TeamVodafone win's endurance opener Leading Ford outfit TeamVodafone has drawn first blood of the endurance season with Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes teaming up in Car ...
TeamVodafone win's endurance opener
Leading Ford outfit TeamVodafone has drawn first blood of the endurance season with Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes teaming up in Car # 888 to win the Just Car Insurance Sandown 500 today.
The team opted for a flexible strategy which saw Lowndes start the 161 lap race after Whincup took to the helm for qualifying yesterday.
The three-time touring car Champion got a great start and by the end of his first 55 lap stint had the car into the lead
Teammate Jamie Whincup took over on Lap 56 and after everyone had completed their first change took control of the race on Lap 62. Proving to be one of the most consistent drivers in the championship Whincup didn't put a foot wrong as he steadily pulled a gap on his rivals, which was out to 14 seconds at the time of his stop on Lap 111.
With Lowndes back in the car and a safety car to retrieve one of the Tasman Motorsport Commodores, the gap to second placed Rick Kelly was drastically diminished.
Despite a few nervous moments with lapped cars and threatening weather Lowndes was never in doubt as he stormed to the finish.
"It was a great team effort today and Jamie particularly did an amazing job again, to put me in a commanding position for the last stint.
"I felt a little bit like a pioneer on the last few laps with changing conditions and ominous clouds rolling in."
"It is a very positive outcome heading into Bathurst and I am as happy as a tornado in a trailer park!
Jamie Whincup now joins Lowndes in winning all three major races (Clipsal 500, Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000) and was positively ecstatic with the afternoons result.
"Obviously we all enjoy winning and it is a credit to the Team that everyone did their jobs to the best of their abilities."
"Today was not about Championship points it was about consolidating our enduro position and I am rapt for our engineers that our cars have got sustained race pace...overall A+."
"And the plan worked today giving us added confidence as we head into the longer 1000kms event," Whincup added"
Car #88 with the international combination of Richard Lyons and Allan Simonsen also had an exceptional day finishing 10th.
The duo would have been further up the order if they had not had an extended pitstop at the first changeover while waiting for fuel.
"Overall it was a pretty good day and a good start to our endurance campaign."
"If we had not been held up in that first pitstop we could possibly have been in the top six."
"Catching back up to tenth position gives both Allan and I, a real confidence boost," he added.
Allan Simonsen echoed the sentiments of his teammate.
"Whilst it was a positive outcome I was a little disappointed we didn't get into the top six given we had good race pace," Simonsen commented
While the Team will celebrate tonight Bathurst preparations will resume on Wednesday with a test planned for Wednesday 26 September.