The Bend Motorsport Park made its debut on the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship schedule over the weekend, as drivers raced around the 4.95 kilometre ‘International Circuit’ during the OTR SuperSprint.
Jamie Whincup moved his way up the championship ladder after he claimed a convincing win by edging out Red Bull Holden Racing teammate Shane van Gisbergen on the track.
Despite Whincup claiming the weekend’s top title Van Gisbergen has moved ahead of Scott McLauglin in the Virgin Australia Supercar championship standings.
Van Ginsbergen took the lead by 19 points, with Whincup now in third.
“We need to make sure we had two fast cars,” Whincup said.
“I know it’s cliche but full marks to the team. They gave us two rockets and us two Wallys kept it on the track, most of the time.”
Van Gisbergen acknowledged the team was in a good spot but needed to keep their heads down.
“We have got to keep focused but we are in a good spot,” he said.
David Reynolds secured third place and despite a slow start to the weekend on the new track, he raced to an impressive finish.
“Mega effort by the Penrite Erebus team, everyone should be really happy,” Reynolds said.
“We got the setup a little late. If we had that at the start of the weekend it may have been a different story. It’s a great result even though we didn’t qualify the best.
Tim Slade and Nick Percat just missed out on a spot on the podium and rounded out the top five.
Swiss race car driver Simona de Silvestro spoke to The Standard after her first practice run on the track and explained what it was like to test out the track at The Bend.
“It’s a really fun track to drive,” she said.
“It’s one of those tracks where you just want to stay out there and keep doing laps.”
Although the Nissan Motorsport driver was among those who took to the track for the first she said it did not take long for her to get a feel for it.
“Usually you look at a lot of videos and most importantly is the track walk you do ahead of the race,” she said.
“I’m used to getting to know new tracks so you really get to know it after about three or four laps and then you feel comfortable.
“During the first practice you definitely try a few different things to see what works best but the cool thing about it (The Bend) is that it’s such a fun track so it was great to be out there.”
De Silvestro has raced all over the world and said the track at The Bend compared well to some of the world class tracks she has driven on.
“The track is really nice, it’s definitely more of a European style track in the way that it’s very flowy and the facility is just one of a kind, it’s so well done.”