Team Vodafone heads to Darwin’s SKYCITY Triple Crown this weekend with the aim of ending a dry spell that extends back to 2010.
Jamie Whincup was the team’s most recent V8 Supercars race winner at Hidden Valley Raceway, adding the Sunday victory on board his Holden Commodore to the team’s five previous race wins.
Amazingly, the Brisbane-based team is yet to record a pole position at Hidden Valley, having qualified second on six occasions.
A two-time race winner here, the defending V8 Supercar Champion has finished in the top 10, in 13 of the last 15 races in Darwin, with eight of those being top fives, but Whincup is yet to break through and record a pole position at Hidden Valley, qualifying on the front row of the grid for five of the last six races in Darwin since 2009, sitting second on each occasion.
This weekend we have to use both compound tires which makes it challenging because the soft tire doesn't last as long around Hidden Valley
“Although my results have been up and down in the past, I've never left Hidden Valley without having a good time,” Whincup said. “We had an awesome battle after the safety car restart last years opening race, but unfortunately all the drivers prepared to put it on the line for the win ended up penalized.”
Teammate Craig Lowndes heads to Darwin hoping to break his own personal winning drought, his last win at Hidden Valley stems back to the final race in 2007. The #888 pilot has shown solid consistency over the past six years in Darwin, finishing top five in 12 of the 15 races held since 2006.
Since joining the Brisbane-based team in 2005, Lowndes has never qualified outside the top 10 in Darwin, but has only qualified on the front row once (Sunday 2009).
"We came close last year, having a great run and finishing second and third over the two days. The Commodore's speed has been pretty good so far this season and the team has been working very hard to improve it," said Lowndes. “I really enjoy the Hidden Valley circuit, it’s very challenging with the hot climate. This weekend we have to use both compound tires which makes it challenging because the soft tire doesn't last as long around Hidden Valley.”
Jamie Whincup sits second in the 2012 title chase, just 10 points behind Will Davison heading into the Hidden Valley event. Craig Lowndes is currently sitting fourth overall on 977 points.