It was far from an ideal weekend for us on the island, but there’s no time to get down. We’ll regroup and head west next week for the Perth SuperSprint at Barbagallo Raceway. In the meantime, check out our gallery from the Phillip Island 500, and read our crash course on Round 4 of the 2018 season.
Mostert’s top tens lead the way
On a weekend where all four cars struggled with balance, Chaz Mostert was the bright spot of the weekend, recording two top ten finishes. A sixth on Saturday was elevated to P5 following a competitor’s post race penalty, and the Queenslander managed an eighth place finish in the Sunday race. Aside from his DNF in the Saturday race at Symmons Plains earlier this month, Chaz has finished in the top ten in every race this year.
Front tyre dramas
The culprit behind the team’s struggles has consistently been front end grip, which has kept the team at arms length from the top of the time sheets in the season’s early stages. The small gap is pivotal in such a tightly contested category, and the team is working tirelessly to make up the fractions of seconds to again regularly contend for race wins. With a particularly abrasive surface at next week’s circuit, tyre life will again be an important topic in Perth.
Stanaway’s (mostly) clean weekend
Through the first eight races of 2018, Richie Stanaway had just one race where he didn’t suffer a problem that ruined his finishing result, the fourth race at the Melbourne 400, a 13-lap sprint. In Philip Island, Stanaway only turned in 18th and 20th place finishes, but neither was hampered by an on-track incident, penalty, or mechanical drama, the first such weekend of his full-time Supercars career. Sunday’s race started off with drama when the Kiwi was turned at north of 200km/h at Hayshed, but the rookie corralled his No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford and soldiered on. A Lap 7 Safety Car trimmed the gap to the pack that the incident had opened, and Stanaway was able to race forward a few more positions over the remaining 40+ laps of green flag conditions.
What’s next: Perth SuperSprint
The fifth round of the 2018 season is Supercars’ lone event in Western Australia, with a pair of races at Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway. At 2.42-kilometres, it is only a handful of meters longer than Tasmania’s Symmons Plains, and will also feature the praised qualifying format that debuted in Tassie.