Car Insights, Drivers, Supercars

ICYMI: ‘Dayco Dave’ and his big Bathurst weekend

Bathurst 1000

Long term Dayco Ambassador David Russell starred in the 60th Anniversary Bathurst 1000 held at the majestic Mount Panorama circuit from October 5 to 8, 2023.

Co-driving with Supercars Championship leader Brodie Kostecki in the Coca-Cola powered by Erebus #99 Camaro, Russell set the fastest lap of the entire field in opening co-driver practice, being the only driver to set a lap time in the 2:05-minute bracket – more than half a second faster than the entire field.

SEE ALSO: Penrite marks Supercars history with special livery

Considering that the co-driver field included former Supercars champions Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander, Russell set the benchmark for how the weekend would progress for the team.

Kostecki then firmly confirmed his and Russell’s intentions for the weekend by qualifying on provisional pole position on Friday, following this up with a thrilling fastest Top Ten Shoot Out lap on Saturday. Despite losing time at turn one with a slight rear slide and some wheelspin, Kostecki blasted the team into pole position by almost half a second.

This proved yet again what an outstanding young talent he is, outpacing the entire fi eld on one of the world’s most challenging motor racing circuits. By Saturday afternoon, it was clear that the Russell-Kostecki combination would be the team to beat, fastest in all but one track session of the entire weekend by significant margins. This, along with having no accidents or mechanical issues from the moment their Camaro Supercar rolled out of the team transporter, placed them in a formidable position for the race.

Starting from Pole position, Russell made a strong start, slotting into formation behind Jamie Whincup to hold second position where he remained until the first driver change under yellows on lap 28.

The thick of it

The second safety car of the race was called on lap 40 resulting in a double stack pit stop with Russell and Kostecki the first of the two Erebus Camaros to be serviced. Lap 64 saw the second driver change of the epic race with Russell taking the reins for his final 27 lap stint as race leader.

Unfortunately, the team had pitted just six laps earlier, so the #99 charged on, but this saw the eventual winner (Kiwi Camaro duo Shane Van Gisbergen and Richie Stanaway) gain a 13-second fuel advantage over Russell and Kostecki. The Erebus duo led a total of 38 laps and despite Kostecki’s fast pace in the closing stages, it wasn’t enough to beat the Kiwis at the end.

This second place was also the second podium Bathurst 1000 finish for the incredibly fast Kostecki and Russell enduro pairing in three years. It followed yet another superb second place fi nish at the Sandown 500 in September. For Russell, while Bathurst victory was the ultimate goal, he, Kostecki and his hard-working team had done all that they could to try and win Australia’s great race.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking from the start with Whincup alongside me on the grid and he has a few more Supercar race starts than me under his belt,” Russell said.

“I got off to a reasonable start and slotted in behind him and started applying pressure and this enabled us both to open a gap to the rest of the fi eld. From that point it was a matter of setting consistent laps with no mistakes to hand the car back to Brodie in good shape.”

Repco Bathurst 1000

Pulling out the Porsche

“Brodie was outstanding as always and the team did an excellent job, mega car speed, great pit work, we had everything in place to try and win it. We’ll be back next year even stronger and faster, that’s for sure,” Russell added. The Dayco sponsored racer was performing double duties at Bathurst once again this year, piloting his EBM Porsche Carrera Cup car in three races.

He was joined by a new sponsor for this high-profile round, Australian family-owned tool company, Prokit who promoted its trade trusted PK Tool brand on his #99 Porsche Cup Car. After leading the all-important Carrera Cup qualifying session on Thursday, a fuel pressure problem late in the session saw him unable to complete it, relegating him to 9th for the fi rst of three Bathurst races.

With prior Bathurst Porsche Carrera Cup race wins and fastest laps under his belt, Russell showed his Mount Panorama speed to race his way to start from 4th by the Sunday’s third and final race. As luck would have it, Russell’s PK Tool Porsche was rear impacted on the first lap by a competitor, relegating him to 14th by the end of the short nine lap race.

A massive weekend crowd of 204,069 people attended the 60th anniversary running of Australia’s Great Race, the third highest total in the event’s history. Many millions more watched the event on television and via live streaming. According to Dayco Australia Managing Director, Arnold Mouw, the company’s highly successful long-term association with David Russell continues to deliver valuable automotive trade and enthusiast coverage for the global company.

Dayco Dave to the rescue

“We couldn’t be prouder of what Dayco Dave has achieved at Bathurst this year, he just gets faster and faster across the 12 years that he has been an ambassador for our company and his effort this year at Bathurst was just incredible,” Arnold said.

“As sponsor of the fastest Supercar co-driver in the fi eld, all of us at Dayco look forward to next year at the mountain where I’m sure that the next step up on the podium beckons.”

The Dayco brand could not be missed at Mount Panorama this year with the logo onboard with talented Super2 driver Aaron Love, who won one of the races of the weekend in an exciting inaugural Supercar race victory for the Blanchard Racing Team.

Dayco was also aboard the Cooldrive Mustang with Todd Hazelwood and Tim Blanchard in the Bathurst 1000 who were heading towards a points earning fi nish until mechanical failures ended their challenge.

Send this to a friend