Payne’s victorious strategy pays dividends

Sunday 07 July, 2024
Photo: Edge Photographics
Penrite Racing’s Matt Payne has secured the second race victory of his career, putting on a strategic masterclass to win Sunday’s race at the NTI Townsville 500.

Payne made the decision to stop three times in the 88-lap race, with the strategy proving to be a race-winning one as the New Zealander cruised home to victory at the Reid Park street circuit.

Saturday’s race-winner Cameron Waters steered his Mustang Castrol Racing Ford Mustang to second to cap off a strong weekend for the Victorian.

The race result would also be a significant one for the Championship standings, as current leader Will Brown slumped to a last-place finish after early contact on lap one saw him suffer damage that would ultimately slow him but doing enough to finish the race and claim some limited points.

Brown’s Championship lead remains in place, but his Red Bull Ampol Racing teammate Broc Feeney closed the gap to just 78 points after 14 races.

View the full results from the NTI Townsville 500

Payne was thrilled with the victory.

“Awesome, unbelievable,” Payne said post-race.

“We’ve had a tough couple of rounds lately. I knew we had a good race car yesterday with that final stint pace – it was really strong.

“So to put it all together today and try and replicate that with a different strategy from the team which was absolutely wicked.

“There was no backing off, we were pushing the whole way.”

It’s a short turnaround for the Supercars fraternity, with the drivers and crews returning to action for the Sydney SuperNight at Sydney Motorsport Park on 19-21 July.
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