The NAPA Auto Parts Australia No. 27 of Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe did a great job to bring it home in 19th in their first Bathurst 1000, a baptism of fire.
Despite a late excursion into the gravel with three-laps remining, they brought the car home in 19th. If you consider what they’ve had to adapt to this weekend, it’s a credit to them.
From adapting their IndyCar knowledge to a new vehicle and track in a foreign environment as well as learn and apply the correct procedures for changing drivers throughout the race, it’s been no easy feat for the two internationals.
Rossi came to Bathurst with a huge amount of respect for the track and Series, and is certainly leaving with no less. “We knew this would be a big challenge” said Rossi after the race.
“We didn’t come into this with an arrogance; that it would be easy. By the same token, we didn’t really come here to finish 19th either so we are a bit bummed about that. Nonetheless, we finished and we finished ahead of where we started so that’s a positive.
“I think that’s all we can ask for considering where we started the weekend. I think we both got very comfortable with the car throughout the race, and we consistently gained time through each session. The gap between us and the front I think has a lot to do with seat time and overall familiarity with the cars. But, thanks to the 27 crew for hanging in there and to the whole Walkinshaw Andretti United team for the support,” he said.
With his first ‘1000’ in the books, Hinchcliffe found Bathurst to be quite an experience. From negotiating track conditions – which had changed from what they had experienced in practice with it being cold, overcast and/or wet then heating up – to getting the most out of the car, he found his first stint to be a real handful.
“We tried to run our race and make as few mistakes as possible,” said Hinchcliffe. “We made a couple little ones, I think that’s to be expected. A lot of more experienced guys made even bigger mistakes than we did, so I think there’s a lot to be proud of from the whole team.
“Big congrats to JC, Jack and the 22 on the podium, and to Scott and Luffy and the 2 team on eighth. I think the team had a strong result and we did what we wanted to do – we wanted to be running at the end,” he said.
Thanks to Walkinshaw Andretti United for partnering with NAPA Auto Parts and introducing the world renowned brand to Australia in style.
Thanks also to brand partners who were able to support the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts car – Narva, CRC, Ryco, Bendix, Gates, Prostream, Monroe