ClampNation tastes victory at the V8ST finale
For the 3rd season running, V8 SuperTrucks visited the notoriously challenging Mount Panorama Circuit, simply known as Bathurst. There was a fair amount of tension going into the finale with several key positions up for grabs, including the championship title.
Bobby Zalenski’s dominating performance this season gave him a comfortable forty-two point lead over Marco Mogren, meaning that long as Zalenski took a Top 10 in the finale, he was guaranteed the championship.
As qualifying begun eyes were on the timing sheets. Zalenski had set the track record and had a strong showing in 2017, which lead many to assume there would be a repeat performance this year. However, when qualifying came to a close it was Logan Clampitt who took pole position, followed by Mogren and Zalenski who’s lap times were both less than half a second behind Clampitt.
As the field approached the flag stand for the final start of the 2018 season, the tension was high as Mogren sat on the outside of the front row, and Zalenski on the inside of the second. The two go door-to-door into turn 1 and would stay side-by-side down the mountain straight, trailing Clampitt. Although Zalenski was able to pull ahead, Mogren was able to hold onto enough ground to claim the inside line into Turn 2. Unfortunately, Mogren got on the curb too aggressively sending his Sick Sideways Tundra drifting. A quick reaction kept Mogren off the wall but lost the position to Zalenski.
Although the curb strikes again this time it would be Zalenski sent for a ride coming down from Skyline. The defending champion would be sent broadside in the esses making a hard impact with the wall. A quick recovery followed preventing a full course caution, but the damage had been done, with the #1 V2R Silverado taking a major loss in straight line speed, which would allow the entire field to eventually make it by relatively unchallenged.
Erik Blixt (#89) started from pit lane after his incident at Mid-Ohio which left him with quite a bit of ground to make up from the start. However, by Lap 4, he started working his way through the field. Further ahead on lap 6, Off Camber Motorsports teammates battle it out for 8th, as Daniel Thompson (#14) has a big scare coming round McPhillamy Park. His Punta Clara Kitchen Silverado starts to break loose on entry, grazing the inside wall, then running wide over the curb. Thompson is able to gather it up somehow and able to rejoin the racing surface. Side-By-Side he would go beside his teammate Justin Kruithof through skyline. Kruithof would take the position as the pair would enter the dipper.
In the closing laps Martin Kapal (#64) reeled in long-time rival James King (#23) in and on Lap 16, King runs wide into Forrest’s Elbow. The two would race down the conrod straight down to the chase. King would make a final play down the inside but would be unable to hold 5th place. Kapal would be able to hold a steady lead to the checkers rounding out the top 5. Kapal’s teammate Blixt would be able to climb halfway through the field by race end finishing in 7th.
However, eyes were at the front of the field as Logan Clampitt would take home his first V8ST victory to close out his rookie season and Marco Mogren would take the championship.
This past Friday we celebrated the achievement of our full-time entrants from the 2018 V8 SuperTrucks season, giving special recognition to the achievements of several drivers. This season’s award winners are as follows:
V8ST Champion – Marco Mogren Teams Champion – Radicals Online Manufacturers Champion - Chevy Flying Tire – Bobby Zalenski Sticky Tire – Bobby Zalenski Shiny Tire – Bobby Zalenski Most Improved – Logan Clampitt
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 2018 season and look forward to 2019. Be sure to follow us on Social Media via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up-to-date with the changes coming for next year.