The 2016 Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint was a motor racing event for Supercars, held on the weekend of 22 to 24 July 2016. The event was held at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich, Queensland, and consisted of one race of 120 kilometres and one race of 200 km in length. It was the eighth event of fourteen in the 2016 International V8 Supercars Championship and hosted Races 16 and 17 of the season. The event was the 16th running of the Ipswich SuperSprint.
The event was dominated by Triple Eight Race Engineering, with its drivers Shane van Gisbergen, Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes scoring a 1–2–3 result in Race 16. Lowndes and Whincup then went on to finish first and second in Race 17, while Van Gisbergen finished twelfth. Chaz Mostert completed the podium in Race 17, having finished fifth in Race 16. Chris Pither took his first career pole position in qualifying for Race 16; it was also the first for his team Super Black Racing. Whincup left the event with a 110-point championship lead over Van Gisbergen, with Mark Winterbottom a further ten points behind in third.
In the week leading up to the event, Aaren Russell and his sponsor Plus Fitness split from Erebus Motorsport, which had been preparing Russell's car during the 2016 season. The split was the result of a dispute over payments between the team and the Russell family. Craig Baird, the endurance co-driver for Erebus Motorsport's other car, was selected to replace Russell for the event, with sponsorship from Hungry Jack's.
DJR Team Penske continued its sponsor rotation system, running a Penske Truck Rental livery on both of its cars. Nissan Motorsport ran a new livery on Michael Caruso's car, promoting the GT Academy program.
A 30-minute practice session was held on Friday afternoon for additional drivers, consisting mostly of Enduro Cup co-drivers. The fastest time was set by Jack Le Brocq, driving Cameron Waters' car. James Golding was second fastest ahead of Tony D'Alberto. The cars of Whincup, Van Gisbergen and Chris Pither did not participate in the session, with their respective co-drivers, Paul Dumbrell, Alexandre Prémat and Richie Stanaway, absent from the event.
The first session for regular drivers was held immediately after the additional drivers session and was one hour in length. Nissan Motorsport performed strongly, with Caruso setting the fastest lap time and Todd Kelly being third fastest. The pair were split by Scott Pye, with Brad Jones Racing teammates Jason Bright and Tim Slade completing the top five. A second one-hour session was held later on Friday afternoon, with Fabian Coulthard going quickest ahead of Craig Lowndes, Chaz Mostert, Rick Kelly and Pither.
A 15-minute session was held on Saturday morning. It was marred by a major accident involving Pye, who suffered a brake failure going into Turn 3. His car left the circuit at high speed and went head-on into a tyre barrier before coming to rest on top of it. Pye was not injured, but his car sustained significant front-end damage. Pye later described the incident: "I hit the brake pedal and it was solid and then clicked to the floor. That’s a horrible feeling when that happens...It came back up and I went for it again and I think it was only front brakes. It locked both front wheels and went straight on." The session was red flagged with just over one minute remaining and did not restart. Whincup had set the fastest time prior to Pye's crash, with Winterbottom second fastest ahead of Pither.
|Additional Driver Practice||Friday||6||Jack Le Brocq||Prodrive Racing Australia||Ford FG X Falcon||1:11.0412|
|Practice 1||Friday||23||Michael Caruso||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima L33||1:10.3330|
|Practice 2||Friday||12||Fabian Coulthard||DJR Team Penske||Ford FG X Falcon||1:09.7061|
|Practice 3||Saturday||88||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Holden VF Commodore||1:10.1028|
Qualifying – Race 16
Qualifying for Race 16 was a single 15-minute session held on Saturday afternoon. Only 25 cars took part, with Pye's car still being repaired after his Practice 3 crash. Pither took a surprise pole position, the first in the series for both himself and his team Super Black Racing. Mostert was second fastest ahead of the three Triple Eight Race Engineering cars of Whincup, Lowndes and Van Gisbergen.
Race 16 took place on Saturday afternoon, with the regulations requiring each car to make at least one pit stop to change all four tyres. The race start was delayed when Waters' car stopped on the warm-up lap with a driveline problem. Waters later joined the race but retired after completing four laps. Pither maintained the lead at the start but was challenged by Mostert at Turn 2. Pither ran wide and pushed Mostert off the circuit, giving Whincup the chance to take second place at Turn 3. Whincup then took the lead from Pither at Turn 4, while Lowndes was also able to move past both Pither and Mostert. On lap 4, Coulthard made contact with Caruso while battling for seventh place, pushing him off the circuit. Caruso lost a number of positions and Coulthard was forced to readdress by dropping back to behind Caruso. Lowndes made his pit stop on lap 7 with the intention of using fresh tyres to jump Whincup, but Whincup pitted one lap later and held the position over his teammate.
The stops for Whincup and Lowndes left Van Gisbergen in the lead ahead of Winterbottom and Mostert, who each ran a long first stint in order to have fresher tyres at the end of the race. Van Gisbergen and Winterbottom stopped on lap 17, while Mostert stayed out until lap 23. After all drivers had completed their pit stop, Whincup led from Lowndes, Van Gisbergen, Winterbottom and Mostert, with Whincup saving fuel and coming under pressure from Lowndes. Van Gisbergen used his younger tyres to quickly close the gap to his two teammates and passed Lowndes on lap 35 before taking the lead on lap 37. Whincup was able to hold on to second place ahead of Lowndes, who in turn was able to stay ahead of Winterbottom and Mostert. Slade finished sixth ahead of Will Davison and Rick Kelly, with James Moffat and Coulthard completing the top ten. Pither finished eleventh after losing multiple positions in the opening laps. Whincup's championship lead over Van Gisbergen was reduced from 53 to 41 points, while Winterbottom fell back to be 93 points off the lead.
Qualifying – Race 17
Qualifying for Race 17 was held on Sunday morning and consisted of a single 20-minute session. Whincup took his second pole position of the season ahead of teammate Lowndes, who saved a set of tyres for the race by not doing a third run in the session. Mostert was third fastest ahead of Van Gisbergen, Winterbottom and Pye. Winterbottom was disappointed with the session after being held up by Kurt Kostecki, who was in only his second Supercars event as a replacement for the injured Lee Holdsworth, on his final run. With his Prodrive Racing Australia teammate Waters also affected by Kostecki, team principal Tim Edwards questioned the licensing system used in the series, saying: "We should have better licensing that people of that level of experience can’t go and do that. It’s bloody disappointing."
Race 17 was held on Sunday afternoon and the race regulations required each car to take on at least 120 litres of fuel during the race. Lowndes made the best start and moved into the lead ahead of Whincup and Van Gisbergen, with Mostert and Winterbottom completing the top five. Pye's difficult weekend continued when he was spun by James Courtney on lap 2; Courtney received a drive-through penalty for his role in the incident. The leaders began making their first pit stops on lap 12, with Winterbottom, Caruso and Scott McLaughlin pitting from fifth, sixth and eighth place respectively. Whincup stopped on lap 14, followed by Lowndes on lap 16 and Van Gisbergen on lap 17, while Mostert stayed out until lap 19. Lowndes maintained his lead over Whincup through the pit stops, while Winterbottom moved up to third place. Both Whincup and Van Gisbergen started to struggle with the balance of their cars and Whincup ran wide at the final corner on lap 28, losing places to Winterbottom and Caruso.
The second round of pit stops began when Waters pitted on lap 28, with the leaders beginning to stop on lap 33. Mostert again ran longer than the other front-runners, stopping on lap 42, giving him fresher tyres for the final stint. After all drivers had completed their second pit stop, Lowndes retained the lead ahead of Whincup, Winterbottom, Caruso and Mostert. Whincup and Winterbottom were both struggling for pace and Winterbottom lost third place to Caruso on lap 51. Mostert used his younger tyres to pass Winterbottom on lap 54 and Caruso on lap 60. Courtney retired from the race on lap 61 after sustaining suspension damage in an incident with Rick Kelly and Van Gisbergen on the previous lap. Mostert was unable to catch Whincup in the closing laps, with the pair finishing third and second respectively behind Lowndes. Caruso finished fourth ahead of Winterbottom and McLaughlin. After struggling during the race, Van Gisbergen finished twelfth, resulting in an extended championship lead of 110 points for Whincup.
Waters was penalised ten championship points for making contact with Rick Kelly at the final corner.
Championship standings after the event
- After Race 17 of 29. Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- "V8 Supercars 2016 calendar change". Supercars. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (18 July 2016). "Russells split with Erebus Motorsport". Speedcafe. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (19 July 2016). "Veteran Baird to step in for Erebus at Ipswich". Speedcafe. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- "Penske Fords turn blue for Ipswich". Speedcafe. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- "Caruso Nissan to run GT Academy livery". Speedcafe. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (22 July 2016). "Young guns shine in Ipswich co-driver practice". Speedcafe. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (22 July 2016). "Nissans show form in opening Ipswich practice". Speedcafe. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (22 July 2016). "Coulthard puts Penske P1 in Ipswich practice". Speedcafe. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (23 July 2016). "Pye escapes horror crash in Practice 3". Speedcafe. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (23 July 2016). "Pither scores shock pole for Ipswich opener". Speedcafe. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (23 July 2016). "SVG denies Whincup 100th Supercars win". Speedcafe. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (24 July 2016). "Percat disqualified from Race 16 result". Speedcafe. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (24 July 2016). "Whincup on Race 17 pole as Prodrive fumes". Speedcafe. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (24 July 2016). "Lowndes takes dominant Race 17 win". Speedcafe. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- "Stewards Summary: Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint". Supercars. 24 July 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
2016 Castrol Edge Townsville 400
|2016 Supercars Championship||Next race:|
2016 Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint
2015 Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint
|Ipswich SuperSprint||Next year:|
2017 Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint