TeamVodafone duo qualify on the front row of the grid for the Clipsal 500For Immediate Release: 20 March 2009TeamVodafone drivers Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes have debuted their brand new Triple Eight Race Engineering designed and built V8 ...
TeamVodafone duo qualify on the front row of the grid for the Clipsal 500For Immediate Release: 20 March 2009TeamVodafone drivers Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes have debuted their brand new Triple Eight Race Engineering designed and built V8 Supercars in the best possible fashion, with Whincup taking pole position and Lowndes qualifying second at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide today.
Under the new regulations today's qualifying results will stand for both 250km legs of the Clipsal 500, regardless of the drivers' finishing positions in tomorrows race.
Whincup, who is the reigning V8 Supercar Champion, commenced his 2009 title defence where he left off, setting two new lap records in the first two sectors of qualifying before going on to take pole position in the dramatic top ten shootout.
"I am very very happy," Whincup beamed. "With a brand new car and changes to the track, we were playing with the unknown out there today so this result is especially satisfying.
"The new car is completely different to last years so I had to stop trying to make it like the BF. Once I did that we really found a good direction to go in. "This is the best possible start to my championship defense and now that qualifying is out of the way we will work hard to make sure it is a good, well balanced racecar for tomorrow," Whincup added.
Teammate Craig Lowndes finished the second leg of qualifying in seventh place then jumped a number positions in the shootout after producing a 1.22.0668 lap. He was then handed two position after both Lee Holdsworth and Mark Winterbottom had their times disqualified for kerb jumping.
"This is a very encouraging start," Lowndes said. "To build brand new cars and come to what is arguably the hardest race of the season and put both cars on the front row of the grid is just incredible and a huge credit to the team.
"Qualifying is not traditionally my strong point and to be honest that lap was not particularly pretty but it was within the rules and as we have seen in the past the shootout always creates some intersting results.
"While I know qualifying is not always going to go in my favour, it is a good feeling to know I will be starting both races on the front row of the grid," Lowndes admitted.
Tomorrow's 250km race on the Adelaide parklands street circuit will be the first time the 2009 rule changes will come into full effect. The all new E85 fuel, no defined pit window and only six mechanics per team allowed to work in pitlane at anytime will play a major role in defining the team's race strategy.