation for the win on Sunday before claiming second. It was probably a bit early to talk about parity after one race, but Chaz doesn’t appear to have an Adam De Borre hangover after their most recent engineering divorce.


3. Matt Stone Racing Saturday, Percat is Back

A personal best P5 for Cameron Hill on Saturday, Nick Percat has his mojo back with results of sixth and ninth, Matt Stone Racing will line up from garage three at the AGP – this looked like a crew who had their act together, including when both cars made the Saturday shootout.


4. Richie Stanaway

P4 in the standings after results of fourth and 11th, the building blocks are there for something large.


5. Thomas Randle

P4 on Sunday shows that Tickford is still in the race.


6. James Golding

Fifth on Sunday was another showing that should have the competition taking notice.


7. Tickford Winning the Social Media War


8. Junior Junior Johnson is a Lot Like his Grandfather


9. SuperFest

A hat tip has to go to the organisers of the SuperFest for engaging the Bathurst community in the gap between the race meets. From the transporter parade, a Track to Town with four Supercars, driver signing, a SuperKids zone, an Open Air Cinema and more, there was plenty to engage the campers and locals. Many old men were quick to criticize the inclusion of a Wiggles concert, but as a means of engaging an audience Supercars doesn’t usually bother with, it was a masterstroke. The core audience of aging blokes bopping along to old-school rock is great, but the Wiggles continue to be one of the most popular acts in the history of the country, a fact backed up by the genuinely big crowd that fronted for the show. The Wiggles are aimed at the next generation, an age group whose attention is being pulled in many different directions. Should we bother engaging kids with the sport, or just let it fade away as the current crop of fans drop off the perch?


10. Coca-Cola and Friends

Far from being burnt by the sport after splitting with Erebus Motorsport, it was heartening to see the brand (and others) pop up on various cars around the paddock this weekend. Motorsport is better with Coke.


FURTHER HOTS

Ford Supervan

Holy smokes: fast.


Sunday’s Shootout

Tight as a tiger, the top-ten format for Supercars on The Mountain delivered again with Broc Feeney just pipping Chaz Mostert.


Time Certain Supports

It’s something that has worked well in the Vic State scene over the past 12 months, with all of the Supercars supports racing to time certainty in 2024. It means bonus laps if the drivers were well behaved, and much less if they don’t play well. It’s a fair system that penalises mucking around. Across the board, there was some spicy racing in the Aussie Racing Cars, SuperUtes and Touring Car Masters over the weekend.


The TV of Things


Practice 1 Weather

With a blustery gale blowing over The Mountain, an incredible number of cars speared off at either McPhillamy Park or through The Esses. Brillant theatre for those trackside, shit scary for those behind the wheel.


The Chopper

Somehow the TV chopper mid-race turned on a far more interesting display of aviating than the aerobatics stunt plane.


Taylor Swift-Bathurst Double

A hat tip goes to all those who put in the hard yards to work at the Bathurst 500 and then make the commute to take in a spot of evening Tay Tay in Sydney. Don’t Blame Me for this Hot, you know All Too Well that we like your Style.


The Race Torque has a Race Car

This was something we are particularly proud of, with Asher Johnston debuting the Johnston Craill Racing Enterprises Aussie Racing Car. As much as we adore the TRT branding, we would gladly move aside for you to put your name on this beautiful rocketship. Enquire within.


WHAT

But why?


Boost?

Are you confused? Because we’re confused. Some serious mixed messages are being played out in the form of a sponsorship hokey pokey here.


That was different


SVG Third. In NASCAR. On an Oval. What?


PURGATORY

Full Course Yellow

This one caused a fair stir,  but the sample size of one meeting probably needs to be expanded upon. On one hand, the FCY meant that the errant wheel could be quickly and safely retrieved. On the other hand, a race that desperately needed a safety car was robbed of a potential grandstand finish. Watch this space…


NOT

1. Going Beyond Full Super2

Race one was a complete non-event, with safety car after safety car ending with an all-in karambolage and red flag, which meant zero complete racing laps were achieved within the allotted 40-minute window.


2. The Vibe

In isolation, if you visited the Bathurst 500 on its own, it was fine. The crowd was about what you would expect it to be – there were fans, and there were campers. But compared and contrasted to the event only seven days earlier, it absolutely fell flat. If there is ever a case of too much of a good thing, exhibit A is this sixth Bathurst event. Obviously, there are mechanisms of why this had to happen like this at the top of the 2024 schedule, but starting the season with a red-letter event like Adelaide or Newcastle truly set the scene for the season to come. Having an OK meet that is still massively overshadowed by the 1000, that’s not the ideal way to launch into a fresh year. Maybe nighttime at SMP in the summertime with a full bells and whistles event would be better than this, and still tick the NSW Government box?


3. Supercars Racing

It was a bit meh. As it transpires, the soft tyres weren’t the problem in the Bathurst 1000. Even if the racing was a tad processional, a well-timed safety car in any of the three Gen3 races contested to date on The Mountain could have turned things around, but alas, the Porsche Taycan stayed parked up when a competition caution could have changed everything.


4. Rookies

Ugh. Ryan Wood started his Saturday with tremendous promise, qualifying inside the top ten. However, after setting a PB sector with a yellow flag waving, he was bumped down the order. Things got worse when Wood’s main game debut didn’t pass the first turn when he was the pinball in a four-wide squeeze. Next, Aaron Love shunted twice at The Cutting and was the race’s second DNF, while Jaxon Evan’s solo debut ended with a 20th-place finish. Sunday wasn’t much better – Wood covered less distance than Saturday before finding trouble, Love wore the fence again, Evans finished 21st, with the trio at the tail of the standings heading to round two.


5. Race 1 Start & Finish

In the true spirit of 2024, the start and end of the first race of the year was textbook Barry Crocker. A first corner wad up, and a yellow at the chequers, it was suboptimal stuff.


6. Scum of the Earth

Who the hell would do this? Why would you do this? What do you think you would do with the nicked goods? Some people are rubbish.


7. Other Super2 Tears

Trouble had a way of finding Cooper Murray in both races, while much drama afflicted others.

Earlier in the weekend, Reuben Goodall and Mason Kelly’s Super2 careers got off to an inauspicious start in practice one when they came unstuck on top of the hill. A 3:30am rebuild by the Kelly Racing squad saw the second-generation racer return to the track on Saturday.


8. Cameron Waters

Twentieth in the standings after results of 22nd (with a lost wheel) and 16th – not good enough from a driver expected to be in the title conversation.


9. Dick Johnson Racing

Flashes of speed, Saturday’s race was a battle with results of 16th and 21st for Davison and De Pasquale respectively, which improved to 10th and 15th on Sunday. The team will line up from the second last garage at the Grand Prix – unchartered territory for this top-tier crew.


10. Brake Failure

Andrew Fisher became a passenger at the end of Mountain Straight with serious consequences.


OTHER NOTS

Wet Weather Fun

Friday afternoon’s practice session kicked off with a downpour and spectacular results…


Premiair Nulon Racing Saturday, Slade Sunday

Following a pit lane start and a first corner tangle, the two black beauties were last and second last on the road at the end of the first lap of the eason, before they finished 17th and 18th. Slade found more trouble on Sunday en route to finishing 17th. Tough.


David Reynolds’ Flat

After finishing P3 in qualifying, David Reynolds suffered the indignity of a flat tyre as he trundled out of the pit lane on his Saturday shootout lap. What are the odds?


Tough Start for Erebus

Jack Le Brocq’s Erebus debut didn’t last half a lap in practice one, with his engine conking out. After an incredibly tough offseason, it was something that just didn’t need to happen. While the team may have entered the weekend wanting to contest for wins, the pair claimed ultimate results of 13th and eighth for Le Brocq and 11th and 13th for Todd Hazelwood. We’d expect more in future when the all-new combos have had time to bed in.


Paying for Lap Times

This is an odd one, with the live lap timing appearing to go behind a paywall on the Supercars website, but seemingly it was still available for free on Natsoft. If Supercars want to monetise their online experience, why not offer stuff hardcore fans can’t find for free elsewhere? How about live in-cars, or live team radios? People would dolly up for that…


Ryal Harris

Either blindingly fast or in the thick of strife. The weekend started with the steering wheel coming off and piling straight into The Esses wall on Friday. Starting from the rear of grid for race one, Ryal scythed his way through the field in the opener, until coming into contact with Jimmy Vernon at Forrest’s Elbow, who wound up face-first in the fence. After a 15sec post-race penalty, Ryal went on another tear in race two, until this rather terrifying squeeze at max speed on Conrod. Rebounded to third in the finale.


The World’s Biggest Oil Down

A hard Not goes to the massive oil down in the second Aussie Racing Cars heat on Saturday morning, which delayed proceedings by 30 minutes and ultimately saw their third race canned.


Skippy on Circuit

A week after a beautiful Group S Porsche cleaned up skippy, another of the locals broke onto the circuit at the Elbow just before Super2 qualifying on Sunday, delaying the program significantly.


Richie Stanaway Friday

Wore the fence early on Friday, but bounced back with style, see: Hot.


SOCIALS

You’d have yourself cash


The talking point

A full analysis of the Barry Ryan, Betty Klimenko and Jess Yates interview will be forthcoming in due course…


Same same but different


Fully sik pizza delivery car


Remarkable steering


MEME



It’s pretty big, I guess…

As yoinked from Andrew Milici on Put it in MGU-H


I WANNA SHAKE YER HAND


It was a helluva off-season…

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