Ingall/Perkins survive mountain mayhem to finish eighth at Bathurst
Supercheap Auto Racing’s Russell Ingall and Jack Perkins put in one of the drives of the round during today’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mt Panorama to finish eighth for the ‘Great Race’.
This tenth round of the International V8 Supercar Championship saw the Supercheap Auto Racing #200 Commodore start from a lowly 25th on the grid as Ingall motored from the word go in his 200th ATCC/V8 Supercar event.
Lap 23 saw Ingall pit and hand the reins to co-driver Perkins who began well before being hit from the rear and subsequently punted into the back of a DJR Falcon causing extensive damage to the front-end of the new look Commodore.
Fortunately the damage was primarily cosmetic as the 25-year-old continued to post healthy lap times despite a notable reshaping of his front-end.
If the incident wasn’t enough, just a few laps later Perkins was punted from the rear by the #4 V8 Supercar of David Brabham causing rear-end damage to add to the front.
Despite all this the Gold Coast-based driver keep things tight and times competitive to hand back to Ingall for his second stint in the Supercheap Auto Commodore.
“Jack did a fantastic job today especially given the situation we were in with a damaged car very early on,” commented Ingall.
“It (the damage) made things really tough going as we lost some straight line speed with the aerodynamics of the car being affected from both incidents.“
The next two stints from The Enforcer and Perkins saw the pair fluctuate between 20th and 13th with an array of on-track incidents and Safety Cars keeping fans heavily entertained and drivers’ constantly on their toes.
Then lap 114 produced a huge track fire, engulfing one of the DJR cars (fortunately without injury to any driver, spectator or marshal) forcing a Safety Car and Perkins to pit as the Enforcer jumped in for the final 48 laps around Mt Panorama.
With Ingall climbing into the top-10 another Safety Car was deployed on lap 139 and a well strategised pitstop by his Supercheap Auto Racing team quickly put Ingall into fourth with 21 laps remaining.
“I was giving it a huge push to maintain fourth during those last 20 laps but unfortunately the car was far too battered from the morning’s incidents to maintain the speed of the guys at the top of the leader-board.” Ingall explained.
Despite this, Ingall managed to hold off a raft of chasing cars to finish the greatest race in the country eighth, in what was a truly dominant display of raw driving talent by both The Enforcer and his co-driver.
“Of course we wanted to come here and win but given what happened today and where we started on the grid it’s been a pretty solid effort all round,” he added.
Today’s effort has rocketed Ingall back to 18th in the International V8 Supercar Drivers’ Championship after heading to Bathurst 22nd in the Series. Perkins moves to 39th in the Championship and 11th of the co-drivers at the conclusion of the ‘Season of Endurance’.
Round 11 takes Supercheap Auto Racing to the glitz and glamour of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 where Ingall will partner-up with ex-F1 and WTCC star Jan Magnussen in the international endurance co-driver format – October 20-23.