Bathurst: TeamVodafone race report

TeamVodafone conquer the Mountain for the second year in succession Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have completed a scintillating performance at today's Super Cheap Auto 1000 with TeamVodafone taking victory and the 2007 V8 Supercar Series lead...

TeamVodafone conquer the Mountain for the second year in succession

Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have completed a scintillating performance at today's Super Cheap Auto 1000 with TeamVodafone taking victory and the 2007 V8 Supercar Series lead in nail bitting conditions at Mount Panorama this afternoon.

It is the second time Lowndes and Whincup have claimed the Peter Brock Memorial Trophy and the formidable driving combination are the first pairing in more than 10 years to claim the endurance race double after winning the Just Car Insurance 500 at Sandown three weeks ago.

After recording the sixth fastest time in yesterday's Top Ten Shootout, Lowndes capitalised on his third row start and at the conclusion of the first controversial lap was placed inside the top four. As the lap counter ticked over Lowndes sounded his foes a warning and was inside the top three after the TeamVodafone driver took evasive action to avoid a wayward, Rick Kelly.

On lap 35 Lowndes handed the reigns of the #888 Falcon over to Whincup and who drove faultlessly and took control of the race on lap 55.

During the middle stages of the race the TeamVodafone duo played out their strategy and after a scary a scary moment on the entrance to pit lane at the end of Whincup's final stint the real race started.

As the final phases of the race unfolded Lowndes retained the lead from fellow Ford driver Mark Winterbottom and with the crowd charged and ready for a run to the finish the grey clouds descended on Mount Panorama and drops of rain fell and the Mountain proceeded to claim its next swag of victims.

For the remaining 10 laps or the race Lowndes kept V8 Supercar fans on the edge of their seats as he traded the lead with Steven Johnson and held off a charging James Courtney to be the first to the finish line.

As Lowndes and Whincup struck ahead their sister car completed its own stellar performance with the pairing of Simonsen and Lyons charging through the field to finish 11 positions higher than their qualifying position of 16th.

As a result of today's victory Whincup has acquired the 2007 V8 Supercar Championship Series lead with 461points, his team-mate Lowndes 16 points in arrears.

Craig Lowndes Quotes

"There is no other race in the world which comes close to the feeling you experience when standing on the podium at Bathurst," Lowndes said whilst holding the Peter Brock Memorial Trophy for the second year in succession.

"The strategy we employed yesterday where I focused on the shootout and Jamie [Whincup] on the race-car setup worked well and I couldn't have asked for a better race car package today.

"It may have been eleven years in the making but to claim the Sandown-Bathurst double is really something else and it is a testament to the cars being produced by TeamVodafone with the chassis winning on debut."

Jamie Whincup Quotes

"I know it sounds cliqued but words just cannot express how I am feeling right now," Whincup said, "Winning Bathurst alone is a huge achievement but to win it and take the championship lead in the one day is really something else."

"As a kid you dream of racing at Bathurst but to get back-to-back victories really is something special -- it is great to know that our names will appear twice on the Peter Brock Memorial trophy."

"There won't be much time to celebrate the race victory with us lining up for Indy in two weeks time -- there are still three/four rounds left in the championship and I'll be doing my best to hold the lead at the end of the year."

Richard Lyons

"I was really disappointed with where we finished in qualifying however it just shows you that at the end of the day anything can happen at this place," Lyons said.

"We've had a really good car during practice and I knew we would be able to run with the top ten so to finish in the top five really is something I will not forget in a hurry."

Alan Simonsen

"During practice we showed great speed and the car had fantastic balance," Simonsen said, "Which makes racing at Bathurst all that much easier."

"Finishing in the top ten at Sandown was great but today's top five finish caps off a successful endurance season for me in 2007."

-credit: teamvodafone

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Steven Johnson , James Courtney , Richard Lyons , Rick Kelly , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Mark Winterbottom , Peter Brock