Power Rankings Team TRT June 17, 2024 (Comments off) (271)

Power Rankings: Darwin

It was a predictably HOT one in the Top End, but that’s not to say that there wasn’t plenty of NOT and WHAT thrown into the mix, too.

So strap in, here is your 12th Power Ranking breakdown for 2024.


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. Broc Feeney

What’s up with Mr Sunday winning on Saturday? That was a big one, with the success of his first win since Saturday at the AGP. Backing it up with a win from pole on Sunday, this likeable kid has some mojo back, as he is now the first driver to five wins in season 2024. You get the feeling that this title chase has the potential to be spicy.


2. Will Brown

Third on Saturday, second on Sunday, has finished 11 of the 12 races on the podium. Those sorts of stats will win you a championship…


3. Darwin

An awesome place for a race, this event is a true outlier on the calendar and, indeed, for Australia. If you need to have a bucket list event to visit, make it this one.


4. James Golding

Maiden pole, fourth, just missed out on PremiAir Nulon Racing’s maiden race podium on Saturday, fourth again on Sunday. He has thoroughly flown under the radar to be fifth in the points – a big breakthrough would not be entirely surprising at this point in time…


5. Mark Winterbottom

If only the entire championship was held in Darwin on Saturdays, then we would be talking about a multi-time champion. After winning last year, second on Saturday was a big turnaround for the Team 18 squad after what has been an, at times, difficult start to 2024. Passing mention to David Reynolds, who finished sixth in the same race.


6. Brodie Kostecki

Sunday Brodie was the best we have seen of the champ to date in 2024, and a solid reminder to the industry that he can still peddle hard. Second in the top-ten shootout, third in the race and the leader of the non-Red Bull class. He wasn’t entirely chipper in the post-race presser – hopefully, the future is brighter.


7. Chaz Mostert 22nd to 5th

Do the math – in a time when overtaking is seemingly at a premium, it was awesome. Also, it was impressive to see those passes take place at a range of corners – this wasn’t a one-trick pony. Now, imagine if he qualified fifth, then he would have finished an impossible -12th.


8. Nick Percat

Another solid weekend when others lacked consistency. Results of seventh and fifth see the Bendix racer now place fourth in the points. Huge for the little team that could.


9. Cooper Murray in Sunday Qualifying

He was fastest in the race Saturday, provisionally fifth fastest in qualifying on Sunday, and tenth in the shootout, and genuinely impressive until he wore the underside of Andre Heimgartner’s car. While Zak Best won a Bend pole with some trick tyres, this was another truly quality application of the wildcard concept.


10. Track to Town

An awesome concept that literally engaged every single person in Darwin. Nothing says you’re in town better than running a convoy of race cars up the main highway…


FURTHER HOTS

Indigenous Liveries

Once again knocked it out of the park, with a vast majority of the teams totally embracing the concept. And once again, there were some brilliant stories to emerge from the designs. Frankly, some of the liveries were better than the regular season schemes – we’re looking at you, Shell V-Power Racing, which has seemingly run the same livery since Dick Johnson first applied it to a dinosaur…


Qualifying Closeness

As is standard practice in Gen3, there was nothing in it when it came to qualifying. On Friday afternoon, James Golding beat Nick Percat for the pole by only 0.07sec, while 1st to 25th were covered by 0.8934sec.


Points Battle

After his big weekend, Broc Feeney is now within 108 of stablemate Will Brown at the top of the pops, a battle that promises spice at upcoming events. Mostert is on an island in third on 1,074, then 17 points split Nick Percat from James Golding and Cameron Waters – who had that on their bingo card after 12 races? Not far behind them, 18 points split Will Davison, Anton De Pasquale and Matthew Payne. With all and sundry being consistently inconsistent, if someone/anyone gets their act together, this points race will be on like Donkey Kong…

In the team’s points chase, Triple Eight is 920 ahead, so if Supercars spot a special on engraving between now and November, they could probably save themselves some money. Otherwise, precious little split WAU from Shell V-Power, Penrite, Tickford, Matt Stone and more.


F35A

Just mega.


V8 SuperUtes win with the effort on the pre-event whole field photo


V8 SuperUtes

The highlight of the supports over the weekend was the V8 SuperUtes, which are continually stepping up to the plate. Adam Marjoram had a hotrod Isuzu, and after some big battles, claimed the overall honours by only two points over teammate Aaron Borg. Entertaining stuff – the car count is now getting up there, and the guys down the pack are finding their feet. More, please.


Touring Car Masters

A mixed bag of results churned out a surprising result, with Adam Garwood and his giant-killing Commodore tying for overall honours with Steven Johnson. Joel Heinrich was in the mix too, winning points-paying race two before falling out in the finale. Interesting racing, although, for this round at least, the field slimmed down to simply Ford Vs Holden Vs Chevrolet.  


Harri Jones

Harri Jones was a convincing victor in the Harri Jones class of the Porsche Carrera Cup, walking away into the distance from pole to claim three outwardly straightforward wins. Elsewhere in the Pro classification for non-Harri Jones competitors, Dale Wood was on top from Jackson Walls and Dylan O’Keeffe. In Pro-Am, Adrian Flack claimed a Harri Jonesesque clean sweep. So, what next for Jones? He’s done the Europe thing, and surely his sights are set on something bigger than smashing everyone in the Carrera Cup. Will we see him in a Super2 car sometime sooner rather than later?


Dr Carl’s gong

Congratulations to one of the unsung heroes of the Supercars paddock, very well deserved.


Excel Racing

A subset of the combined sedans, the baby Hyundais were absolutely blockbuster.


Get it Up Ya


WHAT

The TURDS Sponsored TCM Torana of Jeremy Hassell


Huge if true


Who crashed into who?


Cap Lowndes


Not a highlight


Wot?


NOT

1. Format/Downtime

Wasn’t it great to have the Supercars Practice Championship make its annual trek to Darwin? Last year, there were 3×35 lap races (105 laps total) and 2x30min practices. This time around, the format was improved (you would only make a change to improve things, right?) to feature 2×48 lap races (96 laps total) and 1x60min and 1x30min practices spread over two days, ie, 50% more practice. Who asked for that? Surely, more racing and less practice is the way of the future…

Also, like last time out in Perth, the days sure seemed to drag on, with extended gaps between sessions. Two years ago, in these rankings, we marked the event down for the prolonged gaps to build up and knock down the air fences for the ASBKs. This time year last year, we gave the organisers a pass for rejigging the schedule to couple the air fence construction time with the buffer time required around Supercars sessions. This year, there were no bikes, but no additional classes. So, the padding in the program simply went unaccounted for. For instance, there were 50 minutes between the chequered flag of the Carrera Cup race and the start of the Supercars on both days, which is too long.

Punching the numbers, according to the Saturday schedule, between the start of the first session and the chequered flag of the Supercars race, only 63% of the time there was action on track from the five racing classes, which was down to 61% on Sunday. If you consider that the 40 minutes dedicated to the top-ten shootout only saw 11 minutes of action on each day, those respective figures fall to 56% and 54% of the days with actual action taking place on the circuit. Sure, punters trackside get entertainment sessions, but that level of content is not enough to engage home viewers, who were subjected to the same feature interviews repeated across the weekend – which was frustrating. For the record, post-race analysis lasted a total of 1hr 13min.


2. Walkinshaw Andretti United

Ugh. In qualifying for race one: Mostert – 22nd, Wood, 24th, while on Sunday, Mostert was 20th and Wood 24th. We repeat: ugh.

With cars not turned on by the Supersoft tyres in qualifying trim, Chaz Mostert was a Saturday hero (see: HOT), while a tardy stop saw him finish 16th on Sunday.

After big weekends out in Taupo and Perth, Ryan Wood finished 20th on Saturday and 24th on Sunday after jumping the restart and then being punted by Matthew Payne most of the way back to Darwin Airport. Both results worth forgetting.


3. Heimgartner and Murray

This was the biggest moment of the weekend, and it was such a shame for the participants. If there is a positive to come from the stack, it is that the much-maligned Gen3 Supercar can actually take a hit, with both cars able to carry on in the race.


4. Kostecki’ Engine Blues

Dramas kicked off on Friday with Kostecki losing the first 20min of practice, before teeing off prior to the start of the race, with the Erebus crew throwing three starter motors at the car in 10min, with the entry failing to see the race.

All told, three Chevys were swapped out on Saturday night – with Nick Percat and Macauley Jones receiving fresh donks for Sunday.


5. Penrite Racing

A tough weekend, with the highlight being a tenth for Richie Stanaway on Sunday.

Matthew Payne meanwhile fell from fifth in the standings to ninth with results of 15th and 20th, with Sunday’s result coming after a fuel pump issue saw him start Sunday from the pitlane, before he clattered into Ryan Wood at turn one.


6. Ford

It just wasn’t their weekend, was it? If it wasn’t for Chaz Mostert’s heroic fifth on Saturday, the Blue Oval only had Anton De Pasquale and Cameron Waters in ninth and tenth. Sunday didn’t see a marked improvement – Will Davison and De Pasquale were the marque’s best in seventh and eighth.


7. Waters Bump and Run on Anton

Cost Waters 5sec as the leading Fords banged into each other. For something different…


8. Supercars Racing

It wasn’t the best racing ever, was it?


9. Restart Mess

Messy. Rookies Ryan Wood and Aaron Love copped penalties for their part in the fracas.


10. Program Changes

Some of the subtle changes to the event were quite noticeable. Firstly, it was sad not to have the Australian Superbikes back on the program—the 2+4 concept was unique on the calendar and something that would be great to have happen again in the future. Then, it was also noteworthy that the Nitro Up North portion of the event wasn’t as strong as in the previous year and lacked a TV broadcast.


OTHER NOTS

Cars shagging themselves on the Track to Town drive

Great concept, absolutely suboptimal if the cars DNF en route. Costly to the teams, and tough on the fans.


Jaxon Evans on Cooper Murray

This little bingle cost Evans a 15sec penalty, while Murray bounced back to set the fastest lap of the race, the first time a rookie had achieved that since Greg Murphy.


Tickford Practice Stop Mess

This mix-up saw the team cop a $500 fine.


V8 Superute Oil Down

Seems unnecessary, but who would want to walk back to the pits in that temperature?


Pete Burnitt Crashing TCM R1

Finding the fence at turn 1, a somewhat difficult thing to do.


Brown Dropping it twice in practice

Turns out he was just going fast.


The “Triple Crown” made much more sense when the “Triple Crown” was awarded to a person who won the three races in the “Triple Crown”


SOCIALS

Top tier Chaz


It’s genuinely false advertising


Retrospective NOT


Zing


Meow


Cool Copy


Sub-optimal Signage


MEME

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