TeamVodafone title challenge to be played out at Phillip Island again
Twelve months ago, Triple Eight Race Engineering claimed its second V8 Supercar Championship Runner-Up trophy at Phillip Island.
34 races and 13 rounds later, the focus has again shifted to the Victorian circuit where a four-way battle for the 2007 title will ignite one last time.
Just 3 races remain in what has been the most competitive and successful season to date for TeamVodafone, with current points leader Jamie Whincup and third-placed Craig Lowndes at the helm.
Predicting a finish to the year is impossible, and the crew at the Queensland-based team know all they can do is exert their every effort and leave the results on track to do the talking.
One of the highest speed circuits on the calendar, Phillip Island rewards horsepower with its long straight and wide sweeping turns, but puts equal focus on handling and car control through the tighter corners, especially when strong winds blow in from the ocean.
Both Whincup and Lowndes have vowed to approach this meeting like any other, the duo have recorded multiple race and round wins, as well as teaming up to take victory at the Sandown and Bathurst endurance events.
"We will be approaching this race meeting like all the others," said Whincup, who is 7 points clear of Garth Tander on the championship ladder.
"Phillip Island is a circuit I really enjoy and as we have shown this year we certainly have the pace to win races."
The 24-year-old has shone with a maturity beyond his years in 2007, overcoming the adversity of a late glitch in his campaign at Bahrain to bounce back and take a convincing round victory at Symmons Plains.
The year's most anticipated front-off-field battle will be fought out over three 27-lap races, and Lowndes will be ready to capitalise should the opportunity present itself.
"There are still four of us in with a mathematical chance," said Lowndes, who is 14 points behind Tander and a further 21 back from his teammate.
"It is going to be an exciting weekend for all of us and I think as a Team we are in a much better position than last year."
A maximum of 72 points is up for grabs for a clean sweep, with each race win worth a valuable 24 points.
TeamVodafone fans can also experience live action from within the TeamVodafone pit garage at final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series with live and uninterrupted Garage Cam available to Vodafone customers with 3G handsets.