WHINCUP ON THE PODIUM AS ALL CALTEX DRIVERS SECURE A TOP TEN FINISH Jamie Whincup led the way for the Caltex-backed drivers at the PlaceMakers V8 Supercars event, round three of the 2007 V8 Supercar Championship, at Pukekohe Park Raceway in ...
WHINCUP ON THE PODIUM AS ALL CALTEX DRIVERS SECURE A TOP TEN FINISH
Jamie Whincup led the way for the Caltex-backed drivers at the PlaceMakers V8 Supercars event, round three of the 2007 V8 Supercar Championship, at Pukekohe Park Raceway in New Zealand this weekend.
Whincup steered his #88 Caltex-backed TeamVodafone Falcon to third place overall in the round courtesy of a second placing in the opening race today and fifth in the controversial final race, which was cut short by seven laps due to time constraints.
The 24-year-old's third placing sees him leap from seventh to fourth in the Championship standings where he is also the best placed Ford driver.
James Courtney was the next best Caltex-backed driver in fifth position. The ex-Formula One test driver recovered from a disappointing opening race yesterday to finish fourth in this morning's second race and third in the final ever V8 Supercar race to be contested at the Pukekohe venue.
Caltex Ambassador Craig Lowndes also recovered well from a disappointing day yesterday recorded two top ten race finishes today to secure sixth for the round elevating him to seventh in the Championship standings.
Former Series Champion Russell Ingall added to his championship points tally in each of the three races to finish the round in ninth place. After three rounds he is 11th in the championship standings.
Rick Kelly won the final race and was declared the round winner despite tying for points with teammate Garth Tander who was second, Whincup was third.
After three rounds Kelly leads the championship ahead of Tander and Todd Kelly.
Round four of the 2007 V8 Supercar Championship Series will be held at Victoria's Winton Raceway May 18-20.
Russell Ingall - #9 Caltex Racing Ford Falcon "We are pretty disappointed with our results here at Pukekohe," said Ingall
"SBR has always run pretty well at this circuit and we thought that this would be one of our best rounds.
"Pulling in points from each race is a positive but we need to do more than that in the coming rounds."
Craig Lowndes - #888 Team Vodafone Ford Falcon "We made some good progress today after my mistake yesterday put us on the back foot," said Lowndes.
"I got a great start in the final race today and was able to make up a position. We also decided to stay out a bit longer than normal and made up more positions in the pitstop.
"We saved our best tyres for the last race which is why I was able to pass Jamie. If the race had run full distance I am sure I could have caught James (Courtney) as well.
"The car balance was definitely the best it has been all weekend in the last race."
Jamie Whincup - #88 Team Vodafone Ford Falcon "It is great to be back on the podium, it shows we are well on track with our plan to get back to the front," said Whincup.
"I had a great first race today where I finished second but we did use up our best tyres so I just had to do the best I could in Race three.
"My start in the final race was not great I got a little bit too many revs and dropped back which cost us some positions early on. I had a good pitstop and hung on to finish fifth and it was enough to get us back onto the podium."
James Courtney - #4 Jeld-Wen Motorsport Ford Falcon "The JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon was pretty competitive today. I was able to make some clean passes and catch the guys in front," said Courtney.
"The team had a couple of great stops today particularly in the last race. They got me out in third just behind Todd (Kelly) and we were pushing each other pretty hard.
"Parts of the weekend could have been better. Problems with one set of tyres really set us back in qualifying and the delay in the pit stop yesterday probably cost us in terms of results.
"But in the end we had good car speed and it was great to come home the first Ford in the final race."