Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Dayne Warren has claimed his first Repco Supercars Pro Eseries title and the $10,000 winners’ cash prize after his teammate and favourite Josh Rogers fell apart in dramatic circumstances in the final race of the year.
Rogers entered this evening’s sixth and final round of the online sim-racing eseries holding a 94-point lead over Warren.
After winning last year’s inaugural crown, both drivers needed three strong race results to claim the 2020 Supercars online crown.
In the end, it was a night reminiscent of the 2017 Supercars finale in Newcastle.
The first race of the night held at the virtual Interlagos F1 Brazil circuit, saw Rogers start from second position, with Warren starting on Qoin Pole Position.
Warren led until the sixth lap where he pitted to take his mandatory stop for fuel and tyres. Rogers elected to stay on track for one more lap and the overcut worked – Rogers held enough pace to come out in front of Warren for the remainder of the race.
In the end it was another Walkinshaw 1-2, with Rogers claiming the chequered flag from Warren, while Brad Jones Racing’s Madison Down was third.
The second race of the night, also held at Interlagos was a reverse grid affair based on results from the opening race – meaning former Supercars Championship driver James Golding started from Qoin pole position.
Golding, racing in the Sidchrome Team 18 Commodore held the lead early and had a great battle with Josh Anderson in the Team Sydney Coca Cola entry.
The pair traded blows as Rogers and Warren along with the Brad Jones duo of Jackson Souslin Harlow and Jake Burton made their way from the back of the pack through the field.
The end result was the second win of the season for Souslin Harlow, second for Burton and third for Warren, Rogers finished ninth.
With Warren closing the gap on Rogers, the entire Championship went down to the final race of the night, an endurance event at Phillip Island.
Rogers started from his 7th Qoin pole position of the year but for once missed the start, immediately dropping back while Warren had the perfect start and skipped away for an early lead.
The start was so bad for Rogers, that he fell into a pack and collided with two other cars, earning a season defining 10-second penalty.
That meant he served the penalty in pit lane while Warren skipped away with the lead.
With the Championship on the line Rogers did everything he could to make up the positions he needed from last on the track, but the pressure was too much, with the defending Champion burning out his tyres early, spinning off the circuit and eventually ending the race in 20th position.
Warren finished third in last year’s inaugural Championship but tonight held his cool in the Mobil 1 Middy’s Commodore to claim the title win and the 10k cash prize.
Warren, a mechanical engineer student, didn’t even know he’d won the Series until commentators passed on the message post race and at that moment the youngster went into shock.
“I wasn’t even expecting to take a race win tonight, it was just a dream,” Warren said.
“Are you guys saying it’s the Championship as well? I have no words honestly.
“I’d be stupid not to say Josh 100 per cent deserved the Championship, he was the quickest week in week out.
“It’s just the biggest rotten luck that tonight sort of undid it all for him. 100 per cent he deserved it.
Rogers, who ended the year with seven poles and six race wins was humble in defeat.
“I mean I guess it all started with the start, I did plenty of practice starts and they all went well,” Rogers told Fox Sports.
“Then when we jumped into the actual race I had wheel spin and I mean I don’t know what happened in turn one.
“There was obviously contact with [Jake] Burton and contact with someone else as well, either way it was my mistake and I got a penalty for that.
“From there on it was just really tricky trying to manage the traffic. Obviously we were off sequence with the tyre and at the end trying to keep people behind us was just too much of a challenge.
“Racing drivers like to come up with excuses but just everything kind of went wrong in that one.
“Full credit to Dayne, he was the more consistent of the two, he wasn’t getting himself caught up in little incidents here and there and he was always smooth.
“At the end of the day mistakes are mistakes we all make them but just a few too many from me this season, we will try to rectify them before next year.”
Rogers finished the final standings in second position to claim $7500, Madison Down finished third to claim $5000, fourth went to Red Bull Holden’s Jarrad Filsell ($2500) while the fifth and final cash prize of $1500 went to rookie Jordan Caruso in the Repco Mustang.
Supercars would like to thank all of the Repco Pro Eseries teams, sponsors and broadcast partners for their support of this year’s competition.