A complete reversal for Whincup at Hamilton Today's V8 Supercar action at the Hamilton 400 in New Zealand has seen a continuation of mixed fortunes for TeamVodafone. Defending V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup erased the memories of 2008 with a...
A complete reversal for Whincup at Hamilton
Today's V8 Supercar action at the Hamilton 400 in New Zealand has seen a continuation of mixed fortunes for TeamVodafone. Defending V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup erased the memories of 2008 with a start-to-finish race victory while teammate Craig Lowndes made contact with the tight Hamilton circuit which forced him into the pits for repairs.
Despite a lacklustre day yesterday, Whincup was back to his best today, recording the fastest times in both of the morning qualifying sectors before narrowly missing out on pole position by a mere one thousandth of a second in the top ten shootout.
A good clean start put Whincup right behind race leader Mark Winterbottom and within half a lap the reigning V8 Supercar Champion had taken control of the race. Whincup pulled away to a comfortable lead and was never headed despite a late safety car which bought the pack back together.
"These weekends are emotional rollercoaster's," Whincup admitted. "21st yesterday really was the best we could do but today is another day and as a team we were back to our best form.
"I did have a couple of close calls out there, I brushed the wall a couple of times early in the race then clipped a tyre bundle with 15 laps to go which slightly bent the steering.
"That is what happens when you are giving it 110% and hanging it on the line," he added. After qualifying seventh Lowndes had some minor damage from a first lap melee which unsettled the balance of his TeamVodafone V8 Supercar and contributed towards a recurring understeer.
On lap 33 Lowndes broke the front lower upright after understeering into the concrete barrier at Turn 7. This damage forced him into the pits on two occasions but quick repairs by the TeamVodafone crew saw him back on track and able to collect some points on his way to finishing 24th.
"It was a disappointing finish as we had a great car up until that point," Lowndes said. "I had some problems with my rear roll bar which gave me a lot more understeer than I would have liked."
"With the damage sustained the team did a fantastic job to get me back out there so I could collect some points."
"Thankfully with this new qualifying format I have another chance tomorrow," Lowndes acknowledged. Under the revised rules the V8 Supercars will qualify at 1.00pm tomorrow for the second 200km race which will get underway at 3.05pm (local time).