Abu Dhabi: TeamVodafone race 1 report

TeamVodafone's Commodores take first and second on debut in Abu Dhabi After switching Marques to Holden during the offseason, TeamVodafone have silenced their harshest critics today and achieved what many said would be impossible, claiming first...

TeamVodafone's Commodores take first and second on debut in Abu Dhabi

After switching Marques to Holden during the offseason, TeamVodafone have silenced their harshest critics today and achieved what many said would be impossible, claiming first and second in the opening V8 Supercar race of the 2010 season at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit.

Despite the challenges of switching manufacturers, the championship winning outfit laid down the gauntlet and not only won in their first outing for Holden, but also took the opening race double with Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes greating the chequered flag just over a second apart.

The reigning V8 Supercar Champion enjoyed a perfect day at the office, setting the fastest time in qualifying and the top ten shootout before going on to win his first ever race behind the wheel of a Holden Commodore.

"It is an amazing result," Whincup said. "To debut a new car on a new circuit, qualify on pole and get a one-two will be a day both the team and I will remember for a long time.

"There was a huge question mark over the cars heading into this event but we have come out strong and you can't ask for anymore. That is as good as it gets today.

"I admit I was still having doubts halfway through the race. The car was still an unknown and the tyres were an unknown. In the end my car was a little bit stronger than Craig's on the closing laps of the race," Whincup explained.

Teammate Craig Lowndes was third in qualifying but spun on his shootout lap and started the race from tenth on the grid. Opting for a different pitstop strategy to that of his teammate, Lowndes pit early and worked his way back up through the order.

"I made a mistake in the shootout which cost me a good starting position for the race but thankfully a great start and awesome pitstop strategy helped me fight back," Lowndes said.

"I had to be mindful and drive conservatively mid race to conserve fuel but I was able to stay in front of Frosty (Mark Winterbottom). I don't know how much fuel was in the car at the end it must have been vapours.

"When you consider the work the guys put in at the workshop over Xmas to build these cars a one-two is the best way for us drivers to show our appreciation for all of their hard work," Lowndes continued.

The Yas V8 400 concludes tomorrow with qualifying for Race 2 at 9.10pm (AEST) and Race 2 (200km) to get underway at 12.05am (AEST).

-source: teamvodafone

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Craig Lowndes , Mark Winterbottom